Duke of Gloucester officially opens Skinners’ Academy

A special royal visitor officially opened a new eco-friendly Hackney school on Tuesday (April 12).

The Duke of Gloucester opened Skinners’ Academy, which replaced Skinners’ Girls’ School in Stamford Hill when it began taking year seven students last September. The academy now houses years 11 to 13 of the old girls’ school, as well as a mixed year seven. It will be full in September 2014.

The Duke was given a tour of the building before unveiling a plaque to mark the occasion. He said: “The challenge is now for pupils and staff to grab the opportunity and put in all their efforts to make sure the foresight behind the academy is transformed into creativity and ambition in the years ahead.”

The new building, in Woodberry Down, includes eco features such as rainwater recycling and a seeded roof, which provides natural insulation.

Student Samroz Umar, 16, said, “This building is very different to where we were in Stamford Hill. It’s much more open and light, which makes it easier to learn.”

The new building cost �27.2m and will house 1,150 students.