The Holborn School

What is The Holborn School?

It is a new secondary school being set up in the south of the London Borough of Camden to serve the community south of the Euston Road, where there is currently no provision. The school has come about as a result of a longstanding local campaign for a secondary school by a parent campaign group.

Drawing of what a school on the Wren Street site might look like

Drawing of what a school on the Wren Street site might look like

What are the aims of the school?

The main aim of The Holborn School will be to provide the highest possible standard of education for its pupils, by creating an environment in which all pupils are able to achieve their full potential, both in terms of their academic achievement and their personal development. It will draw on the rich and diverse local resources of major companies and institutions within walking distance of the school.

Where will The Holborn School be located?

The Holborn School will be located in the London Borough of Camden in the area south of the Euston Road.  The site which has been chosen for the school is on Wren Street, between Gray’s Inn Road and Farringdon Road within a short walking distance of Coram’s Fields, Russell Square, Kings Cross and Holborn.

wren street site

Why is the school opening in this location?

Camden is already an excellent place in which to teach and to be taught; the borough has more good and outstanding schools than anywhere else in the UK.  The area of Camden south of the Euston Road, however, which includes the wards of Kings Cross, Bloomsbury and Holborn & Covent Garden, does not currently have a local secondary school. The vast majority of young people living in this part of the borough do not currently attend secondary school in Camden; many travel long distances every day to schools several miles away from their homes.

As a result, there have been parent-led campaigns to open a secondary school in this area for over thirty years, mostly recently our ‘Where is My School?’ campaign which started in 2005.  This campaign is supported by local parents, primary head teachers & governors, Camden Local Authority, councillors and our local MP.  The campaign is working closely with all of these partners to ensure that The Holborn School can meet the needs and aspirations of parents and children living in the area. Our aim and intention being to work collaboratively with Camden’s family of schools and further education providers.

Who will run The Holborn School?

The school will be set up and run by The Holborn School trust, which is a charitable company limited by guarantee.  The Trustees of the Trust are responsible for the day to day management and administration of the school and can also be members of the governing body.

Before the school opens, the Trust will enter into a funding agreement with the Secretary of State for Education, which sets out the conditions under which the Trust must run the school.  A model funding agreement, similar to that which the Trust will sign, is available on the Department for Education’s website (http://www.education.gov.uk/a0074737/funding-agreement).

The Trust and governing body will also include members of the local community and the parent campaign group.

Will the school charge fees?

No.  The Holborn School will be a state-maintained school which is free to attend for all pupils.

Will the school select pupils according to academic achievement?

No.  The Holborn School will not take account of pupils’ previous academic achievement when determining their admission to the school.  Pupils who wish to enter the Sixth Form will not need to meet any fixed entry requirements, but will need to meet the entry requirements for their chosen programme of study.

Will the school have a religious character?

No.  The Holborn School will be a non-denominational school which will welcome all pupils regardless of their religious beliefs.

What is the school’s proposed admissions policy?

The Holborn School will be a community school and, for pupils in Year 7-11, will follow Camden Local Authority’s admissions policy for maintained schools, which can be found on their website.  For Post-16 students, the school will have an inclusive admissions policy which aims to provide a place for every student in Year 11 who wishes to continue at the school into the Sixth Form.

A brief summary of the school’s proposed admissions policy is given below; this is subject to change following further consultation with local stakeholders.


The Holborn School will be a mixed-ability, non-denominational, co-educational state school.  It will admit pupils regardless of academic achievement, religious affiliation, disability, race, ethnicity, socio-economic status or financial background.  There will be no entrance exams and pupils will not be required to complete any additional application forms.

Year 7 admissions

The school will admit up to 120 Year 7 pupils each year, starting in September 2017.  Camden Local Authority will coordinate the admissions process, according to their schools’ admissions timetable, and pupils will apply for a place at the school using the standard application form provided by Camden.  Pupils living in other boroughs who wish to apply for a place at the school will be able to do so via the Pan-London Coordinated Admissions Scheme.

Over-subscription criteria

In accordance with the statutory school admissions code, The Holborn School will give first priority for admission to pupils with a statement of special educational needs.  If there are more applicants than places, the school will then allocate places in the following order of priority:

a) Looked after children and previously looked after children.

b) Children whose acute, established and documented medical or social needs justify a place at the school.

c)  After the first year of opening, children who have a sibling (full, half, step, fostered or adopted brother or sister) resident at the same address already attending the school at the time of admission.

d) Other children based on home to school distance*.

*Distance from home to school will be measured in a straight line from the applicant’s home address to the old water pump in Queen Square in Camden (WC1N 3AU).   This is the geographic centre of the area which the school has been set up to serve.  Locating the centre for admissions here, rather than at the school, will ensure that the majority of pupils attending the school are drawn mainly from the wards of Bloomsbury, Kings Cross, Holborn & Covent Garden and adjacent neighbourhoods.

Post-16 admissions

The Holborn School will have an inclusive admissions policy which aims to provide a post-16 place for all pupils attending the school who wish to continue into the Sixth Form.  Priority for post-16 admissions will be given to pupils currently attending the school and a wide range of courses will be available for pupils with various needs, interests and aspirations.

The school will work in partnership with other local providers to ensure that every pupil is able to find a post-16 option which is appropriate for them.  The availability of places on particular courses will be dependent on pupils achieving appropriate entry qualifications for their chosen programme of study, and on the capacity of each provider.