A VILLAGE school rated 'inadequate' last year has been taken over as part of its efforts to improve.

Blewbury CE Primary School has become part of Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust, which runs more than 30 academies in Oxfordshire and beyond.

The 160-pupil school, in Blewbury near Didcot, was given Ofsted's bottom rating in March and placed in special measures, and made to convert into an academy.

This took control away from Oxfordshire County Council, and a multi-academy trust was sought to take it on.

ALSO READ: School rated 'inadequate' over bad behaviour and 'failures'

Anne Dellar, chief executive of the trust (ODST), said: "Blewbury is a welcome addition to the ODST family of schools, and we are well placed to support it.

"ODST’s purpose is to provide children with a high-quality education, while encouraging schools to keep their unique identity, and we are very committed to ensuring Blewbury offers this for its community."

A joint statement from the school's headteacher Becky Costello, and chair of governors Kevin Moyes, said the takeover marked an 'evolution' for the school.

They added: "The school looks forward to being part of the ODST family of schools, sharing expertise and supporting each other.

"So far, we have worked closely with the trust on developing teaching, learning and leadership, and we look forward to seeing the impact of this over the coming terms."

The school officially joined the trust in December and marked the occasion with a special assembly last week.

Professor Roger Murphy, Blewbury’s lead governor for community engagement, said joining the trust presented a range of ‘new opportunities and expertise’.

ALSO READ: Oxford Diocese's school trust set to resume expansion

The school will work with good and outstanding-rated ODST neighbours, including Northbourne CE Primary School in Didcot and The Hendreds’ CE Primary School near Wantage.

It is the 35th school to join the multi-academy trust, which is the largest in Oxfordshire in terms of numbers of schools.

A statement from the trust added: "We have a strong track record of school improvement and more than 90 per cent of our schools are now rated good or outstanding by Ofsted.

"Our ethos is one of empowerment – our schools serve their unique communities in the way they know best, with support from ODST to ensure they have what they need to deliver this for pupils."

ALSO READ: Latest Ofsted report for 'inadequate' Blewbury

Concerns raised in the initial inspection included weaknesses in teaching and some poor behaviour, and a 'haphazard approach' to some school policies.

It highlighted a fall in standards since the school was rated 'good' in 2015.

Ofsted visited Blewbury for a check-up inspection in October, and concluded that it was 'taking effective action' to improve.

Inspectors wrote: "Leaders wasted no time in addressing the shortcomings in safeguarding systems identified.

"Decisive and swift action was taken to improve checks on staff, record keeping and filing systems and to make appropriate modifications to the buildings and grounds.

"Leaders worked tirelessly over the summer to develop outline planning for a broader and richer curriculum for all pupils."