durand academy

Our history

Durand Academy is a vibrant, growing school that achieves outstanding results and provides children in Lambeth with excellent facilities and opportunities.

Whilst we are firmly focused on the future, this page provides details on how Durand Academy has become the school it is today.

Our history

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Durand Academy currently operates across two main sites; Mostyn and Hackford Road in Stockwell.

At the vibrant heart of the Durand Academy is our Hackford Road site in Stockwell, which was built in 1886. This was originally a School Board for London Elementary School, and was actually two schools side by side; Kennington Secondary School and Durand Primary School.

Roger Moore was a pupil at the primary school in the 1930’s. At that time it was known as Hackford Road Elementary.

In the early to mid-1980s, Durand was a failing school of only around 150 pupils, with a staff team that blamed failure on the children. They were letting children leave primary school, unable to read and write.

When Sir Greg Martin took over as head teacher in 1986, he instilled a culture of high expectations, aspiration for all, and a sense of discipline and purpose. Pupils who had previously been written off as problem children, were given the structure and support they needed to succeed.

Early innovation

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Sir Greg and his team at Durand Academy always had high aspirations for children in Lambeth, and set out to provide pupils with the same opportunities as those available to those in the private sector.

They saw an opportunity to use the Hackford Road site to generate money that could be used in invest in facilities for the children. To do this, a not-for-profit leisure and accommodation business called London Horizons was set up to efficiently use the land owned by Durand to generate and return income to the school for the benefit of pupils.

London Horizons directly contributes to the quality of education and facilities at Durand Academy, as its profits are used to provide smaller class sizes, subsidised organic dinners, free swimming lessons and free school uniforms. London Horizons was recognised in 2011 when it was awarded the ‘Commitment to the Community’ award as part of the Lambeth Business Awards.

Improving results

By the 1990s, results had improved significantly and Lambeth council asked Durand to take over Mostyn Gardens School, a failing, local authority primary in special measures. In 1999, Durand took Mostyn over.

Today, Mostyn it is a fully integrated part of Durand. Through a £3.4m injection of funds, partly generated from the school’s gym and accommodation facilities, the Victorian building was transformed into a state of the art facility for the foundation years.

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The Mostyn site features:

  • A custom designed learner swimming pool – at 1m deep nursery pool has been constructed for children aged three to seven, as they dip their toes in for their first, free swimming lessons at Durand
  • Purpose built classrooms for the youngest children, combining the tools for work and play
  • New kitchens to deliver organic and farm assured lunches every day
  • State of the art air handling and heating systems, so that classrooms are always the right temperature