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Croydon Council has embarked on a major schools’ expansion programme to provide an additional 660 reception places, 450 entry-year secondary places, and 112 special educational needs places.

As well as enlarging existing schools, two new primary schools have opened their doors. Local authority-run schools such as Coloma Convent Girls School and The Archbishop Lanfranc Academy have reputations for high achievement. However, in recent years, many state schools have become academies, mostly under the Oasis and Harris trusts.

Croydon’s schools’ system is somewhat unique in that a charitable foundation is responsible for three of its independent schools which are ranked among the best in the country. Around 3,000 students – almost half of which are on a bursary – attend Trinity, Whitgift and Old Palace of John Whitgift School, run by The Whitgift Foundation.

Royal Russell School and Croydon High School are two of the other prestigious independent schools within the borough.

The Brit School is another example of unique provision, blending education and vocational training. It is an independent state-funded City College for the Technology of the Arts and caters for 14 to 19 year olds who have decided they want a career in the arts.