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Fortismere School

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Type  Foundation school
DfE number  309/4032
Phone  +44 20 8365 4400
Founded  1983
Headteacher  Ms H Glass
DfE URN  102156 Tables
Number of students  1,750
Gender  Mixed-sex education
Fortismere School
Established  1983 (William Grimshaw in 1902)
Location  Tetherdown (South Wing), Creighton Avenue (North Wing) Muswell Hill London, England N10 1NS (South Wing) N10 1NE (North Wing) United Kingdom
Address  Tetherdown, Muswell Hill, London N10 1NE, UK
Local authority  Haringey London Borough Council
Similar  Alexandra Park School, Woodhou College, Highgate Wood School, Ashmole Academy, Highgate School

China s first lady peng liyuan visits fortismere school in london

Fortismere School is a comprehensive school in North London. In 2014 it was ranked in The Sunday Times as the 11th best comprehensive school in the country, and was judged as Outstanding in its most recent Ofsted inspection (2011). It is a mixed, community foundation secondary school situated just off the A504 in Muswell Hill. It falls under the London Borough of Haringey Local Education Authority and is the highest performing comprehensive school in the borough. The school occupies extensive grounds a little west of the centre of Muswell Hill, and consists of two main sites, North Wing and South Wing, which are separated by playing fields and tennis courts. There are main entrances in Twyford Avenue (South Wing), Tetherdown (South Wing), and Creighton Avenue (North Wing).


A team london young ambassador from fortismere school


The first school on the site was Tollington School, a private boys' school.

Grammar schools

After World War II, this became a state grammar school and the attached preparatory school became Tetherdown Primary School (this moved from the site in 1958 when it exchanged premises with the girls' grammar school). In 1958 the current building was erected and Tollington High School for Girls and Tollington Grammar School for Boys merged to become Tollington Grammar School (co-ed). In the 1950s William Grimshaw Secondary Modern School opened on an adjoining site in Creighton Avenue.

Creighton Comprehensive school

With the introduction of comprehensive education in Haringey in 1967, Tollington Grammar School and William Grimshaw Secondary Modern School were merged to form Creighton School on Creighton Avenue. Sir William Grimshaw was a local councillor. Charles Loades, head of William Grimshaw since 1958, became head, and remained until his retirement in 1974.

In the early 1970s, Creighton School became the centrepiece of a Labour Party educational experiment. Situated in the middle class largely white suburb of Muswell Hill it was decided to integrate a large number of Afro-Caribbean and other ethnic minority children into the school from distant parts of the borough in an attempt to maximise education choice and social interaction - a policy based heavily on the then United States system of desegregation busing. In 1975, before this new intake had worked through the school, around one third of the Sixth Form was either a first-generation immigrant, or had a surname of Cypriot or Asian origin. The head who was charged with overseeing this experiment was Molly Hattersley, the wife of Labour Party minister Roy Hattersley.

As a part of the continuing debate about comprehensive schools, Creighton school became the subject of a series of articles in the Sunday Times and a subsequent book by Hunter Davies, "The Creighton Report", illustrated by an A Level Photography student at the school.

Fortismere School

After further reorganisation, Creighton School and another comprehensive, Alexandra Park School, were combined under the new name of Fortismere School. It opened in September 1983 and gained Technology College status in 1997, which lasted until it became a foundation school. The school then became one of the most successful comprehensive schools in North London.

Foundation status

In the summer of 2006, the school's governors made a proposal to change the school's status to that of a foundation school. The governors argue that the increased autonomy from the LEA that foundation status provides would be beneficial to the school, while critics argued that the proposal was an attack on the school's comprehensive nature and would lead to a reduction in provision for pupils with special educational needs.

On 1 September 2007, Fortismere became a Foundation school. The Headteacher is Mrs Helen Glass.

Vertical Tutoring and Colleges

Under the leadership of headteacher Helen Glass, Fortismere adopted a vertical tutoring system in September 2012. Under the new system students are assorted into tutor groups that consist of students from Years 7-11. The school also introduced a college system. Following an online vote, it was decided that the new colleges would be named after the Wonders of the World. There are six colleges: Alexandria, Ephesus, Colosseum, Rhodes, Olympia and Petra.

Relationship with Blanche Neville School

The secondary school part of the Blanche Nevile School for Deaf Children is located on the site of Fortismere school. The two schools maintain a strong partnership.

Notable former pupils

  • Joel Defries, former co-presenter of BBC's Blue Peter children's TV programme
  • Jess Glynne, singer-songwriter
  • Michael Kiwanuka, soul singer, completed his A-levels in 2005
  • Tollington School

  • Kenneth Alfred Biggs GC
  • Felix Aprahamian, classical music concert organiser
  • Jennifer Bate OBE, concert organist
  • Michael Casson OBE, potter
  • W. J. MacQueen-Pope, theatre historian
  • Rudolph Uhlenhaut, Chief Engineer of Mercedes Benz
  • Tollington Grammar School

  • Chris Gilbey, music industry executive and composer
  • Maurice Saatchi, Baron Saatchi, husband of Josephine Hart
  • Sir John Sorrell CBE, designer, owner of Newell and Sorrell, and Chairman from 1994-2000 of the Design Council
  • Anne Weyman OBE, Chief Executive from 1996-2008 of the Family Planning Association
  • William Grimshaw Secondary Modern School

  • Dave Davies (rock singer)
  • Sir Ray Davies CBE (rock singer)
  • Pete Quaife (rock guitarist)
  • Rod Stewart (rock singer)
  • Roger B West (philatelist & author)
  • Creighton Comprehensive School

  • Toby Young, author and journalist
  • Dexter Fletcher, actor/TV personality
  • Viv Albertine, songwriter/musician
  • Kate Osamor, politician
  • Rachel Whiteread, Artist, Turner Prize winner 1993
  • References

    Fortismere School Wikipedia

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