Greig Academy is now recognised by Ofsted as a Good School with some outstanding features. This is what Ofsted said when the school was inspected in March 2009...

“Greig City Academy provides a good education. The inspirational principal has built a strong, dedicated team of staff who share the vision to raise students' achievement. They work together with great enthusiasm and commitment to the students, often supporting them well beyond the school day. The good-quality care, guidance and support they provide build students' self-esteem and raise their aspirations. In turn, this encourages them to attend well, behave well and work hard. Together with the teaching in and outside the classroom, this helps the students to learn well and make good progress. Parents praise the Academy highly. They comment on the extensive efforts staff have taken to support their children.”

The Academy programme was the flagship educational programme of the Blair Government and is being continued by the Labour Government under Gordon Brown. It has all party support and is set to expand if there is a new Conservative Government in 2010.

However, when the Academy Programme was launched in 2000, there was massive scepticism and hostility on the part of the educational establishment. Some of that opposition still remains. But Tom Peryer was one of the first to see the potential it had to transform existing hard-pressed schools and also saw in it an opportunity to build some totally new schools. The result is that the very first Academy to open in England was the Greig City Academy in North London, sponsored by the Diocese of London with the Greig Trust.

Greig City Academy, Haringey
The Greig City Academy opened as an Academy in September 2002 along with two other Academies – Bexley and Capital. Greig replaced a struggling and unpopular school, St David and St Katharine. The predecessor school had many of the features of a school in decline, including a falling roll, financial pressures, behaviour issues and a poor reputation in the area. Although it was a Church of England school it had the lost of confidence of Church primary schools and the parents. The physical environment was unattractive and needed major investment.

D&K as it was known then was accepted in 2002 as a candidate for being a path-finder project. For everyone involved it was unknown territory. There were no systems, procedures or collective wisdom to fall back on. There was however plenty of hostility.

In those early months and years of getting the Academy open and then running smoothly, the project faced all kinds of difficulties and challenges.

These included:
• Challenges to the creation of the school by the Charity Commission
• Constant changes to the capital budget
• Opposition from some staff and the threat of industrial action
• Changes to the leadership team
• A life-threatening accident to the new headteacher appointed in 2004
• A major refurbishment project which had to work
  around an existing school • Damaging newspaper coverage

All these challenges had to be confronted and worked through. As the instigator of the project, Tom Peryer steered the project through to the opening and then chaired the Governing Body for the next six years, overseeing the £18M capital programme as well as all the other activities intended to bring about radical improvement.

Key indicators
Over the years every key indicator of school improvement has been in the right direction.
• Student progress is amongst the highest in the country
• Overall standards have risen year on year
• Attendance is slightly above national average
• The school is over-subscribed
• Staff turnover is low
• Student exclusions are amongst the lowest for any
  London secondary school