Highbury Grove School: Academy status moves closer after new shadow chair of governors appointed

Highbury Grove School is set to open up as an academy in September.

Highbury Grove School is set to open up as an academy in September. - Credit: Archant

Academy-status is on the horizon for Highbury Grove after the trust bidding to sponsor the school appointed one of its members as shadow chair of governors today.

The City of London Corporation announced it was to taking over the troubled council-run school earlier this month, “subject to an agreement about the school’s future resources”, and has now appointed its policy chairman Mark Boleat to help skipper the governing body.

Mr Boleat said: “I look forward to leading the school’s shadow governing body in this period of transition.

“My priority as chair will be to work with the board and staff to drive forward further improvements in the school.

“I believe that with strong leadership in place we will be able to implement positive changes in the quality of teaching, learning and outcomes for our future students and staff.”

Under the proposals the school will come under the umbrella of the City of London Academies Trust, which already runs Mount Carmel RC School in Archway and City of London Academy Islington in Prebend Street.

That school’s leader Clare Verga is earmarked to extend her role to executive principal of both City Academy Islington and Highbury Grove from September, and will be assisted by “soon to be installed” heads of school at each academy.

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The 1,200-pupil secondary school in Highbury New Park was left without a permanent head following Tom Sherrington’s shock departure in January, with Aimee Lyall taking over temporarily in his stead.

Catherine McGuinness, chair of the corporation’s education board, said: “We are committed to extremely high standards of governance, recruiting governors who are of a high calibre and who bring a range of skills and experience to their roles.

“I am confident that Mark will provide the shadow governing body with confidence and strategic leadership.

“Mark brings great knowledge and experience to the role and his appointment will further strengthen the school’s governance and work with the local community.”

Highbury Grove is set to close on August 31 and reopen as an academy on the same site the next day.