Covid-19 has meant many changes for everyone nationwide, and over the last week that has included A-level and GCSE students who found out their results based on teacher and external assessments instead of cancelled exams.
Although this week’s results remain provisional, GCSE students in Croydon have reflected the national picture of better results this year than last year. Croydon schools have scored significant increases in the number and percentage of GCSE pupils getting grade 4 or above in English and Maths.
Given the uncertainty around education since lockdown, I cannot praise highly enough the borough’s GCSE students for achieving better scores overall than last year. I know there are many proud parents and teachers of GCSE students out there, and rightly so. I want to also give due credit to our excellent education service that has supported schools every step of the way.
Choose Your Future
However, for every young person in Croydon celebrating this week, there are still many who need help working out what their next steps will be. This could be A-level students, BTEC pupils whose results were delayed at the last minute or someone wanting to do an apprenticeship but not knowing how to go about it.
Croydon Council officers are there to give support and advice to those needing help, from tips on further or higher education to job opportunities. Yesterday officers working on our Steps To Success programme as part of our Choose Your Future campaign were in North End talking to students, their parents and adult learners about what their options were, and we will be launching a post-16 prospectus in September to give the latest range of choices available. If you need help with your education after not getting the grades you expected, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in an apprenticeship, register with the council here. If you want advice on jobs and training, visit the Croydon Works website.
Test and Trace
As chair of the local Covid-19 outbreak control board, I am pleased that the number of cases in Croydon remains very low and that people are continuing to follow hygiene and social distancing measures to keep safe. However, we all know that we cannot become complacent and must continue to protect ourselves and others.
The council’s Keep Croydon Safe campaign continued its work this week by sharing a Covid-19 toolkit with community representatives across the borough so more people know how to look after themselves and their loved ones, including how to get tested and self-isolate. Shea Williams, the borough’s Deputy Young Mayor, has also produced a superb video advising young people on how to keep Covid-19 safe, which is on our @yourcroydon Twitter account.
If you or anyone you know is showing symptoms – such as a fever, a continuous cough, or loss of smell or taste – you should immediately self-isolate and get a coronavirus test by calling 119 or visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus
Support for Croydon businesses
From business rates relief to our Love Croydon, Shop Local campaign, the council is doing a lot to support borough businesses hit by Covid-19.
We have already given out over £2m through our discretionary business grants, but there is still over £700,000 available to eligible businesses on a first-come, first-served basis – with one week left to apply. To get in touch before the 28 August deadline, visit the council website.
If you run a local business and like the idea of providing outdoor customer seating, we are now offering a lower flat fee of £100 and a simpler application process for a pavement licence. So if you run something like a café, a kebab shop or an ice-cream parlour and are interested, and can meet our conditions including continued access for disabled shoppers and pedestrians, then get in touch.
Finally, with the return to school just weeks away, now is the chance to enjoy the last remaining summer holiday activities made available by the council and our community partners.
This includes storytelling sessions hosted by the Mayor of Croydon for young children and their parents, everything from netball to climbing at Legacy Youth Zone, and the Palace for Life summer extravaganza with mixed football, cheerleading and DJ workshops. For more information, visit the Choose Your Future summer activities page on our website.
Stay safe and enjoy your weekends.
Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council