Highbury Grove School

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Highbury Grove School is a co-educational comprehensive secondary school in the London Borough of Islington. It covers the age range 11 to 18 (as part of ic6 sixth form college which teaches both A-levels and BTEC courses) It is classified as a Community School, specialising in music . The head teacher is Tom Sherrington who took over from previous headteacher Henry Jones.[1] Well over half of the pupils have been assessed with learning difficulties, disabilities, or literacy, dyslexia or language needs as well as there being a school joint to the same building called 'Samuel Rhodes' (a school helping people who have needs and disabilities). In Highbury Grove, a sizeable proportion of pupils have English as second language. Over half the pupils are from Black Caribbean, Black African and Bangladeshi groups and about one third of pupils from Turkish and other minority ethnic groups. In its latest Ofsted report (December 2016) the school was described as "inadequate" other than 16-19 provision, which was assessed as "good".[2] The school moved into a new, modern building on the same site in December 2009.


Highbury Grove School began life as an all-boys comprehensive in 1967. The founding headmaster was Dr Rhodes Boyson. It was created out of three former boys' schools in the area, Highbury Grammar School, Barnsbury Boys' School, and Laycock School, as part of a comprehensivisation scheme by the then Inner London Education Authority.[3] Boyson introduced a regime of strict discipline, including caning for misbehaviour. Excellent academic results were achieved, and the school was soon heavily oversubscribed.[3]

Boyson left in 1974 after being elected a Conservative MP; in the 1980s he was to become an education minister under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Media coverage[edit]

In April 2005 Highbury Grove was featured on an episode of the Channel 4 television series Dispatches called "Undercover Teacher". The programme exposed some of the 'appalling behaviour' by pupils. The school and many other outside sources have disputed the findings of Alex Dolan, a qualified science teacher who went undercover at schools in Leeds and London.

Notable former pupils[edit]


  1. ^ "About us". Highbury Grove School. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Ofsted report for Highbury Grove.
  3. ^ a b Rhodes Boyson, Oversubscribed: The Story of Highbury Grove School, London, 1974. ISBN 0-7062-3385-9

External links[edit]

Official website

Coordinates: 51°32′58″N 0°05′51″W / 51.5495°N 0.0974°W / 51.5495; -0.0974