Archer Academy free school offers ‘once-in-a-lifetime chance’ to parents

A brand new secondary school set to open next year is promising parents a “once-in-a-lifetime chance” for their children.

The Archer Academy, due to open to children from Hampstead Garden Suburb, East Finchley and Finchley Central next September, is urging parents to check out the school’s prospectus and submit an application for a place before the closing date in February.

The Academy, expected to be based in East Finchley, announced last week that its first headteacher will be Mick Quigley, who spent nine years as head of Wessex Garden Junior School and Holly Park School before joining Barnet Council’s children’s service as assitant director of schools and learning.

In July, a group of parents and campaigners were given the go-ahead from the Department for Education (DfE) to set up the school under the government’s free schools initiative, after their request to Barnet Council for a new secondary was turned down.

As the school is new and was approved by the DfE, the Archer Academy is running its admissions process independently from Barnet Council for this first year only.

Project coordinator Toby Blume said: “Year six parents now have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to have an actual choice of state schools.

“They could end up with two offers in March, one from us and one from whichever school that Barnet Council has allocated them.”

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Next September, it intends to open to 150 year seven pupils, divided into six forms, who will have the opportunity to stay at the school until the age of 18.

“The next few months are crucial ones for the Archer Academy – we know parents want to know where the school will be, and we’ll share that information as soon as we can,” added Mr Blume.

“But in the meantime, it’s worth parents applying to the Archer Academy to make sure they have that choice in March.”

The deadline for applications to the school is February 13, more than three months after Barnet Council’s October 31 deadline.

To find out more or submit an application, visit