Merton Council’s Education department is celebrating after a further two schools in the borough were awarded Beacon Status.

The Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) has given St Mark’s First and Haslemere First, both in Mitcham, the highly regarded award for being highly successful and effective in their provision of education for local children.

The schools join Wimbledon Chase Middle that was awarded Beacon status in 1999.

Beacon schools are identified as a result of excellent OFSTED reports and pupil results that show children making progress well beyond that made by children in similar schools.

Once awarded with Beacon Status, schools are provided with extra funding by the DfEE to work with the Local Authority to share their expertise with other local schools. Examples of these initiatives include projects involving support for newly qualified teachers and helping schools facing difficulties.

Councillor Maxi Martin and Councillor Karl Carter, both Cabinet Members for Education, said: “We are delighted that three schools in Merton have been acknowledged in this way.

“Coming so soon after a third of our schools received Achievement Awards this again underlines the major improvements being made in the quality of education across the Borough”.