Wandsworth Free School Names First Head

Bolingbroke Academy to be run by Claire Edis

The educational charity that will be running the new Bolingbroke Academy free school in Battersea has appointed the head teacher who will be in charge when it opens to pupils next year.

ARK Schools has appointed Claire Edis as the founding principal of the academy. Ms Edis is currently the deputy headteacher of Parliament Hill School in Camden - a girls' comprehensive with a mixed sixth form.

Ms Edis has been its deputy head since 2006 and has taken lead responsibility for the school's technology college specialism and in particular its work in raising attainment in maths and science and also design technology.

She has played a leadership role in the Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 curriculum and in managing behaviour and in the school's provision of careers guidance and support, all areas in which the school excelled when judged 'outstanding' by Ofsted inspectors last November.

Her appointment has been welcomed by the council's spokesman on schools and education. Cllr Kathy Tracey said: "This is a top line appointment and further proof that this new free school is going to offer a very attractive choice to parents of secondary age children in this part of the borough.

"The day that this free school opens its gates is now drawing closer and closer, with admissions starting in September 2012. ARK Schools have arranged some open days this coming September and October and these will be a great opportunity for parents to go along and find out more about this exciting new academy."

ARK's Director of Education Sir Michael Wilshaw said: "Claire has tremendous experience across all the areas that are key to creating and maintaining high standards across a school. I think she will make an exceptional principal for Bolingbroke Academy and make it a high achieving and successful school for local children."

Claire Edis said: "I am delighted to be appointed to lead Bolingbroke. It is an extraordinary privilege to help create a new school and even more so to do so with the support of parents and ARK as the school's sponsor.

"We have an exceptional opportunity to create a really great school that will give local children from every background the chance to succeed academically and realise their ambitions."

Bolingbroke Academy will hold open days for prospective pupils and their parents on:  

  • Wednesday,  September 21 from 5.30pm to 9pm
  •   Saturday, September 24 from 10am to 12noon
  •   Monday, September 26 from 5.30pm to 7pm
  •   Wednesday, October 12 from 5.30pm to 7pm

The school, which will open on the site of Battersea's former Bolingbroke Hospital will admit its first 120 Year 7 pupils next September and will continue growing each year until full. It will have four forms of entry each academic year.

The academy will have the normal admissions rules of a state funded school with most pupils joining from five feeder primary schools - Belleville, Falconbrook, High View, Honeywell and Wix. 

It is promising a "rigorous academic education" that will prepare all its pupils for university courses.

The curriculum will have excellent English and mathematics at its core, to provide the strongest possible educational platform from which all subjects can be taught effectively. The school will set very high achievement targets for all pupils and will organise its curriculum and teaching to make it possible for all pupils to reach their targets.

A full curriculum will be in place to age 14 including all current National Curriculum subjects including separate sciences, design/technology and IT, as well as music, drama, foreign languages, art and sport. The curriculum for pupils entering the school with attainment below age level will be designed to accelerate their progress so that they can participate fully in the whole curriculum.

From age 14 the school will offer a full programme of GCSEs, together with a selection of other courses to ensure a programme which challenges and meets the needs of all pupils. The expectation will be that almost all pupils should continue to study at least one humanity and a language to age 16.

From the age of 16 the school will offer a full programme of A levels, together with a selection of other courses to ensure a programme which challenges and meets the needs of all pupils. Other course options such as International Baccalaureate and Pre-U will also be considered for inclusion nearer the opening date, when the likely extent of demand for such programmes can be determined.

The idea for a new free school on the Bolingbroke site started when a group of local parents set up the Neighbourhood School Campaign (NSC) to campaign for a non-selective, socially inclusive, non-denominational secondary school in this part of Battersea.

For more information about the school and further details of its forthcoming open days, visit www.arkbolingbrokeacademy.org


July 9, 2011