Special measures primary set to become academy with top backing

Cutteslowe headteacher Jon Graywith Year Six pupils, from left, Hayley Tse, Holly Downing, Zane Ladhani and Idil Mignon and plans for the new school buildings

Cutteslowe headteacher Jon Graywith Year Six pupils, from left, Hayley Tse, Holly Downing, Zane Ladhani and Idil Mignon and plans for the new school buildings

First published in Education Herald Series: Photograph of the Author by

A SCHOOL that went into special measures at the beginning of the year looks set to become an academy sponsored by one of Oxford’s top schools.

The Oxford Mail reported earlier this year that Cutteslowe Primary School, in Wren Road, hoped to team up with outstanding-rated Cherwell School, Marston Ferry Road, in an attempt to drive up standards.

Now Cherwell, which became an academy in April, has agreed in principle to sponsor its primary cousin, and has been approved as a potential sponsor by the Department for Education.

The news comes as Cutteslowe is getting ready for a £2.5m building project that will see it almost double in size.

Headteacher Jon Gray said: “The exciting thing for us is we are likely to get a six-figure increase in funding.

“One of the issues we have here is resources, due to mismanagement for a number of years, so we need things like reading books and maths equipment which this will help with.

“It’s basic stuff like that, but also to pay for staff from Cherwell to be able to support us.”

A consultation with parents and interested parties was 100 per cent in favour of the school becoming an academy linked to Cherwell.

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Mr Gray said: “I feel very positive about the future. Having Cherwell, a group of people who understand the locality, is very positive.

“Traditionally children from Cutteslowe haven’t done that well at Cherwell which is one of the reasons for them wanting to get involved. If they get a good education here, they will do better when they reach secondary school.”

He said an extra 10 families put the school down as their first preference for September 2012.

Mr Gray said: “We are starting to change perceptions but I think the biggest thing will be when our results improve and we get a good Ofsted.”

He said he aimed for the school to be outstanding within five years.

Six new classrooms, a new administration block, special educational needs rooms, an ICT area, and a medical bay are being built, along with refurbishment inside.

Work is due to finish by September 2013 and the school will expand from 220 pupils to 420.

The bid to become an academy is now being considered by the Government and if approved, the school is likely to convert next January.

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