DEMAND for the first places at Oxford's new Swan School is more than double the number of spots available.

Hundreds of parents are hoping to send their children to the academy in Marston in September, with 257 pupils having applied for the 120 spaces on offer.

Families keen to become founding members of the school's community were relieved on Wednesday, after its temporary site was approved by Oxford City Council's planning committee.

Kay Wood, headteacher of The Swan School, said: “It is great news for parents and the whole city that this badly-needed school is a giant stride closer to being able to open in September.

“I can’t wait to meet our founding cohort of students, and this planning decision brings that moment much closer.

“We are over one of the final hurdles and can continue with our concrete planning to make sure our school is exceptional from the start."

ALSO READ: Swan School temporary plans set for council approval

The school will start life in mobile classrooms on fields at The Cherwell School's South Site, in Marston Ferry Road, for a maximum of two academic years.

Oxford Mail:

The Cherwell is also run by the River Learning Trust, the same group that will run the Swan.

Students will eventually move to the permanent site further along the road, where the Harlow Centre currently sits, which will teach 1,260 pupils when all year groups are filled.

Plans for the temporary base were unanimously at Oxford Town Hall on Wednesday night.

Speaking at the meeting, councillor Louise Upton said it would have been ‘absolutely mad’ not to approve the application.

Next Friday, March 1, both the Swan School and Oxfordshire County Council will reveal which secondary schools pupils have been allocated a place at.

The council and the academy ran applications in a dual process, just in case it could not open on time - meaning successful applicants will have to choose between the Swan and the other school the council has allocated.

ALSO READ: School places 'black hole' in Marston sees less than two-thirds offered first preference

The Swan School received 245 applications before the deadline in October, and 12 afterwards.

Ms Wood said: "Those not offered a place at The Swan in the first round should not lose heart.

"The way the admissions process has worked this year means that all 120 pupils offered a place at The Swan will also get allocated another school.

"We know that if families get a place at the existing secondary they wanted, they may well turn down The Swan, making spaces available on our waiting list.

“It is important that parents and carers who are not planning to take up their offer of a place let us know as soon as possible after March 1, so we can then re-allocate these places in the second round at the start of May.

“We are asking for help in making a complicated situation easier to manage and less stressful for parents - please don’t hang on to a Swan place if you know you are not going to take it up."