Croydon Council and local schools have launched a business that aims to make the borough’s pupils among the best in London.
The Octavo Partnership will provide educational psychology services and employment training to help improve teaching standards and day-to-day administration in local schools.
It promises to “[Shine] a light on success”, by making sure schools with higher academic rankings can share advice with lower ranked institutions in the borough.
The business, believed to be England’s first trading company to be jointly run by a council, its staff and headteachers, was created as an alternative way to provide services to schools in the wake of budget cuts.
Services will be sold directly to the schools and the business will also deliver statutory services on behalf of the council.
Sylvia McNamara, chief executive of the Octavo Partnership, said: “Through Octavo and the cross-Croydon partnerships, we aim to be at the top of London’s performance tables in a few years’ time. That is the goal: long-term improvement that inspires.”
Local schools and academies wishing to get involved have to sign up for the service and pay a fee for the support they receive. However, the money will be ploughed back into Octavo’s budget.
“We want every Croydon school to become outstanding so all our children get the best possible future prospects,” said Councillor Alisa Flemming, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education. “Being a commercial venture jointly owned and run by teachers and the council working together means that Octavo has the flexibility and finances to make our schools among London’s best.”
The Octavo Partnership is due to hold an open day for experienced teachers looking for work in Croydon on April 25.