Have you ever considered a teaching job in Enfield? Like its next-door neighbour Barnet, Enfield sits on London’s northern fringe and the further north you go the more rural the borough becomes. That said, the borough has a rather more urban feel than its neighbour and although it has a (largely undeserved) reputation for being ‘edgy’, it boasts an impressive diversity of schools and colleges.
Enfield has been around a while – since long before its Domesday Book entry in 1086 as Enefelde, in fact. Once a little market town about a day’s walk from London ‘proper’ on the edges of ancient Waltham Forest, Enfield could be described these days as a residential suburb – but actually, it’s rather more interesting than that suggests.
First Roman Ermine Street and later its popularity with the royals and upper classes as a hunting venue put Enfield on the map – and in the 20th century, the area became a horticultural hothouse largely thanks to one E.A. Bowles, whose garden survives at Myddelton House, as well as a hotbed of industrial innovation… The ‘EN’ in the Royal Small Arms Factory’s ‘Bren’ and ‘Sten’ machine guns denotes Enfield – as, of course, does the Enfield in the iconic Lee-Enfield .303 rifle.
Talking of iconic, the legendary Royal Enfield motorcycles, strangely enough, were made not in Enfield but in Redditch, near Birmingham. The ‘Enfield’ bit was added in celebration of the company winning the contract to supply parts to the Royal Small Arms Factory. Hence, the trademark slogan, ‘Made Like a Gun’.
The richness and variety of its recent and ancient history seems to be reflected in Enfield’s education provision, which is refreshingly broad and diverse in its scope. The venerable Enfield Grammar School, for instance, was founded in 1558 and is still in its original Tudor building (having retained the name despite having been a boys’ comprehensive since the 1960s). A healthy mix of community and voluntary-aided schools includes around 70 infant and primary schools of various varieties and a score of secondary and grammar schools – while at university-level there’s London’s only environmental college Capel Manor and Middlesex University’s Oak Hill Theological College.