Croydon schools among most oversubscribed in UK
Two Croydon schools are among the most oversubscribed in the UK, new figures have revealed.
The Harris Academy in Maberley Road, Crystal Palace, is the fifth-most sought-after state school in the country, with 12 children applying for every place.
The academy received 2,212 applications for 180 vacancies last year, making it the most popular state school in the UK not to have a religious ethos or academic selection policy.
Archbishop Tenison’s Church of England High School in Selborne Road is also in the UK's 25 most oversubscribed, with an average of 7.3 pupils bidding for each place.
The figures were released this week by the Department for Education.
Sir Dan Moynihan, chief executive of of the Harris Federation and a former headteacher at the Crystal Palace school, said: "The academy combines the traditional values of smart uniform and strong discipline with the best of modern teaching.
"We are delighted that so many parents and children choose it for their education, and pleased that our other two academies in Croydon are also very oversubscribed."
Croydon Council said the two schools' standings in the popularity stakes was an affirmation of educational standards in the borough.
It pledged to invest in new buildings and extra classes to ensure that children who did not win places at oversubscribed schools were not short-changed.
Councillor Tim Pollard, the council's cabinet member for children, families and learning, said: "It’s good to see Croydon featuring twice in this list of popular schools.
"Educational standards have risen across the borough in recent years, and on average pupils in Croydon now do better than their peers elsewhere in the country."
He added: "The high demand for places reflects both the quality of education available and our rapidly expanding population.
"So not only are we continuing to press schools to meet tougher targets, but we are also investing heavily in extra classes and brand new schools, so that parents can be sure of getting an appropriate place for their children at a school of their choice."