A MATHS teacher keen to provide 'world-class' education has been made deputy head at Marston's new Swan School.

The River Learning Trust, which will run the 1,260-pupil secondary school, has named James MacNaughton as second in charge under headteacher Kay Wood.

The 29-year-old is currently a maths teacher and assistant head at Cardinal Pole Catholic School in Hackney, and has a master's degree in leadership.

Although he is working in London, he is familiar with Oxford as he read philosophy, politics and economics at St Catherine’s College between 2007 and 2010.

Mr MacNaughton said: "There is a fantastic opportunity here to build a culture and curriculum that allows all students to thrive, achieving their potential academically and becoming positive contributors to society.

"Being able to build from the ground up like this means we can really embed a culture of enrichment through the electives and extra-curricular system."

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He said he was attracted to role because of the 'amazing challenge of starting a new school from scratch and making sure it is world-class.'

One Oxford Mail reader got in touch raising concerns about the London-centric appointments at the school’s helm, as Ms Wood was recruited from The City Academy, also in Hackney.

However, the River Learning Trust’s chief executive Paul James defended the decision.

He said: “The law does not allow you to discriminate against candidates on the grounds of race, age, gender or sexuality, so it would be wrong to not pick the best candidate for the job just because they teach in London.

“The head and the deputy head at The Swan School are both Oxford University graduates who have taught in some of the best and most challenging London state schools.”

He stressed that the school is not setting out to employ Oxbridge graduates with a specific background, however, adding: “We simply pick the best person for the job.”

He added: “If anything, parents should be encouraged that teachers with outstanding academic backgrounds want to leave top schools in one of the world’s great cities to come and establish a fantastic school in Oxford.

“That said, we do really appreciate the value of local expertise and we encourage Oxfordshire teachers to apply for the senior positions that we are about to advertise in the coming days.”

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Pupils in the Swan School's initial 120-pupil cohort are due to start in September.

They will be based in temporary accommodation at The Cherwell School’s South Site, in Summertown, until the Swan's permanent new home in Marston Ferry Road is finished.

Work on the Marston site officially began at the start of March and it is expected that it will be ready to move into by September 2020.

Ms Wood said her deputy is an ‘outstanding teacher’ with a ‘proven track record of impact.’

She added: “Most importantly, he shares our vision for what an exceptional education looks like and has the drive and determination to turn it into a reality.

“James will be a great asset to The Swan and I can’t wait to start working with him.”