Henrietta Barnett School

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Template:Refimprove Template:Infobox UK school The Henrietta Barnett School is a prestigious grammar school with academy status for girls in Hampstead Garden Suburb in London. The Good Schools Guide called the school "One of the best academic state schools in the country', and the school consistently ranks amongst the top state schools in educational league tables.


It was founded in 1911 by Dame Henrietta Barnett for the education of girls. She wished to improve girls' education, which in her time, was at a low level. She believed in a society where poor girls had access to the same levels of education as those girls in more privileged sections of society. Indeed when the school was founded, the now affluent Hampstead Garden Suburb was being developed for poor families to live in, and it was Barnett's wish to educate girls based on their natural ability, not their financial background.

Originally known as 'The Institute', the school was initially intended to enclose the North-East side of Central Square, according to Sir Edwin Lutyens' masterplan for the area, and the north wing was completed in 1911. John Soutar, the Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust's architect supervised construction of the south wing in 1923, while Lutyens designed the elevations for Crewe Hall, the central block. The building offered concerts, evening classes and debates until its conversion to the Henrietta Barnett School for Girls in the 1930s.

Present day

With GCSEs and A Levels combined, the school is ranked as the best state secondary school in 2012 and 2011. The school was judged by The Times newspaper to rank 1st and 2nd best achieving state school according to GCSE and A Level results, respectively. In 2011 the school was also awarded one of the top schools of the year

The school was previously awarded Music Specialist Status due to its outstanding music department, and became a Specialist Music College with English. Although now an academy, the school continues to specialise in Music and English.

In September 2007, the school opened a new multi-gym containing a variety of different exercise machines. In 2009 the school's science wing was completely refurbished to provide 8 modern labs. In September 2010 two new wings were built - one for Music and Drama, and one for Art and Design & Technology. Sports facilities have also been improved, including the new MUGA area. In 2011 they received over 9 million pounds to build state of the art facilities at the school. This building project has since been completed, providing the school with two outstanding new blocks: one for Music and Drama and the other for Design and technology and Art.

In March 2013, headteacher Oliver Blond took a job at a leading private school, Roedean.


From Years Seven to Eleven, there are ninety-three girls in each year. The school has two buildings: Bigwood House and the Main Building. Bigwood is the home of Key Stage Three. The Main Building is the base for the rest of the school (Key Stages Four and Five).

In addition, the two new buildings either side of the Main Building are now open to pupils and staff providing state of the art music facilities, peripatetic practice rooms and a new cafe.

Notable former pupils


  • Jo Ankier, professional athlete
  • Ros Altmann, political advisor
  • Michelle Brunner, professional bridge player, World Bridge Federation Life Champion, English Bridge Union Grand Master
  • Helena Cronin, philosopher
  • Patricia Finney, author
  • Anya Lahiri. singer and actress
  • Miriam Solomon, philosopher

Janet Radcliff-Richards, philosopher

External links

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