Join the Alumni network
Are you a former student of Acland Burghley School?
We want to hear from you! Your experiences since leaving could help to motivate and inspire the current generation of Acland Burghley students to feel more confident in making decisions about their future.
We’ve partnered with the national education charity Future First, who specialise in helping schools like ours to stay connected with their former students.
You can choose how and when you help – perhaps you could act as a career and education role model, provide work experience, become a mentor or help with fundraising.
It doesn’t matter when you left us, whether you’re in further education or employment, whether you still live nearby or have moved further away, we would love to stay in touch.
Need more information first?
Please contact Akbar Quayeem at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Too busy to volunteer?
Why not set up a regular donation to the School Trust instead? You could help an ambitious project to return our Grade 2 listed assembly hall to its original glory get off the ground or make sure all students have access to excellent extra-curricular activities.
Our students go on to do a huge variety of interesting and exciting things. See below of what some of them have been up to.
AkalaPoet, rapper and writer
Akala, or Kingslee Daley McLean as we remember him, was an excellent student who excelled in the sciences. Kingslee was also a star footballer who was on the books of West Ham. He is now known as a poet, rapper and writer. He has appeared at Glastonbury and other major venues and has been heard recently discussing and performing Shakespeare on the TV and radio.
Joe BorWriter and comedian
After studying for an MA in Scriptwriting and Production from Westminster University, Joe slowly metamorphosed into a comedian and writer, supporting himself in the early years by working back at Acland Burghley as a TLA. Joe has worked on a number of TV shows including The Graham Norton Show, Mock The Week, Alan Carr Chatty Man, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, The Kumars, Room 101, Have I Got News For You, Sunday Night at The Palladium, Still Open All Hours, 8 Out of 10 Cats and Big Fat Quiz of The Year. He is remembered as being a midfield general for the Burghley football team and the Camden and Islington team.
Sarah BrownPublic relations expert and political activist
Sarah is currently a high profile campaigner for issues relating to domestic violence and health care. Earlier in her working life she was a founding partner of Hobsbawm Macaulay Communications. She also, of course, was married to PM Gordon Brown. After Burghley Sarah studied at Bristol University. Sarah has maintained contact with Acland Burghley by visiting the school and invited students to visit Number 10.
Deji went to Oxford to study economics and is now is a Vice President at J.P. Morgan. He also claims to be the greatest striker ever to play for Oxford University and still holds the university goal scoring record.
Eddy GrantVocalist and musician
Eddy Grant was a founding member of the Equals, one of the United Kingdom's first racially integrated pop groups and is also known for a successful solo career that includes the platinum single Electric Avenue. He also pioneered the genre ringbang and has received a lifetime achievement award from the government of Guyana.
Tom HarperFilm director
Tom gave up studying Environmental Science at university to follow his love of film. If you have seen TV programmes such as This Is England 86 or The Misfits, they may have been directed by Tom. His films include The Scouting Book for Boys and The Borrowers. He was also a pretty funky bass player and a good cross country runner.
Chi-chi Nwanoku OBEDouble bassist, professor and Artistic & Executive Director of Chineke! Orchestra
Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE
Double bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE studied at the Royal Academy of Music, where she is a Professor and Fellow, and with Franco Petracchi in Rome. She is the Founder, Artistic and Executive Director of the Chineke! Foundation, which encourages diversity in the classical music industry through its orchestras, the Chineke! Orchestra and Chineke! Junior Orchestra, and its community engagement work. Chi-chi has been instrumental in creating opportunities for talented Black and Minority Ethnic musicians through concerts, commissioning new works, championing historical BME composers, and by establishing scholarships with the major UK conservatoires.
She created the ABO/RPS Salomon Prize, which celebrates 'unsung heroes' working in the ranks of British orchestras. In 2012 Barrie Gavin directed a documentary film about Chi-chi's career, Tales from the Bass Line and in 2018 she featured on BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs. As a broadcaster Chi-chi has presented for BBC Radio 3 & 4, BBC TV Proms Extra, BBC 2 TV Classical Star, and BBC 4's All Together Now, the Great Orchestra Challenge. She also presented an award-nominated Sky Arts documentary profiling composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and hosted a Scala Radio show featuring guests from Chineke! Orchestra.
An Honorary Fellow of Trinity Laban Conservatoire and Honorary Doctor at Chichester University and the Open University, Chi-chi was awarded the OBE in 2017 for Services to Music. She has won Black British Business Awards 'Person of the Year'; an ABO Award for 'most important contribution to orchestral life of the UK'; the Commonwealth Cultural Enterprise Award for Women in the Arts and a Creative Industries Award at Variety Catherine Awards. Chi-chi has featured in the Top 10 of BBC Woman's Hour, Women in Music Power List, the Royal Academy of Music exhibition Hitting the Right Note: Amazing Women of the Academy, the 2019 and 2020 Powerlist of Britain's 100 Most Influential Black People.
Nick HillelVideo artist
Nick went from Acland Burghley to Leeds University to study media and then founded a company called Yeast Culture, a film making and digital media organisation. Nick has worked with Jamie Cullum, The Beastie Boys, Brian Eno, Courtney Pine, Dennis Rollins, Baaba Maal. You might have also seen his work at The NFT and The V&A and on BBC2 and Channel 4.
Morgan HutchinsCommercial and short film director
After Acland Burghley, Morgan studied for a degree in film and photography at WSCAD (now the University for Creative Arts). He has worked on adverts for Sports Aid, Paddy Power, Haven, Halifax, Budweiser, Activia and has directed short film Condimentia.
Shazad left Acland Burghley to study drama at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. You might remember him as Tariq in Spooks, we remember him as Shaz! Shaz has also appeared in Fresh Meat and Star Trek: Discovery.
After Acland Burghley Bill went onto study music at Leeds University. Since then Bill has made a name for himself as the pianist and keyboard player in the Grammy-winning Snarky Puppy. Bill is also a specialist lecturer at the Institute of Contemporary Music in London and continues to give clinics at music institutions around the world.
Sean MacaulayJournalist and screenwriter
Sean Macaulay is known for his work on Eddie the Eagle, Hitchcock and The Day Donny Herbert Woke Up.
Jess had a top 40 hit with her song Fighting Fire and has supported Emeli Sande on her tour, performing alongside Annie Lennox and Katie B.
After Acland Burghley, Robert landed a job as an office junior with a firm of heir hunters called Fraser & Fraser. During this time, he took some time off to visit his sister in Australia and after listening to his twelve-year-old nephew moaning that he couldn't find anything interesting to read, he had an idea to write novels that he would have enjoyed reading when he was an adolescent. He is now best known for the CHERUB and Henderson's Boys novels and has come back into the school to talk to the students about his work.
Ms. DynamiteRapper, singer, songwriter and record producer
Born Niomi Arleen McLean-Daley, Ms Dynamite went on to release her debut album, A Little Deeper, soon after finishing school. She won the prestigious Mercury Music Prize for the album and is also a two time and three time BRIT and MOBO Award winner. Recently she has been recognised with an MBE for services to music. While at Acland Burghley she wanted to become a schoolteacher or social worker, then landed a recording contract on the day she was due to start University so pursued her music career instead.
Jake NavaCommercial and Music Video Director
Following school Jake graduated with a degree in film from the University of Westminster. Afterwards, he began his career directing music videos and films for MTV Sports. He has directed music videos videos for various artists, including Britney Spears, BeyoncÃ©, Arctic Monkeys Adele and Lana Del Rey. Jake has also directed advertising campaigns for Armani, Puma, Bacardi, Martini, Guinness and Mastercard. 2017 saw him return to Acland Burghley to shoot the Pyjama Mamas Vauxhall advert.
Michael had his first novel Sisyphusa published to great acclaim. A terrifyingly convincing and vivid account of the sudden onset of depression and resultant brutal incarceration and treatment, which ought to make for a grim read, but doesn't, because it develops into a gripping adventure, written with humanity, invention, empathy, wit and the wisdom that only comes with experience- was the opinion of Michele Hanson, Guardian columnist. Michael distinguished himself with his extreme devotion to Arsenal, he was also devoted enough to study to get into Sussex University.
Rosie progressed onto Manchester University to study history from Burghley. After her studies, she started at the Guardian as a music writer. She is now the Assistant home news editor. Rosie has also been a prime mover in campaigns against the verbal harassment of women on the street.
Lee ThompsonMulti-instrumentalist, songwriter and composer
Lee is best known as the founder and saxophonist for the ska band Madness.
Rosie WondersDesigner and business woman
Rosie Wonders, or Rosie Marshall as we remember her, is a designer of greetings cards, jewellery and gifts. You can find her creations on rosiewonders.co.uk or in stores like Liberty. Rosie, unsurprisingly, was usually found hanging out in the art rooms. We remember her as a maker of lovely prints. Some of the staff still have her chicken prints.
Dr Helen YaffeHistorian and academic
Dr Helen Yaffe
Helen has worked at The LSE, UCL and Leicester University and is an expert on Cuban economics. She was also a talented cross country runner!
Do you think you’re missing from our Alumni spotlight?
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