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Clare Verga, the Executive Principal of the @COLA_Trust - the City of London Academy Islington and City of London Academy Highbury Grove, is to take up a new role with the City of London Academies Trust as Chief Standards Officer, taking the lead on high Educational Standards across the Trust.

Sonia Jacob, Principal of City of London Academy Islington, and Aimee Lyall, Principal of City of London Academy Highbury Grove, will continue in their leadership roles at their respective schools.

Sonia Jacob has been in post as Principal of City of London Academy Islington since September 2019 and Aimee Lyall has been in post as Principal of City of London Academy Highbury Grove since 2017. Both were previously Vice Principals.

Ms Verga, who steps down from her current role at the end of this academic year, has led the City of London Academy Islington, which is co-sponsored by the City Corporation and City, University of London since 2012.

During this time the school was awarded an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating, with inspectors reporting that “no child is left behind” and “outcomes are outstanding and pupils’ progress is exceptional”.

Whilst continuing this role, Clare also became Executive Principal of City of London Academy Highbury Grove in 2017, leading Ofsted to praise the school for its “swift” and “effective” improvements to teaching and pupil behaviour in its first inspection after it joined the City of London Academies Trust.

The City of London Academies Trust is a leading multi-academy trust which runs the City of London Corporation’s academies. It has twice been named by social mobility charity Sutton Trust 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.

Clare Verga, Executive Principal City of London Academy Islington and City of London Academy Highbury Grove, said:

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with all my students, staff, governors and parents.

“It has been a hugely rewarding experience for me and I have many special memories. I am also very proud of what we all achieved together and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support, commitment and hard work.

“I am confident that both Aimee and Sonia will ensure that their students will continue to flourish under their leadership.

“I look forward to continuing to work together and support both schools in my new role within the City of London Academies Trust.

Tijs Broeke, Chair of the City of London Academies Trust, said:

“I would like to offer my congratulations to Clare on her new post and for all that she has done at both schools in her role as Executive Principal.

“I am thrilled that Clare is now going to extend her experience in driving standards and progress working with leadership teams across all our Trust schools.

“The City of London Corporation is fully committed to providing access to excellent education and learning opportunities for children and young people in the capital, and I truly believe Clare and her team have done this for everyone at the City of London Academy Islington and at the City of London Academy Highbury Grove.

“We have a robust transition arrangements in place and I have every confidence that both schools will continue to thrive under the leadership of Sonia and Aimee, who bring a wealth of experience to their roles.”

The City of London Corporation sponsors or co-sponsors 10 schools across Hackney, Newham, Islington and Southwark. It also supports one maintained primary in the Square Mile as well as three independent schools.

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