Wednesday, 3 November 2010


North Building with only a few weeks to go before demolition.  Keir's temporary fencing line will be replaced by something a lot more permanent over the next few days.  Framed by trees in autumnal hues the building looks almost attractive - it is alleged to have won an award in 1952.  But times move on and this building has served its purpose over the last sixty years and will be replaced by something very much better.

The Temporary Science blocks.  They may look a bit basic externally but the do the job and are really well fitted-out inside.

I caught the 'Red-Eye to Romford' from Liverpool Street at 6.30am on 2 November to be at Drapers' Academy in time for morning assembly and discussions with Matthew Slater, the Principal, and Stephen Beeson, Director of Finance, so that I could get back in time for the Sir William Boreman's Foundation meeting at 11.00am (see next post).

Things are moving very fast at the Academy.  The team Matthew leads have put in a huge amount of effort to enrich teaching and establish the basic standards of behaviour are are essential building blocks on which to base academic and personal improvement.  I was really impressed with the progress being made.  I think a really great story is starting.

The temporary accommodation providing both great new science classrooms and a girls changing room where the showers actually work are ready to go.  Late connection to the new electric sub-station is a few days away and while I was there the standby generator was failing lamentably and setting off all sorts of carbon momoxide warnings.  But by Friday this should be a thing of the past.

Kier has temporarily fenced off the North Building site and the huge grounds around the Academy are now a lot smaller.

Drapers' Academy has got off to a good start and by the first half-term a lot has been achieved.  But there is huge amount still do on a whole range of issues: raising academic standards, giving every child at the Academy the best chance possible and creating a new school in outstanding buildings.  Big challenges but everyone seems up for it.

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