Kensington Aldridge Academy

Last updated on 20 August 2017

Kensington Aldridge Academy (KAA) is a mixed secondary school located in the North Kensington area of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, in London, England. it occupies land formerly considered to be part of the Lancaster West Estate.

It is an academy sponsored by Aldridge Education, a multi-academy trust established by Sir Rod Aldridge's charity the Aldridge Foundation. KAA opened in September 2014,[1] and was officially opened by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge in January 2015.[2]

The Academy's sixth form opened in September 2016.[3]


The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea had a shortage of school places and it was tentative suggested during the “Towards Preferred Options Core Strategy and the North Kensington Plan” consultations in July 2008, that the “Kensington Sports Centre Key Site” was a possible site. The Kensington Sports Centre already existed but was in need of refurbishment, and the it was thought that the two could share the same site. Even at this early stage is recognised that space available fell far short of the governments recommended requirements, and further open space needed to be obtained. [4]

On 17th November 2008 the ‘Family and Children’s Services Oversight and Scrutiny Committee Working Group On Secondary Provision In North Kensington’ recommended the Lancaster West site for a proposed new academy. Consultants,'Urban Initiatives'were appointed in January 2009 to carry out a masterplanning study of the Notting Barns South area, with a view to large scale regeneration of the council owned estates. The report, known as the Latimer Plan, or the Notting Barns South Masterplan made wide recommendation for relocating facilities, demolishing building such as the Grenfell Tower, and the Baranden Walk finger block and Verity Close and the building afresh. It was not adopted, though the principle of the combined leisure centre and school was established.[4] Six site were being considered, Barlby Rd Primary School, St Mary’s/Middle Row Primary Schools, the Princess Louise Hospital site, the Kensal Gasworks site and the Latimer (Kensington Sports Centre) site but there was an imperative to start construction within five years while the “Building Schools for the Future” funding was available. In reconfiguring the site, two areas of public open space were subsumed ignoring the requirements of the government planning document PPG 17, and causing local resentment.[4]

The proposed school was to be six-form entry and roughly equivalent in capacity to Holland Park School which invited comparisons. Holland Park has 23,392 sqm. of externl play space, Kensington Academy has 3,881 sqm of external space which includes the delivery bay and the approach road. Much of the external space is on the roofs. [5]


The school is growing and only running a Keystage 3 Curriculum. [6]

Autism Unit

The ASSC (Autism Spectrum Specialist Centre) is an inclusion centre within the academy that provides specialist provision for high-functioning autistic students and pupils with Asperger syndrome, with the intention of encouraging students to "participate, progress and achieve both in the centre and alongside their peers in mainstream lessons". [7]

Grenfell Tower fire

The school was built next to the Grenfell Tower, which was destroyed by fire in June 2017. As it was within the cordon, the school was closed, students being given assemblies on how to deal with the aftermath and rerouted to other schools, particularly ARK Burlington Danes Academy.[8] It was not expected that the building would be accessible until September 2017.[9] Four current students and one who had recently left were killed in the disaster.[10]

On the morning of the 14th June, 56 out of 60 students made it to an 'AS' level Maths exam. They were “shellshocked”, said Benson, the head teacher, "and some were in borrowed clothes". Later, students studied during their convalescence, a year 8 student emailed her computer science homework to her teacher from her hospital bed. Almost all have continued to turn up for their lessons at the temporary site, with attendance at 90%.[11]

Provisional arrangements 2017-2018

During the academic year 2017-2018, the school will be located on a temporary site on land licensed by Hammersmith and Fulham at Wormwood Scrubs close to Burlington Danes Academy, on the Woodman Mews estate. It will use five blocks of Portakabins. This includes science labs, a dance studio and art rooms. The Portakabin company have 70 personnel working on the project and will use 150 extra for the onsite delivery. The school have seconded two teachers to counsel and psychologically support traumatised students. This support will be available throughout the summer break. [12] The buildings will be handed over on 18 September, and until then pupils will go a series of residential visits and courses, including a sixth-form visit to Hertford College and Queen’s College, Oxford. [11]


  1. ^ Snowdon, Kathryn (14 June 2017). "London Fire At Grenfell Tower Sees Angry Residents Accuse New Cladding Over Horrific Blaze". Huffington Post UK. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Duchess Kate's day of engagements in Kensington revealed". Hello Magazine. 7 January 2015. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  3. ^ "Kensington Aldridge Academy". Kensington Aldridge Academy. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "History – From Core Strategy to Kensington Academy". Grenfell Action Group. 24 June 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  5. ^ "The resistance to the Academy Project". Grenfell Action Group. 22 September 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Curriculum". Kensington Aldridge Academy. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Autism & SEN Kensington Aldridge Academy". Kensington Aldridge Academy. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Kensington Aldridge Academy Statement". 16 June 2017. Archived from the original on 16 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Kensington Aldridge Academy letter to parents" (PDF). 21 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  10. ^ Weale, Sally (29 June 2017). "School holds assembly for five students lost in Grenfell Tower fire". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  11. ^ a b Weale, Sally (17 August 2017). "Headteacher hails pupils who took exams as Grenfell Tower burned". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  12. ^ Sherwood, Harriet (21 July 2017). "Temporary school built for pupils at academy near Grenfell Tower". The Guardian.

External links

Coordinates: 51°30′53″N 0°12′55″W / 51.51468°N 0.21525°W / 51.51468; -0.21525

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