Bishop Douglass School

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Bishop Douglass School (A Specialist Science College)
Motto 'In Studium Excellentia' - In Pursuit of Excellence
Type Voluntary Aided
Religion Roman Catholic
Headteacher Martin Tissot
Location Hamilton Road
N2 0SQ
Local authority Barnet
DfE number 302/5408
DfE URN 101365 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 672 (Westminster Diocese Inspection Report March 2016)
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–19
Houses Campion, Fisher, Line, More, Owen, Ward (All Saints and Southwell for 6th Form)
Colours Royal Blue      Blue,      Yellow     , Pink      , Maroon      , Green      , Purple     
Website Bishop Douglass School

Bishop Douglass School is a mixed Roman Catholic secondary school with a sixth form located in the London Borough of Barnet. The school first opened in 1963 as a secondary modern facility and later became a comprehensive school.


The original headmaster, Michael Caulfield, was at the time of his appointment the youngest head teacher of any school in the UK. Around 1990, he was succeeded by his deputy John Meadows. In 2002 an interim headmaster, Mr Kelly, followed Mr Meadows for one year when the school was threatened with closure. His influence was credited with improved standards across the board[citation needed] before Ms Angela Murphy took over in the following year.

At the time of Ms Murphy’s appointment in 2003 the school was under 'special measures'. Since this date standards have consistently improved. Bishop Douglass was taken out of Special Measures following HMI Inspection in December 2005 and in its most recent Ofsted Inspection the following comments were given “a Good school of which students, parents, staff and governors are proud of” [1]

A Diocese of Westminster inspection of 2008 concluded that “Bishop Douglass is a good Catholic school”[2]

The School was granted Specialist Science College status which came into effect in September 2007. In February 2009 the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust recognized Bishop Douglass’s consistent raising of results by awarding it Most Improved status. Bishop Douglass's status as a Specialist Science College was renewed in July 2010.

In April 2014, Angela Murphy retired as Headteacher after 10 years at the school. She has been replaced by acting headteacher Martin Tissot, currently executive head of both St George's Roman Catholic Secondary School in Maida Vale and St Thomas More Catholic School, Wood Green.

In April 2015, the school re-proposed the idea of converting into an Academy from 1 September 2015.


School uniform[edit]

From the founding of the school until 1969 the school uniform was grey. When the school became a comprehensive, at the time of the merger with Manor House Convent, the colour changed to royal blue. Until 2001 the Bishop Douglass uniform for girls consisted of a long royal blue skirt, grey V-neck jumper and a royal blue blazer. This would be worn with a blouse of the same colour as the house they were in. The girl's uniform blazer was originally collarless and double breasted. In the 1990s, it became a standard jacket similar to the boy's uniform. Originally, a navy bow-tie was worn with the blouse, but this was abandoned around 1974, at around the same time that the summer dress in blue and white dog tooth check was discontinued. Prior to 1977, first year girl students ("Discovery Year") wore a navy blue "gym slip" dress with their house blouse, rather than the skirt. The boys' uniform consisted of dark grey trousers, a white shirt, a grey V-neck jumper and royal blue blazer. This would be worn with a blue tie with stripes of the same colour as their house. The Sixth Form uniform for girls was navy skirt and navy sweater with a white blouse and for the boys it was black trousers, black sweater, black jacket and white shirt. The sixth form tie for boys was black, with the school emblem stitched in white.

In 2001, a new uniform was implemented, the most noticeable change being in the new girls' uniform: a green Douglass Tartan Kilt, a white shirt, a royal blue blazer and a blue tie with stripes of the same colour as their house. A new option was that the girls were now allowed to wear black trousers instead of the skirt. The boys' uniform remained the same except for a darker shade of blue for their blazers.

6th Form students now wear a white inner shirt, which can be either long sleeve or short sleeve. Black trousers, or an optional black skirt for girls. A straight black male or female blazer. Also, a black and white tie. The tie is an optional feature for girls, who can also choose to wear a black sweater.


In 2003, Bishop Douglass College introduced the school prayer which was to be said during registration. The school prayer is as follows:

Thank you, O God, for another day.
Help me to spend it wisely and to spend it well.
Grant that everything I do today may be done as well as I can do it.
Grant that everyone I meet may be happier for the meeting.
Keep me all through today conscientious in my work;
Truthful in my speaking;
Loyal to my friends and faithful to those who love me,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

School houses[edit]

Before the merger with Manor House Covent there were four houses: Bourne, Godfrey, Griffen and Hindsley. In 1969 this changed to six. Each current house at Bishop Douglass Science College is represented and named after a different catholic martyr.
· Campion House takes its name from Saint Edmund Campion, a Catholic convert, Jesuit priest and martyr who was canonized as a saint in the Catholic Church. The house colour is light blue.
· Fisher House takes its name from Saint John Fisher, an English Catholic bishop, cardinal and martyr. The house colour is yellow.
· Line House takes its name from Saint Anne Line, an English martyr who was executed during the reign of Elizabeth I for harbouring a priest. The house colour is pink.
· More House takes its name from Sir Thomas More the patron saint of politicians and statesmen. The house colour is orange.
· Owen House takes its name from Saint Nicholas Owen an English martyr who built several priest holes in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England. The house colour is pale green.
· Ward House takes its name from Saint Margaret Ward a Catholic English martyr. The house colour is lilac.

In addition to school houses, for many years the form years were named. First year students were classified as "Discovery" Year students in recognition of their new status in the school. Second year was named "Exploration"; the third year was "Understanding"; the fourth year was "Preparation" - as they prepared for their examination years; and the fifth year was "Appreciation" - a somewhat arrogant statement that the students were appreciating all the school had done for them. The sixth form was named Lower and Upper Sixth years. The naming convention was abandoned in 2002.

Due to the high amount of students enrolling into the school, a new pilot House was formed to keep down the amount of pupils in each form class. In 2009, 'All Saints' was piloted mixing 5 pupils from each house (depending on the size of a Year Group) together to form the new house. This was the first house not to be named after a Saint and nor have a dedicated coloured tie, instead students that were transferred kept there ties from their previous house group.

In September 2013, 'Southwell' House was created to deal with the growing number of students enrolling in the Sixth Form. The structure of the houses has meant that the 6th Form is the only section of the school to use all 8 houses as well as the only year section to incorporate Years 12, 13 & 14 into one form class per house.

The current houses stands as follows.

Years 7 - 9

  • Campion, Fisher, More, Owen and Ward

Years 10 - 11

  • Campion, Fisher, Line, More, Owen and Ward

Years 12-14 (Sixth Form)

  • All Saints, Campion, Fisher, Line, More, Owen, Southwell and Ward


The school is located near to several main transport services. Bus route 143 runs daily providing services towards Brent Cross via Finchley Central & Hendon and Archway via Highgate Village. The 232 accessible via the A406 (East End road). Also, There is access to the Northern Line from East Finchley Station.

There are two main School Buses that travel to and from the school. A special 143 service operates one double decker bus to East Finchley Cemetery in the morning only calling at Highgate Village and East Finchley and vice versa in the afternoon to Archway but with three double deckers, departing in 5 minute gaps . Also the 611 operates two services (morning and afternoon) between East Finchley Cemetery and Stonebridge Park. This route is mainly used by pupils who interchange at Brent Cross or live in the North West London area.

There are other bus routes accessible in the extended area such as 102, H3 and 263.

Notable former pupils[edit]


  1. ^ OFSTED summary for Bishop Douglass School 2008[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Diocese of Westminster summary for Bishop Douglass School 2008

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°35′38″N 0°10′41″W / 51.594°N 0.178°W / 51.594; -0.178