Parents confused by plans to turn Oxford's Peers School into the city's first academy found themselves with even more to consider last night.

Rival groups, both canvassing public opinion over the Diocese of Oxford's plans to take over the Littlemore school, held meetings at about the same time within a mile of each other.

Mouchel Parkma, the project management group leading the consultation for the diocese, held a meeting which ran from 5.30pm until 8pm at Blackbird Leys community centre, in Blackbird Leys Road. Ten members of public and eight members of staff attended.

Meanwhile, down the road at Peers School, in Sandy Lane West, the Oxfordshire Anti-Academy Alliance (AAA) held a meeting from 7pm aimed at discussing academy status and the direction of its campaign. At this meeting, 11 people turned out.

Despite plans to close Peers being approved by county councillors earlier this week, the alliance said it was still hopeful of "galvanising people" and making sure the voices of those opposed to the plans are heard.

So far, there has been very little response to the plans from parents and those in Peers' catchment area.

Mouchel Parkma sent 4,000 brochures over the summer asking for people's opinions, and just 22 were returned.

It said its meetings, with another due to take place on October 12, were designed to enable anyone interested to find out more and "help shape the proposed academy's future".

Spokesman Macia Grebot said: "The events provide an opportunity to find out more, to ask questions and to put forward ideas for what is planned."

A principal has already been appointed for the academy. Mike Reading will replace current headteacher Lorna Caldicott if the plans are finally approved by county councillors in November, following a second consultation over the autumn.

Mr Reading said: "We are determined that the proposed Oxford Academy will be a school of which the whole community can be proud. Expertise has been drawn from a number of sources, but as part of the ongoing consultation process we are keen to hear from prospective parents, children and other members of the community."

Last night, a third academy sponsor, The Beecroft Trust, a science and educational trust established by Adrian and Jacqui Beecroft, was unveiled to join the diocese and Oxford Brookes University in the scheme.

The first pupils would attend the new academy from September 2008. A £25m building project on the Peers site would also get under way which would be complete by September 2010.

The academy would specialise in maths, information and computing technology and sport.