The prime minister came to Bermondsey on Monday to deliver a major speech on education at the new City of London Academy in Lynton Road.
"It is a privilege to be here today on the first day of the new school year at City of London Academy," said Mr Blair. "I am pleased that some sponsors from other Academies and heads of other successful London schools could also be here with us to share the excitement of students and teachers starting in these wonderful new buildings.
"The £33 million investment from government and the Corporation of London is already bringing new hope to the children of Bermondsey and the borough of Southwark.
"This year, I gather your 590 students also include 50 sixth formers for the first time. Within two years, you will be educating 1,200 students.
"Of course, today is a tribute not only to your principal, Martyn Coles, who has led this school to where it is today, but to your chair of governors, William Fraser, and sponsors the Corporation of London, whose contribution has been invaluable."
The new Bermondsey school is SE1's first city academy, and there are plans for a new academy to replace Joseph Lancaster Primary School and Geoffrey Chaucer Technology College.