A TROUBLED secondary school has parachuted in new leaders after the departure of its headteacher and governors last term.

The Oxford Academy in Littlemore has named an interim head and deputy head, who will join the school this month following issues with behaviour and staff shortages.

Ofsted will soon release a new report of the 1,000-pupil school, which is expected to raise further concerns.

In a letter sent to parents at the end of term, members of the new temporary governing board admitted 2019 had been 'challenging'.

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They wrote: "This letter serves to give you an update of recent developments and to reassure you of our commitment to secure rapid improvement where it is needed.

"The Oxford Academy has focussed on securing the strongest possible leadership of the academy.

"From January 2020, we are delighted that David Terry will be joining as interim headteacher.

"Mr Terry comes with a rich pedigree of successful school leadership, where schools have faced challenging circumstances."

Oxford Mail:

David Terry pictured in 2016, when he was named as principal of Crewe Engineering and Design UTC

Mr Terry was formerly head of Crewe Engineering and Design UTC in Cheshire.

The letter did not clarify if Andy Hardy, who joined the school as headteacher in 2018, would be coming back.

Parents were told at the start of December that he was 'currently out of school' and Steve Pearson, deputy headteacher of Wheatley Park School, had become acting head.

Wheatley Park is run by the River Learning Trust, an academy group that has also been enlisted to help drive improvements at The Oxford Academy.

The letter said the temporary governors are 'grateful' for the work Mr Pearson has provided in the past few weeks.

It states that the team has tried to fill 'existing leadership and teaching vacancies' with the 'highest calibre staff possible'.

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It announced that Andy Poole will also be joining the school this month as interim deputy headteacher, who will also be responsible for overseeing safeguarding and pupil behaviour.

Mr Poole joins from Pittville School in Cheltenham.

The interim governors wrote: "There will be further announcements in the New Year of other colleagues we have successfully recruited.

"We are determined to drive The Oxford Academy on a rapid journey of improvement, to ensure that the teaching and learning is consistently good and to establish the quality of education that our pupils and parents both desire and deserve."

Pupils will start to return to the school on Wednesday following the Christmas break, and the letter advises that Mr Terry will be 'reinforcing messages around the importance of good behaviour, uniform, strong attendance and punctuality'.

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It was jointly signed off by Adam White of Oxford Brookes University, River Learning Trust chief executive Paul James, and Tony Wilson, chief executive officer director of education at the Oxford Diocesan Board of Education.

All are members of the interim academy board of governors, which are brought in to temporarily replace a governing body and drive improvements.

Both Brookes and the Diocese of Oxford are sponsors of The Oxford Academy, as well as The Beecroft Trust.

The reshuffle of leadership comes after an Ofsted inspection at the school last term, for which the regulator is expected to release a report later this month.

While the school is currently rated 'good', from a previous inspection in 2016, the Oxford Mail understands the new rating will be worse.