Blog: A great education for every child in Croydon by Pat Reid


“Every child should be able to access a great education.” There are few who would disagree with that statement.

But what does “a great education” mean?

A great education is about more than grades alone. It entails a whole-child approach – so that children are emotionally and pastorally supported, and can flourish into independent, confident, and resilient adults.

This means giving support to children who have behavioural problems. Difficult behaviour often stems from deeper social issues – a child may lack emotional support, he or she may have experienced bereavement or loss, or have special educational needs that haven’t been diagnosed, among other issues.

In Croydon, as in the rest of the country, we face many challenges of this nature. Teachers and school staff do an absolutely fantastic job, but the pressures of modern life mean that we often don’t provide as much help as we could.

By making a concerted effort to provide our children with therapeutic and well-rounded support, we believe we can work towards ensuring no child is left behind in his or her educational development.

We have some ideas to help achieve this in Croydon’s schools. We believe there should be:

· greater priority given to emotional wellbeing in schools, with more focus on pastoral care and therapeutic interventions as early as possible in school, and more integrated working with services outside school, including Croydon’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service;

· more openness to best practice on both therapeutic interventions and support for children with special education needs to support children and adults with special needs and those who teach them or care for them;

· work done to build on the Fair Access Panel with all schools, to participate and share best practice on these issues and primary headteachers meeting to learn from each other as well as secondary heads; and

· backing for school awards for the best approaches to supporting childhood development, and more involvement of the community and voluntary sector to support children with behavioural difficulties.

These are some of our ideas. We want to know what you think of them so we can refine and develop them.

To get in touch, call 0800 612 2182, email, or Tweet @OppCroydon.


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