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Dame Alice Owen’s School is a mixed, partially selective secondary school with over 1,440 registered students and a vibrant and highly successful sixth form. Our school was founded 400 years ago by Dame Alice Owen, a remarkable philanthropist with an unusually modern vision for education. She established the first school in Islington and as demand outstripped space, it moved to its current setting in the Hertfordshire countryside. Because of its roots and its close and important relationship with the Worshipful Company of Brewers, there are 20 places each year for 11 year old students from Islington. It also offers 65 places to the highest scoring applicants who sit the entrance exam each year and a further 10 places for students showing the most aptitude in music who apply for a place in Year 7. The remainder of the places, in an annual cohort of 200, go to siblings, local students on the basis of proximity to the school and to those with priority need.
It is this combination of student and its truly outstanding record of achievement and added value that makes our school such a special place. It is oversubscribed by 5 applicants per place every year. Our dedicated staff, parents’ association, Governing Body and school (staff and student) leaders constantly appraise and re-appraise the various aspects of school life, learning and achievement so we are never complacent. Our school faces the usual challenges of all educational establishments in the public sector, and ensuring that their impact is felt least by the students is a key objective.
We were delighted to be recognised as ‘The Sunday Times Regional School of the Decade in November 2020’ and the country’s highest ranking non-fully selective state school of the year many times, but most recently in November 2022. Securing a place at Owen’s has been described as “winning the lottery” in the Good School Guide and “the golden ticket” in Tatler. Our school benefits from some of the most able students in the country. Many of our school leavers from Year 13 have offers from top universities to choose from, including on average 20 places at Oxbridge each year.
Our Foundress left a number of fields in the then village of Islington to the care of the Worshipful Company of Brewers which now generate over one million pounds of additional income for the school annually, to support the school. This creates a very special ethos and fosters the very positive staff working environment. The students and staff benefit from a number of traditions including Beer Money, staff awards and Visitation.
What we can offer you
- An awareness of workload:
- Minimal data entry. Reports to parents are very short with numbers replacing the need for additional prose;
- Pride in supporting effective teaching and learning strategies which reduce staff workload whilst also having a positive impact on student learning;
- Firm commitment to teaching staff undertaking minimal cover or none;
- An awareness of wellbeing:
- A variety of benefits including:
- The Governing Body is committed to admitting the children of staff in line with our admissions procedures;
- Access to an Employee Assistance Package, which provides staff with a wide range of health and wellbeing services;
- Excellent facilities and resources including a Fitness Suite which is open to all staff for certain hours outside of the school day;
- Ample free parking on school site;
- The school is situated on an attractive 35-acre site in the Green Belt. Central London is easily reached by rail from Potters Bar and the school is close to motorway links;
- Strong support to help you develop
- Strong support for staff and an extensive programme of staff development opportunities. All staff members are encouraged to continue their personal development and undertake further qualifications if they wish.
Key qualities and attributes of Dame Alice Owen’s School
Below are some of the key qualities and attributes we believe have contributed to the school’s excellent reputation:
- Dedicated staff who are experts in their subject and responsive to change;
- Energetic, curious and enthusiastic students;
- Committed, forward-looking and supportive leadership;
- Strong sense of collaboration, both within departments and across the whole school;
- Superb pastoral care;
- Excellent resources and facilities;
- Wide range of co-curricular activities;
- Keen desire to develop as individuals and as a whole school.
Our primary aim is to work in partnership with students and parents to ensure that students achieve their full potential by:
- Striving for academic excellence;
- Providing a happy, safe, purposeful and caring environment and encouraging a sense of pride in the individual and our School;
- Embracing innovation whilst maintaining our strong links with tradition;
- Providing interesting and challenging opportunities so that students enjoy their learning and maintain a desire to continue learning throughout their lives;
- Recruiting and developing outstanding staff;
- Offering high quality co-curricular activities which involve all students;
- Promoting respect for and understanding of religious and moral values.