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The Skinners’ Company’s School for Girls

Girls School

John Owens_painter-etcher

At the end of the summer term 2010 the Girls' School closed after 120 years. The Skinners' Company commissioned a wonderful painting by John Owens, Freeman of the Painter-Stainers' Company, and two publications to record the life and times of this very special community; ‘The Skinners’ Company’s School for Girls - Education in Hackney 1890-2010’ an illustrated book by David Gibbs, the Company’s Education Officer at the time the School closed; and, ‘The Education of Girls: The Contribution of the Skinners’ Company 1890-2010’ by Dr Gillian Sutherland, Fellow of Newnham College, Cambridge.


History of The Skinners’ Company’s School for Girls 1890-2010

The site of the original school building in Stamford Hill was bought in 1883 by the Skinners' Company. The school opened in 1890 in order to meet the demand for girls' education in London. Girls started at the age of eight. At that time the school accommodated 187 girls and 8 teachers.

During the Second World War the school was evacuated to Welwyn Garden City, but despite this, some emergency lessons were held at the school. The school was also used to house a division of the emergency fire service. It was during the war that the girls adopted a warship, sending food and clothing for its sailors.

The introduction of the 1944 Education Act led to the school becoming a state grammar school. Fees were abolished and entry was gained through the Eleven Plus examination.

From 1972 onwards, the school became London's first voluntary-aided comprehensive school and it operated on two sites, the Upper School in Stamford Hill and the Lower School in Mount Pleasant.

Regeneration as Skinners' Academy in 2010

In 2010 with the sponsorship of the Skinners' Company and the support of Hackney Council and Hackney Learning Trust the school reopened as an academy in the newly regenerated area of Woodberry Down.