Page last updated at 20:56 GMT, Monday, 8 September 2008 21:56 UK

Secondary school comes to Brixton

School pupils
The school comes after five years of campaigning from parents

A new secondary school has opened its doors for pupils in Brixton, south London, after years of campaigning.

The Evelyn Grace Academy is divided into four small schools under the leadership of a principal to help pupils adapt to secondary education.

It follows five years of parents campaigning Lambeth education authority for a school for older pupils.

At one point, more than half of Lambeth's secondary age pupils were taught outside the borough.

'Making history'

"We're making history this morning," said academy's principal Peter Walker. "This is the first time there's been a secondary school in Brixton."

The academy accepts pupils aged 11-19 who, on admission, are enrolled into one of the smaller schools, each with its own head teacher and staff.

There are two schools for students aged 11-14 and two schools for students aged 14 -19.

Mr Walker said modern day secondary schools were "too big" and often stifled learning.

"What often happens even in the best secondary schools is that when children arrive they start off full of enthusiasm, but that level of personal contact that often was there in the primary school is no longer there in the early years of secondary school," he said.

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