Croydon schools failing to meet national standards in maths and English, results show
FIVE of the borough's primary schools are failing to meet minimum government standards for English and maths, latest test results show.
While Croydon as a whole is in line with the national average, Oasis Academy Shirley Park, in Addiscombe, posted among the worst Key Stage 2 results in the country following exams last May.
The council's schools chief, Tim Pollard, is pleased with the overall picture but said struggling schools would be partnered with better performers to drive up standards. He also warned those which failed to improve faced being made into academies.
Cllr Pollard, cabinet member for children, young people and learners, said: "The schools themselves are extremely keen to take action because they know there is a substantial carrot and a substantial stick.
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"That's alarming if you are in that position, but we really can't afford to have any school which is not offering a good standard of education."
While other academies achieved top results at Key Stage 2, Oasis Academy Shirley Park has failed to improve primary results since it was formed in September 2009.
It is currently bottom of the borough's league table, with only 39 per cent of pupils achieving Level 4 or more in English and maths – the benchmark standard expected of an 11-year-old – an 8 per cent drop from 2010 and significantly less than the expected standard of 60 per cent.
Head teacher Neil Harvey declined a request for an interview, but a spokesman for the school told the Advertiser: "We are naturally very disappointed with the results.
"Having studied the papers, we have implemented a number of strategies to rapidly rise attainment, (which includes) ensuring Year 6 is taught by our most experienced teachers, the introduction of an additional literacy programme and a new behaviour policy.
"We continue to work very hard to ensure that the marked progress we have seen in our early years results deepens and this year's results at Key Stage 2 are equally as positive."
Cypress Junior School, in South Norwood, was another school which failed to make the grade, with only 53 per cent of pupils at Level 4 or more for English and maths.
Chairman of governors Kathy Bee, a Labour councillor, said: "We're very disappointed with our results, which reflect that, historically, the school has tended to rely on cramming in Year 6.
"It's a weakness we are trying to get away from."
Across the borough as a whole, 74 per cent of pupils achieved level 4 or more in English and maths, in line with the national average.
St Aidan's Catholic Primary School, in Coulsdon, topped the league table with 96 per cent.
Two Thornton Heath academies achieved highly, with West Thornton Primary among the top performers and Ecclesbourne Primary, part of the Pegaus Academy Trust, the most improved school.
Heavers Farm, in South Norwood, emerged as one of the best and most improved schools in the borough, with 92 per cent of pupils achieving Level 4 in English and maths combined, an increase of 15 per cent from 2010.
Head teacher Susan Papas said: "When I first came to the school we were 66th in the league tables.
"We're now fourth, which shows the tremendous progress we have made in the last five years. It's a credit to our high quality teachers, who expect a lot and have worked very hard to improve the children's basic skills."