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Haberdashers' Knights Academy


A team of Haberdashers’ attended Knights Academy on Friday to speak to a group of Year 11 and Year 12 students.

In an initiative to expose pupils to positive role models, Executive Principal, Dr. Tesca Bennett made a call to a good friend, ex-governor and Haberdasher, Kunle Olafare, who agreed to interview former Knights Head Boy, Chris Achiampong about his experiences whilst at Knights Academy and beyond as an Apprentice at EY and IBM, and football scout for Liverpool FC.

Chris and Kunle conducted the interview at the million-pound building project that is currently underway to create a new sixth form centre with specialist classrooms, private study spaces and a new dedicated Sixth Form canteen area of course, with stunning views over Canary Wharf.

Kunle seized the opportunity of visiting Knights Academy and recruited 3 further Haberdashers’ Livery and Free Men to talk to students and that’s how Knights Academy Yr 11 and 12 pupils were treated to an intimate afternoon of inspirational talks from leading role models from the business and creative worlds. We talk a lot about the 'Haberdashers' Advantage' and this is a really good example of using our relationship with some key players in the Haberdashers' Company to help our students!

From left to right Chris Achiampong, (Football Scout for Liverpool FC and Apprentice at EY/ IBM), Aaron O’Neill (Yr 13 student), Adrian Walcott (Managing Director of Brands with Values), Joanna Abeyie (founder and Managing Director of Hyden Talent, Richdhin Inaba (Head Boy) Kulne Olafare (Director at SK Financial), Leon Johnson (Deputy Head Boy), Tim Campbell MBE (First Winner of The Apprentice).

‘The Fantastic Five’, a phrase coined by Executive Principal, Dr. Tesca Bennett, spoke to a large group of Year 11 and 12 students. The talks were really honest and inspiring, and students were engaged throughout.

Jo Abeyie, a Livery Freeman, who grew up on a council estate in Battersea, now runs her own creative industry diverse talent recruitment business, repeated the mantra to pupils – No excuses, its up to you to make the change. Tim Campbell who rose to fame as the first winner of the TV show The Apprentice talked about the opportunities that it opened up for him, but he reminded pupils that they can earn far more behind the camera than in front of it.

Good friends Kunle Olafare and Adrian Walcott met during their time at Hatcham College and have both gone on achieve impressive achievements – Adrian is now Managing Director of Brands with Values, and Kunle runs his own financial planning practice in the city.

The response from students has been fantastic and many pupils have requested more interventions just like this one.