This post was first published by My London on 12/03/2019.
Eight schools in Croydon in line for a change that could ‘transform’ their education
It affects 300 pupils at schools for children with ‘high needs’.
A group of schools for “high needs” youngsters in Croydon will become an academy trust.
The Beckmead Family of Schools specialises in support for traumatised children and young people with social, emotional and mental health issues (SEMH), autism and challenging behaviour.
There are a total of 300 pupils from five to 19-years-old based at eight sites in Croydon.
Now the group is set to become an academy trust and will be known as The Beckmead Trust.
Academies are independent state schools which are directly funded by the government and not the local authority. They are run by academy trusts, which look after employing the staff.
Through gaining academy trust status, The Beckmead Trust hopes to expand its sites in Croydon and beyond.
Who will be in charge?
Current executive headteacher Jonty Clark will become chief executive officer of the trust.
A replacement will be brought in to take on the executive head role.
Dr Clark said: “With the support of professionals, strong governing bodies and a fantastic partnership with Croydon Council, we are providing excellent education to children and young people here.
“But all too often, those who are the most vulnerable at school age and through their lives also have to contend with poor teaching, an inadequate curriculum, unprofessional staff and shoddy accommodation.
“It should not be like that and the compelling aim of our organisation is to transform the educational experiences of disadvantaged youngsters thus offering them opportunities to empower themselves towards fruitful, sustainable outcomes for the rest of their lives.”
Beckmead’s bid to become a trust was approved by the Department for Education, which in January approved plans for the trust to open a new free school in Chelmsford, Essex.
These are the sites that Beckmead runs:
- Beckmead School, in Monks Orchard Road, Croydon, for children and young people aged seven to 14 with SEMH needs.
- Beckmead College, in Priory Road, South Norwood, is for 14 to 19-year-olds with SEMH needs.
- Community Learning Team, in Alverston Gardens, South Norwood, catering for young people aged 14 to 19 with SEMH needs,
- Chaffinch Brook, in Morland Road, Croydon, catering for children and young people aged five to 11 with autism and challenging behaviour.
- Chaffinch Brook Upper, in Monks Orchard Road, Croydon, catering for children and young people aged 11 to 16 with autism and challenging behaviour.
- Bramley Bank and The Beck, in Croydon, for short and long stay places for seven to 11-year-olds with SEMH needs, including autism.
- Rainbow Class, in Croydon, providing short- and long-stay places for children aged five to seven with SEMH needs, including autism.
- Tharreo House, in New Addington, supports five to 16-year-olds with complex SEMH needs, including those at risk of child sexual exploitation.