TEN primaries were yesterday named as likely to be turned into sponsored academies because they have consistently fallen below Government standards.

Representatives from the seven city and three county primary schools were called to a crunch meeting last week on how to manage the switch from local education authority control.

County Hall said in Oxford, John Henry Newman, Bayards Hill, Orchard Meadow, Larkrise, St Nicholas, Church Cowley and Windale primaries and in the county Berinsfield, Middle Barton and Orchard Fields schools had consistently failed to meet “floor standards” for Key Stage 2 tests taken at the end of Year 6.

Education secretary Michael Gove has said he would turn such schools into sponsored academies to drive up standards and yesterday was the first time these 10 were formally named as likely to make the transition.

Oxfordshire County Council said it believed the schools would be best off partnered with other secondary schools becoming academies or grouping together as multi-academy trusts.

Spokesman Paul Smith said: “These would involve several schools working with a single sponsor because they have a proven track record in delivering quick and real improvements.”

Sponsors, which could be businesses, charities, religious organisations or more successful schools, have yet been identified.

Schools are below the floor standard if fewer than 60 per cent of pupils achieve level 4 in English and maths in Key Stage 2 tests, and make less than average progress in both subjects.

Literacy rates in Oxford are among the worst in the country at both Key Stage 1 and 2.

Oxfordshire schools improvement cabinet member Melinda Tilley said: “The Government has set out the method through which change will occur at these schools. We therefore need to move on from that decision and focus our energies on making the change to academy status happen as smoothly as possible.

“What we want is a local solution – we don’t really want to be told we have to do it by Government.

“The council is determined to work with the education establishment to create a bright new future.

“Oxfordshire’s attainment levels are not good enough. That is absolutely clear. Local education authorities have less power in law to affect performance in schools than ever before. That doesn’t mean we can’t work with the Government to influence and encourage change for the better.”

It is understood the DfE has already contacted John Henry Newman, Windale and Berinsfield schools about becoming sponsored academies.