North Croydon could have a new primary school by September 2018 if plans from the Collegiate Trust, which already runs Riddlesdown Collegiate secondary school, get the go ahead.
Collegiate Trust Chief Executive Gordon Smith confirmed that they wanted to take on the running of a school for younger children as well.
He said: ‘’The council has made it clear that a new school is required in this area and that their preferred route for new provision is a free school.’’
Although existing schools could be expanded to provide spaces for children, he believes that would increase pressure on their infrastructure and threaten standards of education.
Smith added: ‘‘In the north-west of Croydon, by 2018 there is projected to be a shortage of almost 100 reception places. The Collegiate Free Primary School would provide the required places.”
Consultation with the local community about the new free primary school will begin in April. Riddlesdown Collegiate does not have a definite location in mind for the school but it could be in Thornton Heath, Norbury or Upper Norwood. It is working with the council to identify potential sites and discuss with the local community the most desirable location.
It is expected that an application will be submitted to the Department for Education, which approves free schools, in the autumn.
The school would mainly focus on English and Maths because a significant number of children have English as a second language.
Smith added: ‘’Individual learning plans would be used to deliver really focused English and Maths, which quickly develops confident children who can apply skills effectively.
‘’Collegiate Free Primary School would deliver a traditional curriculum designed to prepare children to live successfully in modern Britain.’’
It would also teach French or Spanish. Extra-curricular programmes would encourage children to take part in a range of cultural visits to London and beyond, as well as participating in competitive sport, drama and music.