BY JAMES TWOMEY
A new secondary school opened its doors on September 6 after a parent-led campaign which started in 2015.
Haberdashers’ Aske’s Borough Academy in Southwark opened its doors to 180 students as the ninth school within the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Federation Trust.
The 11-18 academy is situated on the old fire station site in Southwark Bridge Road, between Borough and Bankside.
Haberdashers’ Aske’s Borough Academy will admit 180 children a year, growing year-on-year and ultimately opening a sixth form in 2023 with 250 places to complete the 1,150 place secondary school.
Following a parent campaign, Haberdashers’ Aske’s and the local community worked closely to build the new school.
Paola Perissinotto and Victoria Diamond were two parents who pioneered the local campaign.
Ms Perissinotto said: “The sale of the fire station came at a perfect time for us.
“We had all started to be concerned about having to send our children on long journeys out of the area to good secondary schools.
“Borough desperately needed a mixed, non-selective secondary school to complement the amazing primary schools we have.
“Seeing the school taking shape now is so rewarding and worth every second of the campaigning, meetings and interviews it took to secure it.”
The developer, Hadston Southwark Limited, has been working with Haberdashers’ Aske’s and Southwark council to ensure that the new school meets local demand.
Councillor Jasmine Ali, cabinet member for children, schools and adult care, said: “It is wonderful to see the determination of parents, staff and governors come to fruition in this fantastic school.
“Southwark is proud to be home to some fantastic schools and Haberdashers’ Aske’s Borough Academy will help deliver much-needed secondary school places.
“I hope the new academic year gets off to a flying start and pupils make the most of their new school.”
For its first year the academy will be housed in a temporary building in Sawyer Street.
The conversion of the fire station to provide the school’s permanent home has begun and the first stages will be complete for the second cohort of pupils in September 2020.
Photos: Shivaali Lakhani.
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