A boarding school education in the country for children from inner city London

The Telegraph has a report from Durand Academy Senior School, the controversial new state boarding school for inner-city children from South London…

… last week the doors to Durand Academy’s rural offshoot finally opened, and now where children from affluent middle-class homes once reaped the benefits of a fee-paying education, their counterparts from inner-city Stockwell are enjoying similar opportunities – at no cost to their parents.

Durand Academy Senior School – described by some as “an Eton for the poor” – says the extended day of a boarding school enables its pupils to receiving the type of rounded education which is usually the preserve of the rich. On top of the regular timetable there are activities such as rugby training, homework prep sessions and a chess club for the children, many of whom live in small, overcrowded flats with little room to study in peace and quiet.

Almost half of Durand’s pupils receive free school meals and around 40 per cent live in overcrowded households on south London council estates.

Sir Greg Martin, executive head teacher of Durand Academy, said: “We are all so excited about the opportunities the boarding school presents. There is such a fantastic buzz about the place. The children are happy and settling in well; exploring their new surroundings, eating delicious home-cooked meals and enjoying the space and fresh air of this fantastic site.”

One of his pupils, Lovette Omorodion, 14, from Brixton, added: “This is a once in a lifetime chance. It’s a great opportunity that children and even adults would die for.” Tai-Moniere Allen-Mowatt, 14, also from Brixton, said: “It’s a whole new environment and I am loving it. The food is great, the classrooms are bigger, and there is so much space.”

For the moment 48 year nine pupils, aged 13 to 14, have begun to attend Durand Academy Senior School from Mondays to Thursdays, returning to Stockwell for the last day of the week. There are plans to expand the intake to 100 in the near future and add further classes over the coming years…

It is thought to be first time that a state primary school has bought its own boarding school to educate its children. Durand was able to do so because it is a semi-independent “foundation” school, giving it a greater say over budgets. The cost of boarding the children will be paid from the fees paid by members of the public who use Durand Academy’s commercially run gym and swimming pool in Stockwell…

More at: A boarding school education in the country for children from inner city London


It will be fascinating to see how this works out although it is not necessarily obvious how the model could be recreated elsewhere if the funding is dependent on surplus profits from a gym and swimming pool. Your thoughts? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…


Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin every morning (around 7 am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link!

Student loans 'putting off' trainee teachers
Scottish Government invites applications for 'people's panel' to rule on school closures
Categories: Academies and Secondary.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Is this the first step towards abolishing parents? Remove parental influence completely – if it works one can’t argue really

  2. andylutwyche

    Nor_edu SchoolsImprove That’s nice for them. Although will they still be allowed home if their 6 weekly assessment grades dip?

  3. Janet2

    So, we can expect this ‘Eton for the poor’ to provide an Olympic standard rowing lake, a theatre for 400 people, state-of-the-art music rooms then?

  4. Janet2

    So, we can expect this ‘Eton for the poor’ to provide an Olympic standard rowing lake, a theatre for 400 people, state-of-the-art music rooms then?

  5. Janet2

    @andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Greg Martin has been Durand head for a great many years.  In 1996 Ofsted said:

    ‘Although the headteacher and his staff will always see parents by appointment and at other times when they are free, some find communications with the school difficult or have been put off in the past by terse explanations and the attitude that ‘school knows best’.’

    Two years later, inspectors were still saying parents didn’t feel welcome.

    Of course, the attitude to parents may well have changed considerably since 1998 but In 2013, inspectors said governors were considering ‘introducing a parents’ forum’ and the exclusion policy policy had previously ‘allowed for pupils to be sent home informally which was against statutory guidance.’

  6. CllrRalphBerry

    SchoolsImprove I went to one..many Councils used to have Boarding schools, they got closed and sold off , why just London ?

  7. HughdjNicklin

    SchoolsImprove Suburban progressives assume all poor to be criminal, so this looks like a miracle to them. #TearsBeforeBedtime

Let us know what you think...