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Campaigners celebrate as Archer Academy in East Finchley opens
A group of parents saw their dream turn into a reality after years of campaigning as a new secondary school opened its doors in East Finchley.
Headteacher Mick Quigley and his deputy Lucy Harrison welcomed all 150 students as they took their first steps through the gates of the Archer Academy in Beaumont Close yesterday.
Two years ago a group of parents began campaigning for a new school to be built after complaining of a severe shortage of mixed, non-selective, non-denominational schools in Finchley and Golders Green.
With the help of the Government's free school initiative they were able to put together a proposal for their very own school.
Chairman of governors Avis Johns, who spearheaded the campaign, said: "It is hard to believe that in just two short years we have gone from talking about a lack of secondary school places for our community to creating a brand new school from scratch.
“We are so grateful to everyone who has helped us along our journey; we would like to assure you that the best is yet to come."
Mr Quigley said: "It was wonderful to see our first students arriving for the first time so full of enthusiasm and ready to learn.
“Our staff have worked so hard to get everything ready and the excitement in the air was palpable.
“I am so proud to be leading the school and will work hard to ensure it lives up to our community's high expectations."
Although students are initially being taught in the former Arts Institute building in Beaumont Close, another school building and sports facilities are being constructed in Stanley Road.
Eventually the lower school will be taught in Stanley Road and the upper school in Beaumont Close.
The school will hold an open evening on Wednesday, October 9 from 6pm to 8.30pm. Year 7 students will give tours of the school and there will also be a chance to meet teachers and governors.
There will also be a series of open mornings for Year 6 parents and students starting on October 10. To book a place call 020 8365 4110.
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