Have you ever considered a teaching job in Islington? Islington is one of those London boroughs whose name rarely fails to get a response – positive or negative. Loved by some and loathed by others in equal measure as the home of the much-reviled, so-called ‘North London Liberal Elite’ and, back in the late 1990s, as the spiritual home of New Labour, it’s arty, it’s literary… It’s also vibrant, spicy, and full of life.
So, are the barbs about ‘Champagne Socialists’ justified? Well, it is true that the borough is in the top 10 most expensive in London, with average house prices over £700,000. On the other hand, it’s the 4th most deprived borough in London with the fourth-highest level of child poverty in the country… That said, the council is striving to fix that – among other things with the Challenging Inequality Programme, which was launched in October 2020 to boost inclusion and diversity and support Islington’s poorer residents.
There are many aspects of Islington that will appeal to education professionals, not least its long history of pioneering educational initiatives. For instance, in 1784, writer and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft opened something revolutionary on Newington Green: an academy for girls. In 1974-75, the William Tyndale junior school on Upper Street whipped up a national storm over its radical child-centred teaching system… These days, though, it’s a much sought-after school among only five primary and two secondary schools with top inspection ratings (out of 47 primary schools and 10 secondary schools in total). Add the two universities (City, University of London and London Metropolitan University) and three Further Education colleges, as well as specialist establishments such as the two performing arts colleges, London Screen Academy and Moorfields Eye Hospital and you, have a broad and diverse range of educational settings to choose from.
Live and work in Islington, and you’ll find yourself in very good company – with a buzzing leisure, sport, and entertainment scene that includes Arsenal FC’s Emirates Stadium, Sadler’s Wells Theatre and the Pleasance Theatre (among lots of others) and live music venues such as the O2 Academy, The Scala, Islington Assembly Hall and the Union Chapel. In a more spiritual sense, you’ll be sharing a stomping ground with a stellar cast of current and former residents – from George Orwell AKA Eric Blair to one Tony Blair… From Boris Johnson to Joe Orton, Kathy Burke, Douglas Adams and John ‘Johnny Rotten’ Lydon and many more.