East Barnet School is an 'outstanding school' (Ofsted Report 2007)
The School is located on two separate sites:
When Mr N. Christou came to the school he brought with him an 'I Want To Learn' culture. This has been adopted as the school slogan. The school not only values its students but also aims to help the community surrounding it, such as holding an annual Senior Citizens Christmas Party where local elderly people are invited to the school for an afternoon of entertainment.
The premises had been built for 350, but by 1947 it was housing 547 pupils. Various additions of classrooms and labs were made between 1948 & 1958. Major building work between 1961 and 1965 added a new assembly hall, gym, music rooms and dining halls.
Due to local government reorganisation, on 1st April 1965 the school ceased to be a Hertfordshire County Council school, and became part of the new London Borough of Barnet.
A new era started in September 1971 when East Barnet Grammar School became East Barnet Senior High School, a comprehensive school for pupils aged 14-18. John Hampden School in Westbrook Crescent, New Barnet, became East Barnet Junior High School. Pupils automatically transferred from the junior to the senior school at the end of their third year. In 1976 the two schools were combined as East Barnet School an 11-18 co-educational comprehensive operating from two sites, the Lower School (Westbrook Crescent) and Upper School (Chestnut Grove).
In the late 1980s the two sites were swapped, with the Chestnut Grove site housing the first 4 years and the 5th & 6th forms at the Westbrook Crescent site.
In 2005, JCoSS, the Jewish Community Secondary School put forward a bid to the DfES to obtain the Westbrook Crescent site and for the government to pay for a new £46 million Jewish school on this site. Barnet Council agreed as long as the old Chestnut Grove site was rebuilt. The earliest possible date for a new school was 2009. The bid was rejected in autumn 2005.
In February 2006, it was announced that JCoSS had been chosen to be part of a government pilot scheme pilot to help parents influence new school provision. The Barnet Times reported that East Barnet School would be rebuilt on the Chestnut Grove site by September 2007 and JCoSS would open on the Westbrook Crescent site in September 2009.
Planning applications for both schools (East Barnet & JCoSS) were submitted to Barnet Council in May 2007. On both sites new buildings would be constructed on land that is currently playing fields. This is to enable East Barnet School to continue to operate during the construction phase. Following completion of the new school buildings, the original buildings would be demolished and replaced by all weather sports pitches and car parking facilities.
In May 2007, the Barnet Times reported that the transport and environment implications of the JCoSS plan were the subject of a campaign, spearheaded by local residents who formed the Barnet Safe Children & Environment Group.
Planning permission for the redevelopment of the Chestnut Grove site by East Barnet School was granted in July 2007. It was reported that construction was due to start in January 2008, with the school occupying the new building from September 2009.
Planning permission for the redevelopment of the Westbrook Crescent site by JCoSS was granted by Barnet's planning commitee in August 2007. The public gallery and three committee rooms at Hendon Town Hall were packed by opponents and supporters of the scheme. The Barnet Times reported that the new Jewish school would open in September 2010.
In January 2008, it was reported that Barnet Council had stopped the architects working on the design of East Barnet School because of concerns over an alleged budget overrun of £6 million. Building Design Partnership denied that there was a problem and could deliver the £25 million project on budget. The opening of the new Chestnut Grove building would be delayed until 2010. JCoSS did not believe that the delay would affect their plans for the Westbrook Crescent site, although they still had to raise £50 million.
A fresh planning application for the East Barnet School building was submitted by new architects Frank Shaw Associates Ltd in April 2008. The new design follows the same basic site layout as before, but the curved glass roofed elliptical building is replaced by a simple rectangular box. The plans were agreed by the borough planning commitee in June 2008.