Haberdashers’ Borough Academy welcomes The Duke of Edinburgh

HRH at Borough Academy
Borough Academy celebrated its development on the Old Fire Station site on Southwark Bridge Road by being officially opened by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, on 7th November. A thoroughly enjoyable and exciting day for all staff and students. 

Part of Haberdashers’ Academies Trust South, a multi academy trust of four secondary and five primary schools in south-east London, Haberdashers’ Borough Academy opened to pupils in September 2019 and now has almost 900 pupils on roll across Years 7 to 11. 

Now in its fifth year, the school will have pupils sitting GCSEs for the first time this academic year. 

The Duke of Edinburgh, a member of The Haberdashers’ Company, spent the day touring the school’s impressive facilities and meeting both staff and students. A day filled with creative arts and student interaction was on offer, including The Duke meeting students taking part in a girls’ rugby training session in the multi-use games area; taking in a music and drama showcase featuring a choir, string orchestra and physical theatre troupe who performed Black Bird; participating in mosaic tableaux representing the school’s values and meeting with the school’s first artist-in-residence, Tanya Ling – well-known artist, designer and fashion illustrator. 

HRH met with visitors and other esteemed guests, including Colonel Simon Duckworth OBE DL for Southwark, Christopher Hardie, Master of The Haberdashers’ Company, members of the Haberdashers’ Company Education Committee and the school’s local governing board. A particular highlight was a showcase of the Duke of Edinburgh Award programme where Bronze Award participants set up a mock camp in their Grotto Park area and were able to chat with The Duke about their experiences of the Award so far.

Before unveiling a special plaque marking the opening of the school, The Duke met with members of Brite Box, a charity partner of the school who provide healthy recipes boxes to families identified as at risk of food insecurity. Borough student volunteers have been supporting the project and connecting with their local community and were pleased to have the opportunity to spend some time with The Duke talking about their involvement. 

Declan Jones, Principal of Borough Academy, said: 

We were thrilled to welcome The Duke of Edinburgh to officially open Borough Academy. It was wonderful to showcase our facilities and to see our students engage with HRH so enthusiastically. I am proud to see how this school has developed from initial plans to one that is now at the heart of its’ community and offers a truly special pupil experience.

Jan Shadick, CEO of Haberdashers’ Academies Trust South, said: 

Officially opening Borough Academy marks a special point in the school’s journey. Our staff and pupils are rightly proud of their school and showcased its strengths to The Duke of Edinburgh. It was a privilege to be part of this special day. I look forward to seeing the school go from strength to strength, and further develop its local partnerships. It is an exciting time to be part of the Trust.

Christopher Hardie, Master Haberdasher, added:

Borough School was a long time in the creation, involving a huge effort from a very large group of people. They have created a fantastic school as I think was evident from the enthusiasm of staff and students shown today. I know that those who were involved would feel rightly proud that they have created something of lasting benefit to the students and their community.

The day marked an exciting new chapter for Haberdashers’ Borough Academy as they continue establishing themselves as a school of choice in Southwark. 



Notes for editors:

Haberdashers’ Academies South Trust

  • Haberdashers’ Academies Trust South is a multi-academy trust of four secondary and five primary schools in the London Boroughs of Lewisham, Southwark and Bexley, providing a Haberdashers’ education for around 7,000 students aged 3 to 18.
  • The Trust has been providing education in south-east London since 1876 when its’ first school, Haberdashers’ Hatcham College was established, and now employs around 700 staff.
  • The schools in the Trust are Haberdashers’ Borough Academy, Haberdashers’ Crayford Academy, Haberdashers’ Crayford Primary, Haberdashers’ Hatcham College, Haberdashers’ Hatcham Free School, Haberdashers’ Hatcham Primary, Haberdashers’ Knights Academy, Haberdashers’ Knights Primary and Haberdashers’ Slade Green Primary.
  • All schools in the Trust are proudly sponsored by The Haberdashers’ Company, with the primary schools benefitting from further support from The Temple Grove Schools Trust.
  • The Trust mission is for every child to flourish and be successful in their lives no matter their starting point and is working towards our vision for ‘Every school an excellent school’.

The Haberdashers’ Company:

  • The Haberdashers’ Company is one of the Great Twelve Livery Companies of The City of London.
  • The Worshipful Company of Haberdashers has its origins in medieval times: The first surviving ordinances were recorded by the Mayor's Court in 1371.  
  • Throughout six and a half centuries it has moved away from its historical involvement in the trade of haberdashery and developed into a significant supporter of schools and education in England and Wales.
  • The Company supports 19 schools, across the maintained and private sector, 8 church patronages and a varying number of small charities. 
  • Every year the charitable foundations of the Haberdashers’ Company distribute almost £1 million in grants to our charities. Our poverty relief programme includes support for the unemployed, homeless and ex-offenders as well as disadvantaged and ‘at risk’ young people. We also maintain our roots in the fashion industry through a range of innovative grants and scholarships.
  • The Company’s purpose is to empower young people from every background to fulfil their potential.