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Avanti Heath Clarke Primary School and Wallington County Grammar Secondary School offshoot among Croydon free schools announced by Prime Minister.
Two new Croydon free schools, including the borough’s first Hindu faith school, were announced by Prime Minister David Cameron this week.
A primary school run by Hindu charity the Avanti Schools Trust and a secondary school offshoot from a top Sutton grammar were among 49 new Department for Education approvals revealed on Monday.
Both are expected to open in the next three years.
Avanti Schools Trust, which already runs exisiting schools, had its initial application turned down by the DfE last year.
However, its amended bid for a 420-place primary school in Croydon has been accepted. The trust hopes to open in September 2016 and is in talks with Croydon Council and the DfE over a location.
Nitesh Gor, the charity’s chief executive, said: “We are very pleased with the approval. It has been a long time in the pipeline.
“There are no Hindu schools in Croydon or anywhere near Croydon. There is a tremendous demand for one, as we know from our consultation.
“But what’s also encouraging is the amount of interest we have had from outside the Hindu community. It will be an inclusive school.”
Wallington Country Grammar School’s (WCGS) plans to open a secondary school, also in Croydon South, were also given the green light today.
Jonathan Wilden, headteacher of WCGS, which had the tenth best GCSE results in the country in 2014, said last year the new school would be a non-selective comprehensive for students aged 11 to 18.
He said: “We are talking to Croydon because there is a worse issue regarding school places there than in Sutton.”
Croydon Council received a four per cent rise in applications for next year’s secondary school places and is antipicating a sharper increase before 2018.
In a statement today, the Prime Minister said: “New schools like Avanti Heath Clarke Primary School and the Wallington County Grammar School Federation Free School are an important part of our plan to improve education so our children can compete with the world’s best and enjoy a better future.
“The opening of these schools will provide a welcome boost to families in Croydon.”
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