A GROUP in charge of more than 20 schools has agreed to take on The Oxford Academy to help it improve.

The River Learning Trust, which runs schools including The Cherwell in Summertown, is already supporting the academy following the 'inadequate' Ofsted rating.

Its chief executive Paul James said: "RLT has agreed in principle to welcome The Oxford Academy into its family of fantastic secondary and primary schools.

"The trust is working closely with the Department for Education with the aim that The Oxford Academy can join later this academic year.

"We are glad to have been able to support some immediate and necessary improvements following the Ofsted inspection in November."

He said the school is 'already in a better place', and that safeguarding and behaviour had been urgently addressed.

Mr James said: "In practice, the school is now receiving the levels of expert support from RLT that it can expect when it formally becomes part of the trust.

"This means that students at the school and their parents are starting to see the benefits right now as we work closely with the new, experienced leadership.

"I would say to those same students and parents that we are determined to make this work for them, because it simply has to work.

"We welcome the opportunities and challenges that exist at The Oxford Academy, because making children and young people’s lives better is what motivates us."

Following the publication of an Ofsted inspection report on The Oxford Academy, which has been found to be ‘inadequate’, a spokesperson for Oxfordshire County Council said:

“Oxfordshire County Council became aware of concerns about children’s safety at The Oxford Academy in November and acted immediately by sending staff with safeguarding expertise to support the school.

As the school is an academy, the county council’s has no direct responsibility for school performance. We believe the former school leaders and governors of the school are accountable for the findings in the Ofsted report.

The safety and welfare of children and young people are of paramount importance to the county council. As the school is now in ‘special measures’, we are providing appropriate support and appropriate challenge to the new interim head teacher and new interim academy board to ensure that safeguarding issues that Ofsted identified are dealt with quickly and thoroughly.

The county council and the new school leadership are all determined that necessary improvements will be made quickly.”