A SCHOOL is finally set to escape a state of limbo and see in a 'new era', two years after being forced to convert to an academy.

Rose Hill Primary School has found a parent trust willing to take it under its wing, following a determined turnaround after Ofsted rated it 'inadequate' in 2016.

The Oxford school has since made major improvements and was reinspected last year, gaining 'good' ratings in most areas and 'requires improvement' overall.

It has now marked the next step in its bid to boost success, announcing it is due to be taken on by the River Learning Trust (RLT).

Headteacher Sue Vermes said: "We had a really long period of limbo but this is exciting for us - it's a new era.

"Obviously we want people to say [of Rose Hill]: 'That's the school I want my child to go to'.

"This is a bit of a vote of confidence for us, for us to be joining a trust with such a good reputation."

In 2016 new government policy dictated that all schools run by the local authority, judged to be 'inadequate', must become academy schools - run and sponsored by a multi-academy trust.

Rose Hill struggled to fulfil this order because trusts were reluctant of the expense of sponsoring the school, due to desperately-needed repairs to its building.

But Ms Vermes said the RLT has been promised cash from the Department for Education to at least cover some of the work.

She said: "That was the big barrier for any trust. We have had investment to the fabric of the building but there are still windows and the roof that need replacing.

"The children are really happy coming to school and are learning really well - we feel they haven't got the building they deserve."

The RLT already runs 10 Oxfordshire schools including The Cherwell School, and is leading plans to build Oxford's new Swan School.

It is set to expand this year with several other schools lined up to become part of the trust, with Rose Hill set to officially join in September, following consultation with pupils' parents.

Taking on a new school effectively means it will oversee the running of that school instead of Oxfordshire County Council.

Ms Vermes said a key benefit was being able to share expertise and resources between the trust's network of schools.

She noted how Paul James, chief executive of RLT, has sat on the school's executive board for two years and 'has come to know our school very well'.

In a letter sent to parents last week, the headteacher added: "This sponsorship ends the two-year period of insecurity and secures our future.

"Teachers and other staff remain in our school and have the same terms and conditions as before, but we all feel part of something bigger."

Parents of children at the 320-pupil school can comment on the plan by filling in a form via rose-hill.oxon.sch.uk, and returning it to the school by March 16.

Paul James, chief executive of River Learning Trust, said: "I have been working with the school for more than a year so have seen improvements first hand.

"I am continually impressed by the commitment and determination of the staff and pupils at the school.

“It has taken some time to get the point where Rose Hill is able to join RLT because of concerns about the amount of financial investment the building requires

"We have now received assurances from the Department for Education that significant funding will be made available for the school, which is great news for the pupils, staff and the school community at large”.

He pledged to work with the school to secure the 'best possible outcomes for all of our pupils'.