durand academy

Our history

Durand Academy is a vibrant, growing school that achieves outstanding results and provides children in Lambeth with excellent facilities and opportunities.

Whilst we are firmly focused on the future, this page provides details on how Durand Academy has become the school it is today.

Our history


Durand Academy currently operates across three main sites; Mostyn and Hackford Road in Stockwell, South London and St Cuthman’s – the UK’s only free state boarding school – in Midhurst, West Sussex.

At the vibrant heart of the Durand Academy is our Hackford Road site in Stockwell, which was built in 1886. This was originally a School Board for London Elementary School, and was actually two schools side by side; Kennington Secondary School and Durand Primary School.

Roger Moore was a pupil at the primary school in the 1930’s. At that time it was known as Hackford Road Elementary.

In the early to mid-1980s, Durand was a failing school of only around 150 pupils, with a staff team that blamed failure on the children. They were letting children leave primary school, unable to read and write.

When Sir Greg Martin took over as head teacher in 1986, he instilled a culture of high expectations, aspiration for all, and a sense of discipline and purpose. Pupils who had previously been written off as problem children, were given the structure and support they needed to succeed.

Early innovation


Sir Greg and his team at Durand Academy always had high aspirations for children in Lambeth, and set out to provide pupils with the same opportunities as those available to those in the private sector.

They saw an opportunity to use the Hackford Road site to generate money that could be used in invest in facilities for the children. To do this, a not-for-profit leisure and accommodation business called London Horizons was set up to efficiently use the land owned by Durand to generate and return income to the school for the benefit of pupils.

London Horizons directly contributes to the quality of education and facilities at Durand Academy, as its profits are used to provide smaller class sizes, subsidised organic dinners, free swimming lessons and free school uniforms. London Horizons was recognised in 2011 when it was awarded the ‘Commitment to the Community’ award as part of the Lambeth Business Awards.

Improving results

By the 1990s, results had improved significantly and Lambeth council asked Durand to take over Mostyn Gardens School, a failing, local authority primary in special measures. In 1999, Durand took Mostyn over.

Today, Mostyn it is a fully integrated part of Durand. Through a £3.4m injection of funds, partly generated from the school’s gym and accommodation facilities, the Victorian building was transformed into a state of the art facility for the foundation years.


The Mostyn site features:

  • A custom designed learner swimming pool – at 1m deep nursery pool has been constructed for children aged three to seven, as they dip their toes in for their first, free swimming lessons at Durand
  • Purpose built classrooms for the youngest children, combining the tools for work and play
  • New kitchens to deliver organic and farm assured lunches every day
  • State of the art air handling and heating systems, so that classrooms are always the right temperature

The UK’s first fully funded state boarding school


Durand’s success meant that governors and parents were keen to explore the possibility of the school becoming ‘all through’, meaning that children could be educated from the ages of three all the way to 18. In 2010, Durand purchased the St Cuthman’s site in Midhurst, West Sussex. This contains a Grade II listed country house, built between 1874–1876 by architect Richard Norman Shaw. From 1939 to 2004, there were three different schools to use the St Cuthman’s site. The most recent was St Cuthman’s School, a mixed-sex boarding school for children aged from 7 to 16 with special needs. The site was empty for six years before it was bought by Durand.

Durand’s boarding school opened in 2014 and currently educates 75 children in Years 9 and 10. You can read more about the boarding school in the ‘Boarding‘ section of this website.


  • 1886 – Original School Board for London Elementary School is built. At the the time there were two separate schools, Kennington Secondary School and Durand Primary School
  • 1930s – Sir Roger Moore is a pupil at the primary school, then known as Hackford Road Elementary
  • 1939-45 – part of the primary school is damaged during the Second World War and is rebuilt
  • 1988 – Junior and Infant School at Hackford Road amalgamated
  • 1990 – Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) closed down, Durand becomes maintained by the Lambeth Local Education Authority
  • 1995 – Durand becomes a new Grant Maintained School under section 74 of the Education Reform Act 1988
  • 1997 – London Horizons Limited set up as a trading company
  • 1998 – The school becomes re-categorised as a Foundation School as a result of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998
  • 1999 – The school expanded as it acquired the Mostyn site
  • 2010 – Durand Education Trust set up as the foundation body for the Foundation School
  • 2010 – Durand converted to an Academy under the 2010 Academies Act. Durand Academy Trust established
  • 2010 – It was decided that Durand should expand its age range to become an ‘all-through’ school
  • 2010 – Durand Education Trust purchased St Cuthman’s using income from non-school activities at the Hackford Road site and an interest free loan
  • 2012 – Middle School opened in Stockwell for Years 7 and 8
  • 2014 – Boarding school opens
  • 2015 – Interest free loan repaid