Henrietta Barnett School

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The Henrietta Barnett School
Henrietta Barnett School, London NW11.jpg
Established 1911
Type Grammar academy
Headteacher Ms Del Cooke
Founder Dame Henrietta Barnett
Location Central Square
Hampstead Garden Suburb
London, England
NW11 7BN
United Kingdom
Coordinates: 51°34′52″N 0°11′21″W / 51.5811°N 0.1892°W / 51.5811; -0.1892
DfE number 302/4752
DfE URN 138051 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Staff 50
Students c. 680
Gender Girls
Ages 11–18
Publication The Acorn
Website www.hbschool.org.uk

The Henrietta Barnett School is a grammar school with academy status for girls in Hampstead Garden Suburb in London. The Good Schools Guide called the school "One of the best academic state schools in the country', and the school consistently ranks amongst the top state schools in educational league tables.


It was founded in 1911 by Dame Henrietta Barnett for the education of girls.[1] She wished to improve girls' education, which in her time, was at a low level. She believed in a society where poor girls had access to the same levels of education as those girls in more privileged sections of society. Indeed, when the school was founded, the now affluent Hampstead Garden Suburb was being developed for poor families to live in, and it was Barnett's wish to educate girls based on their natural ability, not their financial background.

Originally known as 'The Institute', the school was initially intended to enclose the North-East side of Central Square, according to Sir Edwin Lutyens' masterplan for the area, and the north wing was completed in 1911. John Soutar, the Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust's architect supervised construction of the south wing in 1923, while Lutyens designed the elevations for Crewe Hall, the central block. The building offered concerts, evening classes and debates until its conversion to the Henrietta Barnett School for Girls in the 1930s.

Present day[edit]

With GCSEs and A Levels combined, the school is ranked as the best state secondary school in 2012 and 2011. The school was judged by The Times newspaper to rank 1st and 2nd best achieving state school according to GCSE[2] and A Level[3] results, respectively.

The school was previously awarded Music Specialist Status due to its outstanding music department, and became a Specialist Music College with English. Although now an academy, the school continues to specialise in Music and English.

In September 2007, the school opened a new multi-gym containing a variety of different exercise machines. In 2009 the school's science wing was completely refurbished to provide 8 modern labs. In September 2010 two new wings were built - one for Music and Drama, and one for Art and Design & Technology. Sports facilities have also been improved, including the new MUGA area. In 2011 they received over 9 million pounds to build state of the art facilities at the school. This building project has since been completed, providing the school with two outstanding new blocks: one for Music and Drama and the other for Design and technology and Art.

In March 2013, headteacher Oliver Blond took a job at a leading private school, Roedean.

As of September 2014, Ms Cooke has now taken over as headteacher.

In 2014, in an article by the The Telegraph the school was identified as in the top ten schools for Russell Group applications with 75% of pupils winning places. The school was also listed in the top-ten list of successful applications for Oxbridge with 24% of pupils winning places, furthermore the school was the only state-grammar school listed on the top-ten list alongside nine other independent schools including Eton and Westminster[4]

In 2015, the school was ranked as the best state school by the The Telegraph based on their GCSE results with 100% A* to C grades and 94.14% A* to A grades[5]


From Years Seven to Eleven, there are ninety-three girls in each year (however this has changed to accommodate 4 classes of 25 as of Sep 2013). The school has two buildings: Bigwood House and the Main Building. Bigwood is the home of Key Stage Three. The Main Building is the base for the rest of the school (Key Stages Four and Five).

In addition, the two new buildings either side of the Main Building are now open to pupils and staff providing room for Art, Music, Drama and Design Technology to be taught. peripatetic practice rooms and a new 6th form cafe.

Notable former pupils[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Henrietta Barnett School at Wikimedia Commons