Two schools have been given the green light to become an academy.
The Cooper School and neighbouring Glory Farm Primary School will become Bicester Learning Academy on July 1. The two schools are already in a federation partnership.
Cooper School headteacher, Ben Baxter, said: “I am pleased the conversion has been given the go ahead not just by the governing body but also by the Department for Education. This has been a lengthy and difficult process but as conversion date approaches both schools can look forward with vigour to the future.
“I believe this is the right step for the two schools as conversion will give us the autonomy to shape the education of our students without constrictions imposed by the local authority.”
He added schools which did not convert to academies were at risk of ‘external sponsoring agencies coming in and taking over.’
He said: “Our vision for our pupils and students remains the same – to offer every child regardless of background the opportunity to learn to the best of their ability.”
The proposal to convert was voted on at a recent meeting of the joint governing body of the two schools. The academy has been registered at Companies House as a charitable company limited by guarantee.
Ian Elkington, headteacher at Glory Farm Primary School said: “Bicester is a town which is growing rapidly and it is important education grows at the same pace making optimum use of today’s, and tomorrow’s, technology.
“Our two schools already benefit from a strong partnership and we will use this opportunity to increase impetus in striving to gain even higher standards of pupil/student achievement and wellbeing.”
He added the academy would continue to work with other local schools.
Both schools will retain their separate identities and their own uniforms. As an academy they must submit fully audited company accounts and annual report to Companies House.
Academies are independent, state-funded schools, which receive their funding directly from central government, rather than through a local authority.