Haberdashers Federation

Our History

Our History

Our Trust was borne from the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers’ vision to provide opportunities for all children to be educated.

In 1689 a £20,000 charitable fund was left to the Company to buy a piece of land within one mile of London and to build on it a 'Hospital' (almshouses) and a school. In 1690, a site was purchased in Hoxton, just north of the City, where the original Hospital and school were built. In 1824, these were demolished and a new school and almshouses built. In 1874, the almshouses were closed and the buildings were enlarged to become a day school for 600 students of both sexes.

In conjunction with these developments, land at Hatcham, near New Cross, was bought at the top of Plowed Garlic Hill, now Telegraph Hill, and plans for boys' and girls' schools were drawn up. The task facing the builders was considerable because at that time no roads passed the site. A lane ran from the Kent Road (now New Cross Road) following the direction now taken by Jerningham Road, but did not reach the top of the hill. Another lane ran from the Peckham Road (now Queen's Road).

Bad weather at that time made carriage up the hill difficult, but by October 1875 the two schools were completed on the single site. In 1889, further land was purchased in Jerningham Road and a school was built for 300 girls, the first school at Hatcham then becoming a school for 300 boys.

In 1898, the original Hoxton site became unsuitable and was sold; new sites were then purchased in Hampstead and Acton, upon which were established the separate schools for boys and girls which are now at Elstree. These are the other two schools which were created from the same charitable fund.

Further reorganisation took place following the 1944 Education Act, when the two Hatcham schools became voluntary controlled grammar schools. They were further reorganised as comprehensive schools in 1979, and then combined as a City Technology College in 1991.

In 2005 the Haberdashers’ Federation was set up by the Haberdashers’ Company with Hatcham College and Knights Academy in order to increase the availability of education to more students and make a wider use of the strengths that the Haberdashers have to offer. The Federation has grown since then and today we are proud to be a Trust with five primary and four secondary schools across South East London and Kent:  

  • 2008 - Hatcham Temple Grove joins Hatcham College to make it an all through school
  • 2009 - Crayford Academy join the Federation, Knights Temple Grove join Knights Academy to make it an all through educational institution.
  • 2013 - Crayford Temple Grove North joined Crayford Academy and Hatcham Temple Grove Free School opens its doors on Pepys Road
  • 2019 - Borough Academy, the newest addition to the Federation, opened to 180 new students