An 'exciting' new step as school becomes academy

Wheatley C of E Primary School’s headteacher Joan Morters with Bishop of Dorchester Colin Fletcher on Monday

Wheatley C of E Primary School’s headteacher Joan Morters with Bishop of Dorchester Colin Fletcher on Monday

First published in News The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Education Reporter, also covering West Oxford. Call me on (01865) 425437

ALMOST two years after the idea was originally conceived, a primary school has finally become an academy.

Wheatley C of E Primary School came under the auspices of the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust (ODST) on March 1.

The school floated the idea in 2012, but as the site is a large multi-facility – with a separate nursery and John Watson Special School on the location – it took longer to make the change.

Headteacher Joan Morters said she was pleased the school had finally made the move.

The school in Littleworth Road, Wheatley, which has about 300 children, was put into special measures in 2010 and last month was rated good.

Ms Morters said: “It has been really great to become an academy again. The legal side took a while.

“It really won’t make much of a difference to the children or the parents. Now it will just mean that we will swap Oxfordshire County Council as the Local Education Authority for the ODST.

“We are already part of a partnership of schools in connection with the secondary school [Wheatley Park] but now we will have a whole new and exciting partnership with the ODST schools as well.”

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On Monday the school was visited by the Bishop of Dorchester Colin Fletcher.

Ms Morters said some concerns were raised by parents that the school would become more religious after the move, but she moved to quash this.

She said: “We are a Church of England school and in my eight years here we have been visited by the Bishop on about two occasions, and while he did come on Monday, it is not as if anything is going to change.”

Talking about the progress the school has made since it was put into special measures, she said: “We were told in 2012 we were rated what was then known as satisfactory. We were visited again this year just before becoming an academy and were thrilled to find out we were now rated good.

“I think we are likely to be visited again in the next two years as Ofsted does like to come around quickly. Next time we hope to be rated outstanding.”

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