A TRANSFORMED school that once ranked among Oxford's worst-rated has won a 'massive vote of confidence' from the community.

The Oxford Academy in Littlemore has continued its upward trajectory, announcing that it is oversubscribed for another consecutive year.

Headteacher Andy Hardy wrote parents before the Easter holidays stating: "I am pleased to share that we are oversubscribed regarding applications for Year 7 in September.

"As always our amazing building supports our growing talented community.

"The Oxford Academy is an excellent team, with students, parents, carers, staff and governors all working together towards our platinum standard of education."

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The secondary school, which teaches 950 pupils, was rated 'good' by Ofsted in 2016 for the first time since opening in 2008.

For many years it struggled to recruit pupils after being rated 'inadequate' by the regulator - a reputation that had also plagued its predecessor, Peers School.

The latest financial accounts for the Oxford Academy Trust, which runs the school, reveal that it expects to recruit a full cohort of Year 7 starters for the 'next five years.'

Roy Leach, chair of governors at the school, said the growing pupil numbers are 'incredibly positive.'

He added: "It's a massive vote of confidence for the academy and reflects hard work by staff to improve outcomes."

The trust's accounts, published on Companies House for the 2017-18 financial year, add: "The Year 7 intake in September 2018 and the expected first and second choice indications for September 2019 means that The Oxford Academy has broken the back of being undersubscribed.

"The local authority has confirmed that Key Stage 2 population in Oxford is growing and they anticipate The Oxford Academy being fully subscribed in Year 7 for the next five years."

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It said the academy is still operating with 'fewer students' in Years 7-11 than it would like, however, adding: "Helping the local community have confidence in the academic offer to students in the academy, thereby attracting students, remains a key goal.

"Governors have determined that the academy continues to need some reserves to enable cash flow and guard against fluctuations in student numbers, but have committed to continue to improve the quality of education in the academy and outcomes for students."

The accounts said students made 'excellent progress' during 2017-18 due to the recruitment and retention of quality teachers.

They add: "Governors recognise the need for continue intensive funding of key areas, especially English and mathematics, in order to enable the best life chances of its students and have deployed reserves to this area of need."

Schools receive basic government funding on a per-pupil basis, so running below capacity can have a negative impact on finances and in turn on resources and standards.