Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust continues to grow

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THREE new schools have joined the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust. Burford School was the first community school to convert to become a Diocesan Academy late last year.

The Batt CE School and St Mary’s CE Infant School, both in Witney, have also both recently signed up. The trust now has 16 schools.

A special assembly at Burford marked the start of the school’s life as a Diocesan Academy. Anne Davey, Director of Education for the Diocese, David Locke, Chief Operating Officer and Suzanne Lane, School Link Adviser, from ODST joined the celebration, as well as governors and parents. In a letter to the school, the Prime Minister and Witney MP David Cameron wrote: “Academies form an integral part of our education policy and it is fantastic to see the progress made by academies in my constituency.”

Key Stage One children sang a French song, Salut! Ça va?, with Key Stage Two ringing handbells to celebrate in traditional style, followed by the singing of Thank your Lucky Stars. To demonstrate the process of change, from old to new, Year 5 and 6 children read their own versions of Just So Stories.

At St Mary’s, Witney, children wrote blessings for their classrooms and Anne Davey presented the ODST plaque in a celebratory assembly. Head teacher, Sam King said: “I am delighted that St Mary’s has become part of the ODST family and I am looking forward to working with the trust to make St Mary’s the best it can be for its pupils present and future.”

ODST was set up in 2012 to offer a meaningful partnership where schools can share best practice and work in support of one another with

Children celebrate at St Mary’s, Witney as their school joins ODST. Photo: David Cousins.

Children celebrate at St Mary’s, Witney as their school joins ODST.
Photo: David Cousins.

Jenny Dyer, headteacher at Burford, and handyman Rod Blake, whose grandchild is a pupil, take pride in putting the ODST plaque up Photo: David Locke.

Jenny Dyer, headteacher at Burford, and handyman Rod Blake, whose grandchild is a pupil, take pride in putting the ODST plaque up Photo: David Locke.

the added benefit of the central resources provided by the Diocese.