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City, University of London and COLAI Anniversary Award for Outstanding Achievement

City has gifted a prize to mark City of London Academy Islington’s recent Outstanding Ofsted inspection and three important Anniversaries.

by Sophie Cubbin (PR and Communications Manager)

City has presented City of London Academy Islington (COLAI), which it co-sponsors, with the gift of a school prize to offer at prize giving ceremonies.

City gifted the City, University of London and COLAI Anniversary Award for Outstanding Achievement to mark COLAI’s recent ‘Outstanding’ rating by Ofsted and to celebrate three significant Anniversaries.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of COLAI becoming an Academy; 135 years since the original incarnation of the School, the Queens Head Street School, was founded in 1884; and City, University of London’s 125th anniversary.

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

Guests gathered to hear live music and inspirational speeches by Executive Principal Clare Verga; Chair of the Governing Body, Professor Richard Verrall; Sir Mark Boleat of the City of London Corporation; and Professor Sir Paul Curran, President of City, University of London.

L-R: Executive Principal, Clare Verge and Professor Sir Paul Curran with the City, University of London and COLAI Anniversary Award for Outstanding Achievement

While COLAI has remained in one location, it has had four names and four sets of buildings during its history.

Clare Verga joined COLAI as Executive Principal in 2012. Under her leadership, COLAI has had two successful Ofsted inspections, with the latest rated ‘Outstanding’.

Ms 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.”

Professor Sir Paul Curran said:

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

The transformation is of huge credit to the drive and commitment of Clare, her senior team and the Governing Body but tonight we are celebrating much more. We are celebrating the latest exciting chapter in the story of a school with an indomitable spirit and a character, all of its own.

COLAI is thriving and can look forward to a future among the elite of this country’s high value-added schools but it can also look back with pride at the legacy of a 135 year-old school that has transformed the life chances of over 150,000 pupils.

Sir Paul also announced the gift of the new prize, a beautiful, engraved silver plate:

“City, University of London, is celebrating its 125th Anniversary this year and on behalf of the university I am proud to present the school with the gift of a school prize to offer at prize giving ceremonies, the appropriately-named City, University of London and COLAI Anniversary Award for Outstanding Achievement”.

The City of London Academy Islington is sponsored by City, University of London and the City of London Corporation who are both committed to providing access to excellent education and learning opportunities for children and young people.

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