Southwark sixth formers visit Royal Courts of Justice to witness ancient legal ceremony

Sixth formers from City of London Academy Southwark visited the Royal Courts of Justice to watch an ancient legal ceremony [Wednesday 4 October].

The City of London Corporation took the students from the academy, which it sponsors, to see the ancient Quit Rents and Services Ceremony, as part of its efforts to encourage young Londoners to take an interest in Law.

The City Corporation also gave winners of its annual City Law Officers Essay Prize a chance to witness the ceremony. Students were challenged to write an essay of between 1,500 and 2,000 words on the question ‘are judges too powerful?’.

The winners received a week's work experience in the City Corporation’s legal department and £200 in book tokens. The competition will reopen again next year and will be available to all sixth form students in London who will be in Year 12 or 13 in the first week of October 2018.

Michael Cogher, Comptroller & City Solicitor at the City of London Corporation, said:

“The students’ invitation to take part in this ancient City ceremony is a superb way of encouraging students in Southwark to develop an interest in law.

“We have a responsibility to play our full part in supporting young Londoners in the development of their skills, for the good of society, community and the economy.

“It is also a rare opportunity to experience a unique historic legal ceremony at the Royal Courts of Justice, so I do hope that the students will take away happy memories of the event.”

The City Corporation, which is already ranked as the top multi-academy sponsor in the country for pupil progress by the Department for Education, sponsors or co-sponsors three primary and five secondary academies across Hackney, Islington and Southwark. All are judged as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.

City of London Academy Southwark celebrated another year of outstanding examination results with 76% of students achieved a minimum of 5 GCSE A*-C passes and 79% of students securing A*- C grades at A-level.

The City of London Corporation is opening five new academies in Islington, Hackney and Newham. The progress eight scores, which track student improvements, show that the City Corporation’s Hackney and Islington academies are in the top 15 schools out of 6,300 in the country for student progress.

Taking place every year at the Royal Courts of Justice, the Quit Rents ceremony has evolved over 800 years. The two-part ceremony, which dates from the 13th century and is one of the oldest events of its kind in British history, represents the paying of nominal rents to HM the Queen as tenancy for two lands held by the City of London Corporation.