THE headteachers of Didcot Girls’ School and St Birinus School are mounting a joint bid to run a new academy in the town.

A new secondary school has to be created to deal with the pupils who will move into the 3,300-home Great Western Park development.

Some homes have already been built off the A4130 and it is expected that the new school will open by 2016.

Now Rachael Warwick, headteacher of Didcot Girls’ School, and Alwyn Richards, headteacher of St Birinus, have joined forces with Teresa Kelly, principal of Abingdon and Witney College to prepare a bid to the Department for Education to run the co-educational school.

The headteachers of the two Didcot schools believe that impressive recent exam results have put them in a good position to take it on.

Following a meeting at St Birinus School to discuss the plan, Ms Warwick said: “A third secondary school in Didcot is going to happen sooner rather than later and we are very interested in trying to create and run a third school and put a bid in through the tendering process to run it.

“The new school would have to be an academy whatever form it took and our strength lies in our knowledge of the local community.

“Abingdon and Witney College could provide good quality vocational education alongside the more traditional academic offer.

“It’s very early days, but the aim is to create a trust which would allow us to set up the new school as an academy.”

Ms Warwick said there would be a joint governance structure across Didcot Girls’ School, St Birinus and the new school, but added that the new school would have its own principal and staff to deal with day-to-day management.

She said the public would be consulted on the proposal next spring before a bid was submitted to the Department for Education in the autumn.

A decision would then be made on who would run the new school in early 2013, before it opened in 2016.

Mr Richards added: “Nothing is set in stone yet but this is a very exciting opportunity.

“Both schools have been getting good results and there is a feelgood factor in place. We will work very closely with staff at Abingdon and Witney College who can bring in their own expertise.”

County council spokesman Marcus Mabberley said: “A tender process would be undertaken where interested parties would be invited to submit their bids.

“A consultation process would be held to determine what the local community would want from a new school. As the school would be an academy, it therefore would not be under the control of the county council.”

Last month it emerged that Didcot Girls’ School and St Birinus School were among the most improved schools in the county at GCSE over the past three years.

Didcot Girls’ School saw the second biggest increase from 2009 to 2011 in pupils achieving five A* to Cs, including English and maths, with an average annual increase of 7.3 percentage points. And St Birinus was not far behind, with an average increase of 6.95 percentage points.