Addington High applying to become an academy
THE estate's troubled secondary school is to take drastic steps to improve falling standards – by applying to become an academy.
Addington High announced on Friday it was in the early stages of a complete overhaul of the school, which will result in it being taken out of the control of Croydon Council.
Governors revealed the move to academy status will be "sponsored" by Bromley-based boys' school Ravens Wood, which has a record of turning failing schools around and is an academy itself.
This means Ravens Wood, which has been judged as "outstanding" by Ofsted inspectors, will contribute money and advice in getting the school up and running in its new form.
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Ann Shepherd, chair of Addington High's governing body, said: "We are delighted to be strengthening our partnership with Ravens Wood, which has an outstanding national reputation.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for the current and future pupils of Addington High.
"We are looking forward to working with the Ravens Wood team to help us build on our achievements of the past decade."
Governors hope the school will be up and running as an academy by February 2013, after a turbulent year.
The school has been shrouded in scandal over the past twelve months after an array of embarrassing incidents, which included teaching staff being sacked after pornographic photos were found of them romping in classrooms. In September, the Advertiser reported how a teacher had been sent home for being drunk in charge of a lesson. Then in February, head teacher Tim Davies admitted the school had "failed" its pupils, after it was revealed to have the worst GCSE results in the borough.
The plans for change were started just weeks after the problems came to a head in February, and now the school has been given the green light by Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove to progress to the next stage in the process.
As an academy, the school would be directly funded by central government and independent of Croydon Council.
It would have to teach core subjects, such as maths, English and science, but get greater freedom in selecting which other subjects to teach, and full control of its own budget.
Ravens Wood has already helped a number of other schools transform their performance, including Westwood Girls' College of Language and Arts in South Norwood, which this year had a rise in the number of youngsters achieving five A* to C grades, from 65 per cent to 84 per cent.