The Petchey Academy was established in 2006 on the site of the former Kingsland School with generous sponsorship from Sir Jack Petchey CBE, one of the UK's most successful businessmen and philanthropists. The academy was one of the first wave of Sponsor Academies created to address poor educational standards in inner city areas. 

The unique ethos of the academy was inspired by Sir Jack’s maxim “If I think I can, I can”. We aim to instil  in our students confidence, resilience and a positive mindset that they  are capable of achieving their goals and ambitions.

An East End boy himself, after feeling disengaged at school, Sir Jack wanted to ensure young people have opportunities to develop their skills and enjoy education. We are extremely proud of our ties to the Jack Petchey Foundation, and the wide range of initiatives and awards that it enables our students to benefit from. 

With £60 to his name, Jack bought a motor car and founded his first car hire business. From there a thriving car sales business was formed. Jack eventually branched into property and in 1969 was introduced to the idea of a holiday complex in the Algarve, which he still runs to this day. In his 90s Jack is still in the office every day and there is no sign of him slowing down!
Sir Jack’s experiences led to his passion to increase young people’s aspirations by rewarding their achievements. The Jack Petchey Foundation exists to raise the aspirations of young people, to help them take advantage of opportunities and play a full part in society. Since 2000, over £118 million has been invested in programmes to benefit young people aged 11-25 across London and Essex.


The Foundation, set up by Sir Jack Petchey CBE in 1999, supports young people across London and Essex by recognising achievements and celebrating their positive impact on our communities. They do this through their flagship Achievement Award scheme whereby young people can nominate their fellow peers in recognition of their achievements. Achievements may not necessarily be academic but could be from facing a challenge or pushing themselves to try something outside of their comfort zone. It’s not about being the best but doing their best. Each winner is given a £250 grant to spend however they wish to benefit their school or youth club. They also offer other grants such as the Educational Visits Grant to put towards an educational trip outside of school, to enhance learning further.

Alongside this, they also offer various programmes for young people to get involved in to develop skills and discover new interests. Every year our students are invited to take part in the Speak Out Challenge, a competition that encourages young people to find their voice and speak out about an issue that matters to them. Each contestant has the chance to compete for a place in our regional final, and then, if successful, in the grand final in Central London.

Sir Jack never gave up and he wants the young people of the Petchey Academy to do the same!

Below is a video about the history of Sir Jack Petchey, including his contribution to our academy.