Harris Academy St John's Wood

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Harris Academy St John's Wood
Marlborough Hill

, ,

Coordinates51°32′16″N 0°10′37″W / 51.5378°N 0.1770°W / 51.5378; -0.1770Coordinates: 51°32′16″N 0°10′37″W / 51.5378°N 0.1770°W / 51.5378; -0.1770
MottoDedication, Determination and Destiny
Established1969 (1969) (community school)
2011 (2011) (academy)
2017 (2017) (Harris Academy, new name)
Department for Education URN137646 Tables
Regional Secondary DirectorDr Chris Tomlinson
Age11 to 18
Colour(s)Pale blue

Harris Academy St John's Wood (formerly Quintin Kynaston) is a secondary school in St John's Wood, North London, England, established in this name in 2017. Its predecessor Quintin Kynaston was founded in 1969 by the merger of Quintin Grammar School and Kynaston School. The earlier schools, which were built on the same site, opened in September 1956, it has been an academy school since November 2011. The school had previously been rated as "Outstanding" in 2008 and 2011 by Ofsted, the English schools' inspectorate; however, in 2014 it was rated "Requires Improvement", and in April 2017 it was rated "Inadequate" and as a consequence was placed in special measures, it joined the Harris Federation Multi-Academy Trust in September 2017.


Original foundations[edit]

Quintin School was founded in 1886 by Quintin Hogg[1] (grandfather of the mid-20th century politician of the same name) as the Polytechnic Secondary School, part of Regent Street Polytechnic. Named the Polytechnic Boys' Day School from 1886 to 1919, it was a voluntary aided school. Prior to 1956, in a different location, Kynaston had been known as Paddington Secondary Technical School.

Grammar and comprehensive schools[edit]

Quintin became a grammar school in 1944, and in 1946 was renamed the Quintin School after Quintin Hogg, who founded the Polytechnic at Regent Street in 1882 building on the legacy of the Royal Polytechnic Institution, it was a voluntary controlled school. A new building was built in 1956 in St John's Wood, it had around 550 boys.

Also in September 1956, Quintin's next-door neighbour, Kynaston School, opened as a county comprehensive, named after Sir Kynaston Studd OBE, a former president of the Royal Polytechnic at Regent Street, and Lord Mayor of London in 1928. Kynaston School was among the small number of early comprehensive schools in the UK, which combined a non-restrictive admissions policy with, in essence, three kinds of education in one—roughly matching that found in grammar, secondary modern and technical schools (Kynaston was equipped with extensive technical laboratories, in part financed by corporate donations).

The Quintin School,1956

Merged school[edit]

Quintin and Kynaston merged in 1969 as a single new comprehensive school, renamed Quintin Kynaston School, and became co-educational in 1976. During the 1990s the school had issues usually associated with problem schools in inner city areas; this was gradually rectified by new head teacher Nick Kemp.[citation needed] It became a Specialist Technology College in 2001,[2] a Foundation School in 2008,[3] and an Academy in November 2011, keeping its name throughout as Quintin Kynaston School until 2015, when the school renamed itself Quintin Kynaston.[4]

Quintin Kynaston School website[edit]

A new website[5] was launched in 2017, covering the period from 1956 to 1975. There is an annual Kynaston / Quintin Kynaston school reunion,[6] held in St John's Wood, and attended by ex- pupils and teachers.

National acclaim[edit]

In 2002, Joanna Shuter was appointed head teacher; the then prime minister, Tony Blair, launched the "Extended Schools" scheme at Quintin Kynaston in September 2003.[7] In May 2005, the school featured in a 30-minute BBC documentary, Head on the Block, made by the headteacher's sister Debbie Shuter, it was not broadcast as planned, because the BBC decided that the film broke its rules on objectivity.[8][9] Blair visited the school again in 2006.

After being named Headteacher of the Year in a Secondary School in 2007,[10] and receiving a CBE in 2010, Shuter resigned in May 2013 and was replaced by Alex Atherton. In May 2014 Shuter was banned for life from the classroom by the National College for Teaching and Leadership after admitting the misuse of public funds on various personal expenses during her tenure.[11] After an appeal the decision was revised in November 2014 to allow Shuter to challenge the prohibition order after two years.[12] Early in 2017 the ban was overturned, leaving Shuter free to return to teaching.[13]

Quintin Kynaston was rated "outstanding" by Ofsted in two previous inspections, in 2008[citation needed] and December 2011.[14]

A new building opened to students on 12 January 2015 and was designed by van Heyningen and Haward Architects; the building is situated on Marlborough Hill next to the west side of the A41 in the north of the borough of Westminster in St John's Wood, close to the boundary with the Borough of Camden, and just south of South Hampstead railway station and the junction with the B509.[citation needed]

In March 2015 Quintin Kynaston received unwelcome publicity with the revelation that Mohammed Emwazi, the ISIL killer who was portrayed in the media as "Jihadi John", had been a student at the school, leaving it in 2006.[15]

Requires improvement to special measures[edit]

The school lost its "outstanding" rating during the Ofsted inspection in September 2014; the school was judged as "requires improvement" because standards were not consistently in line with or above the national average in all subjects. The majority of the individual judgements were "good", including leadership and management, behaviour and safety and sixth form.[16]

In January 2017 Quintin Kynaston was inspected by Ofsted; the report published in April 2017 showed the school to be "Inadequate" in all areas apart from the Sixth Form which was deemed to be "Good"; as a consequence of the failings Her Majesty's Chief Inspector was of the opinion that the school needed to be placed in special measures, stating in the report:[17]

In accordance with section 44(1) of the Education Act 2005, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector is of the opinion that this school requires special measures, because it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school.

— Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Ofsted Inspection Report January 2017

Having been placed in special measures it became part of the Harris Federation chain of academies which took over as sponsor from September 2017; the Quintin Kynaston name is no longer used.[18]

Academic performance[edit]

The school has successfully created many "school systems" that are now being used in other schools. In September 2004 the school received an excellent OFSTED report; the Section 5 Ofsted inspection of 10 December 2008 characterised QK as "an outstanding school and exceptionally well led by its inspirational headteacher".[19]

It gets the third best GCSE results in Westminster LEA with above average results. Results at A-level are weaker – below the national average, however the school performs strongly in measures of contextual value added.[citation needed]


Headteachers[20] Era School
Dr V. Butler-Smith 1886–1892 Polytechnic Day School for Boys
Charles Mitchell and David Woodhall 1892–c.1918 Polytechnic Commercial School and Polytechnic Technical School respectively
Percy Abbott 1919–1934 Polytechnic Secondary School
Frederick Wilkinson 1934–1937 Polytechnic Secondary School
Dr Bernard Worsnop 1937–1958 Polytechnic Secondary School and The Quintin School
A. J. Holt 1958–1969 The Quintin School
T. G. Jones 1956–1959 Kynaston School
G. H. Harmer 1959–1969 Kynaston School
A. J. Holt 1969–1972 Quintin Kynaston School
Peter Mitchell 1972–1983 Quintin Kynaston School
Laurie Goodhand 1983–1986 Quintin Kynaston School
Sheila Madgwick 1987–1994 Quintin Kynaston School
Nicholas Elliott-Kemp 1994–2001 Quintin Kynaston School
Jo Shuter 2002–2013 Quintin Kynaston School / Community Academy
Alex Atherton 2014–2017 Quintin Kynaston Academy
Liam McGillicuddy & Dr Chris Tomlinson [21] 2017–2019 Quintin Kynaston Academy / Harris Academy St John's Wood
Graeme Smith [22] 2019- Harris Academy St John's Wood

Notable former pupils[edit]

Quintin School[edit]

Polytechnic Secondary School[edit]


  1. ^ "School History". Quintin Kynaston School. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
  2. ^ "More schools get specialist status". The BBC. 21 June 2001. Retrieved 28 November 2009.
  3. ^ "History of the School | Quintin Kynaston". www.qk.org.uk. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  4. ^ "EduBase - Quintin Kynaston". www.education.gov.uk. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Kynaston School, St Johns Wood London Archive & Alumni". kynastonschool.com.
  6. ^ "Kynaston School - Quintin Kynaston School ex Pupil & Teacher Reunions - Kynaston School". www.kynastonschool.com.
  7. ^ Teaching Awards Archived 8 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Alleyne, Richard (27 April 2005). "BBC drops film on 'inspirational teacher' – made by her sister". Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
  9. ^ Arnot, Chris (7 March 2006). "Superhead to the rescue (the director's cut)". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
  10. ^ "The Royal Air Force Award for Headteacher of the Year in a Secondary School". Teaching Awards. Archived from the original on 14 May 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  11. ^ "Head teacher Jo Shuter banned for life over personal expenses". BBC News. 13 May 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  12. ^ "Prohibition Order – Ms Joanna Shuter" (PDF). National College for Teaching and Leadership. 28 November 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  13. ^ "'Superhead' Jo Shuter has teaching ban overturned". 3 February 2017.
  14. ^ "Quintin Kynaston Academy | School Inspection Report (December 2011)" (PDF). reports.ofsted.gov.uk. Ofsted. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  15. ^ a b Randeep Ramesh. "Pictured – Mohammed Emwazi before he became Isis killer". the Guardian.
  16. ^ "Quintin Kynaston Academy | School Inspection Report (September 2014)" (PDF). reports.ofsted.gov.uk. Ofsted. 18 September 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  17. ^ "Quintin Kynaston Academy | School Inspection Report (January 2017)" (PDF). reports.ofsted.gov.uk. Ofsted. 19 January 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  18. ^ "Quintin Kynaston put in 'special measures' after Ofsted inspectors say it is inadequate". Camden New Journal. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  19. ^ Kazmi, Asyia (10 December 2008). "Quintin Kynaston School Inspection Report". Ofsted. Archived from the original on 28 May 2009. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
  20. ^ "Head Teachers". Quintin Kynaston School. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
  21. ^ https://get-information-schools.service.gov.uk/Establishments/Establishment/Details/145126#school-dashboard
  22. ^ https://www.harrisstjohnswood.org.uk/387/welcome-from-the-executive-principal-and-principal
  23. ^ "What happened next?". The Guardian.
  24. ^ "Michael Page". Super Fight League.
  25. ^ "Fearless – Michael 'Venom' Page mini documentary". #WHOATV.
  26. ^ Smithers, Rebecca. "Rebel with applause". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  27. ^ "Ian Davies". 15 October 2003 – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  28. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  29. ^ Cowe, Roger. "Obituary: Michael Ivens". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  30. ^ "Michael Ivens". The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  31. ^ contributor personal experience
  32. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 March 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  • L. C. B. Seaman, The Quintin School 1886-1956, A Brief History.

External links[edit]