Staff, students and governors at the City of London Academy Islington (COLAI) are celebrating the school’s 10-year anniversary this week.

An evening to mark the milestone was held at Guildhall, home of co-sponsor the City of London Corporation.

Guests gathered to hear live music, inspirational speeches by Executive Principal Clare Verga and from the academy’s co-sponsors, City of London Corporation and City, University of London.

The Prebend Street school, which first opened its doors in September 2008, has been providing first class education to students from Islington and the surrounding areas under the leadership of Executive Principal, Clare Verga.

Miss Verga joined the COLAI in 2012, taking on the role of both Executive Principal of COLAI and City of London Academy Highbury Grove - another City of London Academies Trust school in 2017.

Under her leadership, COLAI has been through two Ofsted inspections, with the latest rated ‘Outstanding’.

Executive Principal Clare Verga said:

“To celebrate 10 years of this outstanding school, is a landmark occasion.

“I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved as a school and in particular, of my staff and students, both present and former.

“The City of London Academy Islington is at the heart of its community. I am honoured to serve its young generation, making sure that they have access to the best learning opportunities and empowering them to make a positive contribution to their communities.”

Henry Colthurst, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Education Board, said:

“We aim to ensure that Londoners of all backgrounds have access to the information and advice that will help them to progress into fulfilling careers.

“Over the past 10 years and under the leadership of Clare Verga, students at COLAI have had educational experiences that enrich and inspire.

“I congratulate all the staff, students and parents who have worked so hard and supported each other over the last decade.”

Professor Sir Paul Curran, President of City, University of London, said:

“I feel incredibly proud of COLAI’s spectacular journey from the most underperforming school in Islington to ‘Ofsted’ Outstanding.

“The transformation is of huge credit to the Principal, Clare Verga, her senior team and the governing body.”

The City of London Corporation sponsors or co-sponsors 10 academies across Hackney, Newham, Islington and Southwark. In 2017 and 2018, Sutton Trust named the City Corporation as the UK’s best academy sponsor for empowering pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to perform above the national average, and the leading academy sponsor for Progress 8 and Attainment 8, which track pupil progress and achievement.


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