Fortismere School

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Fortismere School
Fortismere logo.jpg
Established 1983 (William Grimshaw in 1902)
Type Foundation school
Headteacher Ms H Glass
Location Tetherdown (South Wing), Creighton Avenue (North Wing)
Muswell Hill
London, England
N10 1NS (South Wing)
N10 1NE (North Wing)

United Kingdom
Coordinates: 51°35′34″N 0°09′03″W / 51.59285°N 0.15095°W / 51.59285; -0.15095
Local authority Haringey
DfE number 309/4032
DfE URN 102156 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 1,638
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Colours blue, green

Fortismere School is a comprehensive school in North London. In 2014 it was ranked in The Sunday Times as the 11th best comprehensive school in the country,[1] with the 4th best GCSE results.[2] It is a mixed, community foundation secondary school situated just off the A504 in Muswell Hill. It falls under the London Borough of Haringey Local Education Authority and is the highest performing comprehensive school in the borough.[3] The school occupies extensive grounds a little west of the centre of Muswell Hill, and consists of two main sites, North Wing and South Wing, which are separated by playing fields and tennis courts. There are main entrances in Twyford Avenue (South Wing), Tetherdown (South Wing), and Creighton Avenue (North Wing).


The first school on the site was Tollington School, a private boys' school.

Grammar schools[edit]

After World War II, this became a state grammar school and the attached preparatory school became Tetherdown Primary School (this moved from the site in 1958 when it exchanged premises with the girls' grammar school). In 1958 the current building was erected and Tollington High School for Girls and Tollington Grammar School for Boys merged to become Tollington Grammar School (co-ed). In the 1950s William Grimshaw Secondary Modern School opened on an adjoining site in Creighton Avenue.

Creighton Comprehensive school[edit]

With the introduction of comprehensive education in Haringey in 1967, Tollington Grammar School and William Grimshaw Secondary Modern School were merged to form Creighton School on Creighton Avenue. Sir William Grimshaw was a local councillor. Charles Loades, head of William Grimshaw since 1958, became head, and remained until his retirement in 1974.[4]

In the early 1970s, Creighton School became the centrepiece of a Labour Party educational experiment. Situated in the middle class largely white suburb of Muswell Hill it was decided to integrate a large number of Afro-Caribbean and other ethnic minority children into the school from distant parts of the borough in an attempt to maximise education choice and social interaction - a policy based heavily on the then United States system of desegregation busing. In 1975, before this new intake had worked through the school, around one third of the Sixth Form was either a first-generation immigrant, or had a surname of Cypriot or Asian origin.[4] The head who was charged with overseeing this experiment was Molly Hattersley, the wife of Labour Party minister Roy Hattersley.[4]

As a part of the continuing debate about comprehensive schools, Creighton school became the subject of a series of articles in the Sunday Times and a subsequent book by Hunter Davies, "The Creighton Report",[4] illustrated by an A Level Photography student at the school.

Fortismere School[edit]

Entrance to the North wing

After further reorganisation, Creighton School and another comprehensive, Alexandra Park School, were combined under the new name of Fortismere School. It opened in September 1983 and gained Technology College status in 1997, which lasted until it became a foundation school. The school then became one of the most successful comprehensive schools in North London.

Foundation status[edit]

In the summer of 2006, the school's governors made a proposal to change the school's status to that of a foundation school. The governors argue that the increased autonomy from the LEA that foundation status provides would be beneficial to the school,[5] while critics argued that the proposal was an attack on the school's comprehensive nature and would lead to a reduction in provision for pupils with special educational needs.[6]

On 1 September 2007, Fortismere became a Foundation school, which have a very good status in Maths/Computing with Music and a secondary specialism in Modern Languages. In December 2009, it was announced that the Head, Aydin Önaç, would be leaving in July 2010 after 5 years at the school. He has since gone to be Headmaster at St Olave's Grammar School. The new Headteacher is Ms Helen Anthony.

Vertical Tutoring and Colleges[edit]

Under the leadership of new headteacher Helen Anthony, Fortismere adopted a vertical tutoring system in September 2012.[7] Under the new system students are assorted into tutor groups that consist of students from Years 7-11. The school also introduced a college system. Following an online vote, it was decided that the new colleges would be named after the Wonders of the World. There are six colleges: Alexandria, Ephesus, Colosseum, Rhodes, Olympia and Petra.[8]

Relationship with Blanche Neville School[edit]

The secondary school part of the Blanche Nevile School for Deaf Children is located on the site of Fortismere school. The two schools maintain a strong partnership.[9]

Notable former pupils[edit]

Tollington School[edit]

Tollington Grammar School[edit]

William Grimshaw Secondary Modern School[edit]

Creighton Comprehensive School[edit]


  1. ^ The Sunday Times (2014-11-23). "Top 20 Comprehensive Schools". 
  2. ^ Parent Power 2014-15 (2014-11-23). "Wholly academically non-selective entry at 11". 
  3. ^ BBC News (2013-04-23). "League tables 2012". Retrieved 2013-11-20. 
  4. ^ a b c d Hunter Davies The Creighton Report: A Year in the Life of a Comprehensive School, (1976), Hamish Hamilton. ISBN 0-241-89412-3.
  5. ^ Fortismere School Governing Body. "Fortismere School – Foundation Status Informal Consultation" (PDF). 
  6. ^ Keep Fortismere Comprehensive campaign. "Keep Fortismere Comprehensive". Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b c Dafydd Rees & Luke Crampton,Q Encyclopedia of Rock Stars, (1996), Dorling Kindersley, ISBN 0-7513-0393-3
  11. ^ Madame Joseph Forged Postmarks, (1993), ISBN 0-900631-29-5

External links[edit]