The first Independent Secondary school in Islington will open to sixth form pupils in September 2014 at 6-9 Canonbury Place, a historic Tudor Building.
North Bridge House Canonbury is being set up by North Bridge House School in Hampstead, which currently caters for pupils from nursery to GCSE level. The new school will cater for pupils up to A-level.
The project has received £3.5m worth of investment from Cognita, an Independent schools company, headed up by Chris Woodhead, former Chief Inspector of schools.
Local residents have been angered however by what they consider to be a ‘fait accompli’ by Mr Woodhead as public consultation only opened after the lease of the building had been signed over.
Residents also harbour concerns that the character of the area will be affected due to traffic congestion, noise from ‘loitering pupils’ and potential conflicts with state school pupils.
David Gibson, head of operations at Cognita, has stressed that market research has shown high demand for a private secondary school in the area and that upon opening it will only be attended by 50 pupils.
Residents are calling for a community member to be on the Governing body of the school to ensure that the local community is represented when the school makes decisions that could affect them.
Current Head of North Bridge in Hampstead Georgina Masefield has sought to reassure the local community that her pupils are model citizens. Mrs Masefield said: ‘They go to homes for the elderly to do music therapy and we have an outreach programme to a local school for special needs.
‘Our pupils do have a positive relationship with the community.’
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