News Article

Sir Rod Aldridge with Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton

Duchess of Cambridge Opens Kensington Aldridge Academy

On 19 January 2015, her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge officially opened the Kensington Aldridge Academy.

It goes without saying that this was an incredibly exciting day for all involved. The Academy opened its doors to its first ever intake of students – Year 7 – in September 2014, following 21 months’ hard graft building the school from scratch. The site itself was gifted by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, the academy’s co-sponsor; and all the current students live within a one mile radius.

Sir Rod Aldridge, founder of the academy’s lead sponsor the Aldridge Foundation, and the Academy Principal David Benson, were on hand to give HRH a tour of the beautiful brand new building, as well as introduce her to students and staff.

The Duchess was kind enough to partake in a couple of lessons – geography and Religious Education – before heading through to the theatre where the rest of the school was assembled for a welcome ceremony, including a rallying rendition of the school song, the unveiling of a commemorative plaque, and the presentation of a bouquet by one Florence Aldridge, three year-old daughter of Michael, founder of Aldridge Wealth.

Sir Rod Aldridge said: “We had a rare opportunity to work with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to create a new, exceptional academy to join our and the Council’s respective families of schools. We planned for an academy that would deliver the highest standards of attainment, building on success already achieved in the neighbouring primary schools. I am confident that the academy will make a real difference to our students and to the local community it serves.”

He went on to say: “The Duchess, together with Prince William, opened our first academy in Darwen (Lancashire) in 2011, in what was one of the last official engagements they carried out before their wedding. We are thrilled that Her Royal Highness could open this wonderful new school in Kensington today.”