About the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Image and reality

The immediate image of Kensington and Chelsea is of the architecture, famous landmarks and glamorous residents. The reality is much more complex and fascinating – a highly urban, multicultural, dynamic population embracing those who are new to London, and established families, some of whom are, as yet, at the bottom of life’s ladder and some very near the top. We have many more street homeless, asylum seekers and people with mental illness than most urban areas.

The population is multicultural and multilingual. Our schools have more than twice the national rate of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, and while seven wards in Kensington and Chelsea are among the least deprived nationally, two wards are among the ten per cent most deprived in England.

Although the borough is geographically one of the smallest in London, at just over 4.7 square miles, it is one of the most densely populated areas in Europe – the current population is estimated at 190,000 people and there is a high population turnover estimated at over 20 per cent per year. The borough is primarily residential in character. Property prices and private sector rents are the highest in the country. However, half the permanent lettings by registered social landlords are to homeless households and there are 1,000 households living in temporary accommodation.

In addition to residential accommodation, the borough is also home to internationally recognised shopping centres, 12,000 businesses and over 120,000 jobs, three of the most visited museums in the UK and the second largest number of hotel beds in any London borough. It is in this diverse, dynamic and demanding context that we work. Half the borough’s children are educated privately, while half of our maintained school pupils receive free school meals.

Half the school population comes from ethnic minority groups and nearly half speak English as an additional language. Some of our schools experience a high turnover of pupils – with new pupils likely to be refugees, asylum seekers or from a transient population.

Our vision and ambition

Kensington and Chelsea is a vibrant and diverse area at the heart of one of the world’s major cities. The services the Council provides have a direct and daily impact on people’s lives. The Council aims to provide services of the highest quality in all those areas that affect the lives of residents and to make the borough a better place in which to live and work, and to visit.

The Council’s values are expressed below:

  • public service: this is our core value. We put the public at the centre of what we do, acting with honesty, integrity, impartiality and objectivity
  • positive: we recognise that we are part of a bigger team and that our success depends on working together across and outside the organisation
  • appreciative: we recognise and acknowledge the contributions of others and are open and receptive to constructive challenges of our own ideas
  • innovative: we continuously seek new and better ways to improve our services and give better value to our tax payers

Schools in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

The Royal Borough maintains four nursery schools, 26 primary schools, five secondary schools, two special schools and a Pupil Referral Unit.

Schools in the Royal Borough are exciting and diverse, and they perform very strongly. Results achieved by children attending our schools significantly exceed the levels of attainment that the demographics of the borough would suggest they should.

The Royal Borough has a good record of achievement and inclusion. Pupils in our schools make good progress and schools are committed to ensuring that all children and young people are able to achieve their full potential.