Oasis Academy, Croydon’s newest secondary school, has been formally opened.
Situated next to Croydon Arena athetlics track, the school is a London 2012 Olympic legacy project and puts a strong focus on sports.
Part of the largest school building in the UK, Oasis Academy is the latest new school to be delivered by Croydon, adding to Chestnut Park Primary, Harris Primary Way, and Beckmead Special School, while many others have also seen permanent expansions.
Steve Chalke MBE, founder of the international charity Oasis, has described his delight at opening a school in his home community.
“What a privilege and honour it has been to return to my hometown Croydon today, to open Oasis Academy Arena,” said Rev Chalke.
“Over thirty years ago when I began the Oasis charity with the aim of transforming communities, I would never have dreamed I would be standing here opening our 47th school.”
“While this is of course an exciting day for our current students, this academy will serve South Norwood and the children of Croydon for generations to come, providing them with a first-class school in which to learn and grow together.”
Over the next five years a further £160million investment will build five further schools, providing 6,000 extra places by 2020.
Councillor Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, young people and learning, said: “Over the last few years our focus has been on building and expanding our primary school provision to meet the demand from a rapidly growing population.
“We’ve successfully achieved that and ensured every child has a place. Soon, however, as these children grow up, we will need more secondary places.
“This new school is one of the first projects that will enable us to make that happen, and I’m delighted to see it formally opened.”