Plans for Tilstock Primary School to convert to academy status have taken a leap forward with confirmation the Marches Academy Trust will be the preferred sponsor.

The school, which recently celebrated a vastly-improved Ofsted report, has been under the control of an Interim Executive Board (IEB) with acting headteacher Nicola Brayford turning the school around.

Tilstock Primary has had its sponsored academy conversion application approved and will now enter into a stakeholder consultation period running from last week until Monday, September 11.

Sarah Longville, executive headteacher of the Marches Academy Trust – which has nearby Sir John Talbots in its portfolio – is looking forward to the future.

“We place young people at the centre of all that we do and feel strongly academies should enhance the educational provision of an area,” she said.

“We are excited by the benefits more formalised collaborative working could bring and the prospect of greater opportunities for the young people of the Whitchurch area.”

The Department of Education (DfE) approached the Marches Multi-Academy Trust, requesting its agreement to sponsor Tilstock CE Primary School’s application to become an academy.

Paul Nicholson, chair of IEB, said: “The board and staff of Tilstock CE School are very pleased that a period of uncertainty in the school’s future has come to an end with the announcement of its sponsorship by the Marches Academy Trust.

“We are all delighted with the positive opportunities this will bring to support the continued improvement of the quality of education the school provides for all its pupils.”

A consultation meeting will be held on Monday, September 11 at 6pm when parents, carers and interested parties will be welcome to attend.