School attendance and expulsion rates improve in Croydon
11:23am Wednesday 23rd January 2013 in News
Fewer pupils are missing classes or being expelled from schools than at any point since records began, new figures have showed.
Sixty-four children were permanently excluded from Croydon primary and secondary schools in the last academic year, the lowest number since data was first reported in 2000.
Secondary school absences have declined for the sixth consecutive year, while absences at primaries fell in the last 12 months by the fastest rate the borough has ever seen.
The number of pupils permanently excluded from Croydon schools has fallen from 90 in the 2007/08 academic year, a shift which the council attributes largely to the establishment of the Primary Fair Access Panel.
The panel supports and challenges schools that expel higher than average numbers of pupils.
Addington High School clocked most permanent exclusions in the last academic year, expelling nine pupils, while Oasis Academy Shirley Park excluded six and Harris Academy in South Norwood excluded five.
Black Carribean pupils are affected disproportionately, making up eleven per cent of Croydon's school population but 23 per cent of permanent exclusions. The figures represent a national trend that has concerned politicians.
The overall absence rate for Croydon secondary schools was 5.3 per cent in the last academic year, down from 6.06 per cent last year and 8.92 per cent ten years ago.
At primary schools, 4.5 per cent of pupils missed classes - a drop of one per cent on last year and down from 6.59 per cent ten year ago.
Tim Pollard, the council's cabinet member for children, families and learning, hailed the figures as evidence of the success of Croydon's education strategy.