At the School Gates

Article excerpt

Alexandra Park School

Every week in this column, schools expert LISA FREEDMAN finds out what's for sale in London's best school-catchment areas

A strong, new school can turn an area from'up-and-coming'to 'up-and-come'in just a few years.

The arrival seven years ago of Alexandra Park School in the shadow of Alexandra Palace has certainly had a significant impact.

The North London borough of Haringey is not overly endowed with first-rate secondary schools and Alexandra Park was launched in a bland no-man's land between solidly successful Muswell Hill and the more socially challenged Wood Green.

Initially, the comprehensive became a magnet for those with Special Educational Needs, but under the leadership of its founding head, Rosslyn Hudson, the school has finally seen its first A-level students walk away with a 100 per cent pass rate - 20 per cent of those A grades.

This truly comprehensive school, which has specialist science and maths status and a broad-ranging curriculum, is as able to cope with those wishing to study hairdressing or construction crafts as those intent on further maths or A-level philosophy. But it understands the local market - Latin and Mandarin are also on offer in Years 7 to 9. …