WHEN Wood Green School in Witney was judged to be inadequate by Ofsted last year, it sent shockwaves throughout the town.

It has always been well regarded by parents and the wider community, so for it to be put in special measures did not appear to be in keeping with how it was viewed.

Exam results had dropped since 2010 but after the school gained its best GCSE results for the number of pupils getting at least five A* to C grades, including English and maths last summer, it looks to be back on track. Becoming an academy is the next step.

Governors and headteacher Rob Shadbolt say they have worked vigorously to pick the right partner, Challenge Partners, and hope to use it as a platform to achieve its long-term goal of again becoming an outstanding school.

Across the country, many schools are taking the same route and it can open up more opportunities for funding. Academies have their opponents, with some concerned about a loss of accountability, but this could be an exciting new era for Wood Green.

It will be the first school in Challenge Partners’ new academies trust and can also learn from the other 250 schools in the educational charity’s network.

The school hopes to be out of special measures by early next year.

That will be the short-term goal achieved, but converting it to an academy could help it realise its long-term targets.