IT is encouraging to see signs of improvement at Oxford Academy.Moreover it seems to be in safe hands given the praise heaped on headteacher Niall McWilliams by Ofsted despite only being in the position for four weeks when inspectors visited the school.

He has not gone in all guns blazing with radical reforms causing upheaval.

Instead he has taken a measured approach, which has the students at the heart of the future of the academy.

Inspectors say he has already made a positive difference in such a short time.

Just as encouraging is the realistic nature of Mr McWilliams’ rhetoric.

Parents might be dismayed to hear the school may not show how much it has improved until after this year’s GCSE results are released.

But the headteacher is under no illusion about the size of the task at hand and knows these things take time.

There is no point promising immediate results if they are unattainable.

And likewise there is little gain in producing short-term improvements if there is not a long-term plan to sustain them.

The academy was the worst performing in the county for GCSE results in 2012 but improved last year, so the potential is clearly there.

With a pragmatic headteacher at the helm and a workforce and student body reacting positively to his influence there is every chance GCSE results will continue to improve and the academy can be taken out of special measures as soon as possible.