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The Croydon schools that will be forced to become academies after damning Ofsted reports

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DAMNING Ofsted reports published this week will lead to three Croydon schools becoming academies, the Advertiser can reveal.

Two; Westwood College for Girls in Upper Norwood and Winterbourne Junior Boys in Thornton Heath, have been put into special measures.

The third, Benson Primary and Nursery in Shirley, has been judged to have "serious weaknesses".

Cllr Tim Pollard, the council's cabinet member for children, families and learners, said under Government policy the expectation now was that any school failing an Ofsted inspection would become an academy.

He said: "The Government is trying to make it very clear to everybody that it is deadly serious about improving standards and will do whatever is necessary to achieve that.

"I can't disagree with that as a policy."

The ruling on Westwood comes as no surprise, as the inspection in November was taking place in parallel with a request from the council to the Government, to appoint an academy sponsor to improve the school.

The council told the Government "unacceptable" exam results were the main reason behind the request.

Consequently, it is understood that the Harris Federation, which already runs academies in Upper Norwood, South Norwood and South Croydon, is to become the Westwood sponsor.

The Ofsted inspection did nothing to allay council fears about the school's decline, problems which have been exacerbated by the long-term sickness of head Karen Benton and other senior staff. On top of that, GCSE results last year showed that just 36 per cent of pupils achieved five A* to C GCSE grades.

Listing the main faults at Westwood, the inspectors said students in Years 7 to 11 do not make enough progress, especially in English and maths, teaching is inadequate because expectations are not high enough, governors do not know enough about the quality of teaching, and that the leadership of the school was not in a position to make the required, urgent changes.

At Winterbourne, the inspectors said the achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, and leadership and management of the school were all inadequate when the inspection took place last October.

At Benson, pupils' achievement and quality of teaching is also judged to be inadequate, while the behaviour of pupils and leadership and management require improvement.

Tony Ahmet, executive head of Winterbourne, said: "Ofsted's report paints a picture that the school and its governing body recognise and that has already been acknowledged.

"We're pleased the inspectors found that Winterbourne offers a welcoming environment for pupils, and that our children are well-behaved with improving attendance.

"It was also good to see them note that new senior appointments are already delivering positive results."

A separate Ofsted report released this week says Addington High School, which is already in special measures, has not shown enough improvement.

It becomes an academy in April.

The Croydon schools that will be forced to become academies after damning Ofsted reports


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