GCSE figures put Croydon schools at bottom of their class

Last week, the Department for Education published the 2013 statistics for GCSE pupils across the country. As Inside Croydon has already reported, based on these results, not a single Croydon state secondary managed to make it into the top 200 schools in the country.

Primary school genericMeanwhile, Councillor Tim Pollard, the cabinet member responsible for schools in the Conservative-controlled borough, tweeted in a somewhat self-satisfied manner last week: “Croydon cabinet approves Education Standards report showing continuing picture of improvement under this Conservatives [sic] administration”.

“Continuing picture of improvement”? Really?

Here’s some preliminary figures from the DfE’s statistics which our education correspondent, GENE BRODIE, ought to be a good deal less satisfactory for Councillor Pollard

The people of Croydon understandably want the best for their children. That includes a decent education at a school of their choice.

Yet the latest figures from the Department for Education, based on 2013 GCSE results across the country, show that Croydon is unable to deliver a similar standard of education at many of its schools when compared to neighbouring boroughs in south London.

Indeed, by some distance, Croydon schools are much worse than any other outer London borough south of the river when you look at the percentage of pupils who achieved the English Baccalaureate (that is five GCSEs at grades A to C, including maths, English, a science, and a modern language):

  • Richmond 50.7%
  • Kingston 38.3%
  • Merton 35.3%
  • Bromley 34.4%
  • Sutton 34.2%
  • Croydon 25.9%

The mean average of pupils achieving an E Bacc by residence for these south London boroughs: 36.47%

A lower percentage of pupils who attend schools in Croydon achieve the English Baccalaureate than any other outer London borough south of the river:

  • Richmond 41.8%
  • Sutton 41.4%
  • Kingston 40.7%
  • Bromley 31.9%
  • Merton 30.2%
  • Croydon 23.5%

The mean average for these south London boroughs of pupils achieving an E Bacc by school: 35%

Croydon is not just under-achieving in its schools when compared with our neighbouring outer London boroughs, it is performing significantly worse. Yet if your family happened to live half a mile the other side of the borough boundary, in Sutton or Bromley for example, your children would be able to attend schools that are performing markedly better.

When you examine the figures and make comparisons within the borough of Croydon, an even more surprising picture emerges on the percentage of pupils who attend schools in Croydon achieving the English Baccalaureate:

  • Croydon North 25.1%
  • Croydon Central 22.7%
  • Croydon South 22.5%

If we drill down by school then let us see what emerges in this borough that claims to be seeing record levels of GCSE success:

Croydon North

  • Archbishop Lanfranc 26%
  • BRIT School 15%
  • Harris Academy South Norwood  31%
  • Harris Academy Crystal Palace  40%
  • Norbury Manor  26%
  • St Joseph’s  21%
  • Virgo Fidelis  28%
  • Westwood  17%

One caveat worth noting is that these are percentages based on the number of pupils on the schools roll. As The Guardian reported last week, Harris Academy South Norwood inexplicitly “lost” 28 of its pupils in one school year group in the year before they were due to sit their GCSEs. Were these pupils to come from those less likely to attain the five GCSE passes, then the percentage achieving that measure will obviously be enhanced.

Croydon Central

  • Addington High  11%
  • Archbishop Tenison’s  27%
  • Coloma  81%
  • Edenham High  22%
  • Oasis Shirley Park  17%
  • Quest Academy  9%
  • St Mary’s  15%
  • Shirley High  6%

Croydon South

  • Harris Academy Purley  6%
  • Oasis Coulsdon  16%
  • Riddlesdown  29%
  • St Andrew’s  15%
  • Thomas Moore  17%
  • Woodcote  36%

And this is what Councillor Tim Pollard describes as a “continuing picture of improvement”.


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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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4 Responses to GCSE figures put Croydon schools at bottom of their class

  1. I was asked by a group in West Croydon why exam results in Croydon were so bad all the way through the education system.

    I asked them to look out of the window and tell me where a child had to go out every day to play safely and to develop fully: they looked at the brutalist architecture; the congested roads; the litter-strewn pavements.

    They agreed: caring parents in Croydon keep their children at home thus restricting their development, what is the alternative?

  2. ndavies144 says:

    I always thought that the Whitgift Foundation was the education provider of choice for the Croydon Glee Club, and that their members (of both the Glee Club and the Whitgift Foundation) on the Council treat managing state schools as a tiresome inconvenience rather than their greatest responsibility. And no, I’m not joking.

    • Having poor and under-performing state schools might, just, persuade some parents in Croydon to consider the alternatives, including sending their children to independent schools.

      After all, who would *choose* to send their 10- or 11-year-old to an unaccountable “academy”, privately run by a carpet salesman, where barely 1 in 20 of its pupils manage to scrape through five GCSEs?

  3. Thomas More Catholic school (Purley) 19th in the country as the most improved school.

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