A SPECIAL school in Bicester has relinquished local authority control to become an academy.

Bardwell School is no longer run by Oxfordshire County Council, and has instead joined The Gallery Trust, which already runs The Iffley Academy in Oxford and is growing its network of academies.

The school's academy conversion letter was published on Ofsted's website last week, making the process official.

ALSO READ: Hundreds of special school places needed in Oxfordshire

Bardwell teaches about 80 pupils aged 2 - 19, who have special educational needs.

It was last visited by Ofsted in July, when it was rated 'good' and inspectors said school leaders are 'relentless in their pursuit of high achievement for all pupils.'

The Gallery Trust runs outstanding-rated Iffley Academy, which is Oxfordshire's largest special school.

The academy is being rebuilt on its current site, and it is hoped that pupils will move into their new, more modern buildings in April 2020.

ALSO READ: £9m plan unveiled to demolish and rebuild The Iffley Academy

It will also run 100-pupil Bloxham Grove Academy, a new special school co-located with The Warriner School in Bloxham, which could open by 2020.

Bardwell School has been added to The Gallery Trust's schools list on its website, which also reveals that it hopes to take on Springfield School in Witney in November this year.

Its website adds: "The Gallery Trust is in consultation with another special school who is interested in joining the trust."