Thank you for your report on the proposal for a Super Academy for four- to 18-year-olds in Oxford.

Everyone associated with St Christopher’s Primary school is stunned by this plan.

The school has a long history in Cowley and is well regarded by the community.

The school has high quality purpose-built facilities having had a rebuild in 1996 when the Ofsted inspection described the school as having an attractive and imaginative learning environment.

The school then had another new phase of major building following the decision to close the middle schools. These facilities have only been used for a few years and one classroom was added only this year.

How can it make any sense to even suggest that the school should be relocated for a merger with Oxford School? The school is close to the community it serves.

Why would parents want to travel further and to a site shared and dominated by older pupils?

Young children respond to a smaller more intimate learning environment. What benefit could there be for them to be on such a large campus?

Ofsted gave the school a low grade in the recent inspection; however, since then, this year’s SAT results show an overall improvement in both Key Stage One and Two. Interesting is it not that the inspection should have occurred just a few weeks before the results were reported, and that, having declared the school to be failing, the county council now has the power to impose an Interim Executive Board on the school which will have only two members of the school’s own Governors represented? The elected parent, foundation and community governors will effectively be disenfranchised.

At a national level, the success of the Academies programme is dubious at best. Even official evaluations such as the National Audit office 2007 cast serious doubt about results, the role of sponsors and cost effectiveness.

Before moving forward in developing another academy, should there not be a full evaluation of Oxford Academy (Peers). Has a new uniform and a new name made any difference to academic performance, the justification for the change ?

While advocating diversity in the provision of schools this Government has also laid great stress on parental choice. It is surely up to the parents and community of St Christopher’s to be able to decide the future for their children. They must not be rail-roaded into a merger they do not want.

Kathy Turner (Former Headteacher St Christopher’s Primary School 1988-2005) Old Road, Headington, Oxford