Waltham Forest is boosting levels of educational attainment and provision from early years care to adult learning and encouraging achievement in many different areas.

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INTERVIEW: Sacha Corcoran MBE, Big Creative Academy

Work on the £21 million Big Creative Academy near Blackhorse Road finished in 2020. The facility provided industry-standard, state-of-the-art facilities across a range of creative disciplines, such as music, drama, dance, art and design, fashion, health and fitness, and much more.

After our successful year as the first ever London Borough of Culture, it's so important to see projects which will carry on the cultural legacy for years to come. The Big Creative Academy is not just providing opportunities for young people from all backgrounds, but is for use by the whole community - providing a platform to showcase the wonderful talents across our borough. Watch our exclusive interview with the Academy's Principal Sacha Corcoran MBE.

How are Waltham Forest's schools performing?

  • As at March 2019, 76 out of 78 schools (97%) had an Ofsted judgement of 'Good' or 'Outstanding'
  • In 2018, 75.4% of reception pupils achieved a 'Good Level of Development', 3.9% ahead of the national average and the 18th highest of 152 Local Authorities in England.
  • There was an increase of  2% for the proportion of Year 6 pupils achieving the end of Key Stage 2 Expected Standard in reading, writing and maths in 2018. The figure of 70% in Waltham Forest was 5% above the national average. Average progress scores in all three subjects were also significantly above the national average.
  • At GCSE, the average Attainment 8 score for Waltham Forest pupils in 2018 was 46.1%, 1.6% above the national average for all pupils. The average Progress 8 score was significantly above average, at +0.21.

For more information on Adult Learning Services, click here.

Early years care

Considerable improvement has been made in the quality of Early Years provision in the borough over the four years to March 2019. In the PVI (Private, Voluntary and Independent) sector of childcare, 93% of education provisders were rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by OFSTED (a significant improvement from August 2014, when only 71% had achieved this) and a 4% increase from August 2018 to March 2019.

Early Years Foundation Stage profile data for 2018 showed that for pupils achieving a good level of development at the end of their reception class year, Waltham Forest increased 1.5% from 2017 to 75.4%. This was 3.9% above national and 1.6% above London averages. The borough was ranked 11th in London and 18th nationally.

There were 65% of pupils eligible for Free School Meals achieving a 'Good Level of Development' at the end of their reception class year in 2018, above the national average of 57% and an increase from 58% in 2014, and 64% in 2016.

The number of two-year-olds taking up free early education entitlement place at a good or outstanding provider reached 99% in January 2019, higher than national and London averages (both 95%).

The number of three and four-year olds taking up their free early education entitlement place at a good or outstanding provider has been over 95% for the last three years. The figure of 97% in Waltham Forest in 2019 is above the National and London averages by five percentage points and three percentage points respectively.