Last two remaining non-faith single sex schools in Brent to merge

Mohsen Ojja is the principle of Crest Academy (Pic credit: Adam Thomas)

Mohsen Ojja is the principle of Crest Academy (Pic credit: Adam Thomas) - Credit: Archant

The two last remaining non-faith single sex schools in Brent will merge this September educating children together for the first time.

The Crest Boys’ and Girls’Academy in Crest Road, Neasden, have until now operated as separate schools with a joint sixth form but all will change come the new academic year when it will simply be known as Crest Academy.

Mohsen Ojja, who took up the position of principle in January, said the school was “nominally a mixed non denomination school by law” since 2014 with the pupils being taught separately under one roof.

He said: “The justification to teach them separately in one building, one area for the girls and one for the boys is difficult to manage.

He added: “The problem is that with the educational outcomes that there are with the provision being inadequate, we can’t justify remaining single sex education just on the basis of parent choice although I totally emphasise with the parents and I understand their position but being confident and having spoken to them, all they are interested in is the quality of the provision.”

Mr Ojja, who took up the position in January, said significant changes had to be made, particularly after Ofsted rated the school as inadequate for the second time in January.

He added offering a coeducation model will help drive up standards educationally and, ensure that “every student is prepared for life in modern Britain.”

Most Read

“Our outcomes are significantly low. We have to do something about it. The two factors driving this change– a duty to ensure every single pupil can access the best education possible by managing the performance of teachers appropriately and recruiting better teachers and leaders, and our duty to prepare our pupils for life in modern Britain.

E-Act, formerly Edu Trust Academies Charitable Trust took over the academies from local authority control in 2009.

The company has come under fire in the past for its extravagant expenses and financial mismanagement and removed from the Charity Commission’s register in 2011.

In 2013, months after E-Act splashed out £100,000 on 3D projectors, PCs and Ipads, Ofsted put the boys school under special measures and rated the girls’ school inadequate, both remaining under special measures by the education watchdogs in January this year.

Mr Ojja said: “E-Act have got a new team, a new chair of trustees, a new CEO, who’s been supportive of this process. Having joined in January from Ark Globe Academy in Southwark, I can honestly say the support they are providing me as a principle and the community is very good. The decision to go co-ed has been made purely on educational grounds. The way forward for our students is for them to go co-ed as we will improve outcomes rapidly and prepare them for life.”