THE future of Oxford School will be decided by the Government, after county education chiefs made a remarkable move to oust its divided board of governors.

Oxfordshire County Council is so concerned that weak leadership and infighting among governors is hampering the school’s progress, it has asked Education Secretary Ed Balls for the Government to seize complete control and parachute in its own team.

It is the first time County Hall has applied to install an interim executive board at a secondary school. If its plans are approved it would take control away from parent and community governors.

Last night the existing governing body said it believed it was best placed to take the school forward, and said it would write to the Government explaining why it should remain in control.

County councillor Larry Sanders, who was elected as the school’s new chairman of governors on Wednesday night, said: “The school is a good school, which is getting better, and this year’s exam results were extremely good.

“The governors have played a full role in every step of that and we are perfectly ready, willing and able to lead the school.

“It is hard to see why the governors should be abolished.”

Fellow governor and city councillor Nuala Young said: “We have a very competent group of governors in terms of skills and expertise, who are very committed to the well-being of the school and keeping it in the community.”

This year, 35 per cent of pupils achieved five A* to C grades at GCSE including English and maths – a rise of 12 percentage points, taking the school above the Government’s 30 per cent benchmark.

County Hall’s move for control of Oxford School follows the resignation of chairman of governors Chris Ballinger and six other members of the 15-strong board.

In a letter, Mr Ballinger said the governing body was unable “to act as a cohesive and corporate body.”

His resignation followed a formal warning notice issued on September 9, in which the council criticised the board’s governance.

County council spokesman Paul Smith said the authority wanted to install an interim executive board because Oxford School’s existing governing body was “unable to provide strategic leadership for the school and focus its energies on the core business of school improvement”.

Anna Thorne who has twins at the school, said: “I can’t see the benefit of this, because the governing body managed the school in a year where pupils got their best results ever.”

Headteacher Maurice Dixon declined to comment.

County Hall is waiting to hear from the Government about controversial plans to transform the school into an academy.