This evening, I received a letter from Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, to say that he has agreed that Shirley High School Performing Arts College can become an academy from 1st January.
Under Labour, academy status was only open to new secondary or all-through schools that were replacing poor-performing schools. The Coalition Government has said that any school - primary, secondary or special - can apply to become an academy. Some schools will welcome the opportunity to have more control over their finances; others, particulary in a borough like Croydon that is well run, will be happy to leave some things to the local council. It's up to them.
Based on last summer's GCSE results, Shirley High is the second highest performing state school in the constituency - and one of the most improved. Congratulations to Nigel Barrow and his team.