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'This is our last chance to create a free school in West Croydon'


A GROUP of parents and teachers is putting in a final push for a free school in West Croydon.

The Paxton Academy bid is being put forward by parents, teachers and community leaders, including members of the BME forum, Charlotte Davies - a qualified secondary school head - businesspeople from the West Croydon Community Forum, and the chairman of governors, Carlison Morris.

The primary school aims to focus on sports and science to enable pupils to develop talents from an early age. The school would offer core curriculum subjects during the morning sessions, including English, maths and science, and then provide a host of foundation subjects such as geography, history, art, music, ICT, and languages during the afternoon sessions.

Mrs Davies told the Advertiser: "We went to a mock interview a couple of weeks back and we were commended on the quality of the educational plan.

"Our objectives are very ambitious. They reflect the aspirations of the communities in the area – no child will fail or get excluded.

"This is our best hope of showing how other schools in Croydon can aspire to overcome every barrier to a child's success.

"We want as many people as possible to help us and boost the community's confidence in the bid. This could be a great community school and a chance for our children to really excel.

"This group have failed twice before, this is the last chance. We have filled this group with heavyweight support from organisations such as PJ Services and Foundation 4 Life with outstanding records of saving youths who have been excluded from schools and understand how children fail in schools and how to avoid problems.

"We have recruited an outstanding head teacher from the community who is trained in both educational psychology and qualified as a head teacher.

"We have the support of several university educational researchers, and I have spent many years researching and identifying how to overcome barriers to learning so that every child can be a confident and happy learner."

The school would eventually take 450 pupils which would help ease the chronic lack of primary places in the north of the borough.

It also plans to operate a longer school year, with extra support for students who need help with numeracy and literacy, plus many clubs to extend children's interests.

Carlison Morris, chairman of governors, said: "We believe an all-through school is the way forward, it will be a microcosm of society, where children do well, and become good citizens in a family atmosphere."

If the group's bid is successful, it plans to open the school in September 2014.

For more information on the group's plan, visit the website; www.paxtonacademy.org.uk

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