A FAILING primary school will get a new start when it reopens this summer as an academy, led by an outstanding school in a neighbouring town.

Rosa Street Primary School, in Spennymoor, County Durham, is being forced to convert to academy status following the intervention of Ofsted.

Cleves Cross Learning Trust, which runs Cleves Cross Primary, in Ferryhill, will sponsor the new academy.

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The Department for Education has already approved the move and the conversion is expected to be formalised by September 1, ahead of the next school year.

Directors of Cleves Cross Learning Trust began working with Rosa Street’s governing body soon after it was placed in special measures.

Inspectors who visited Rosa Street last June described its overall effectiveness as inadequate, said pupils did not get an acceptable standard of education and leaders had not shown the capacity to turn things around.

Durham County Council and the school’s governing body objected to many of the findings but after losing an appeal an academy order was made, forcing the change.

It is anticipated that Rosa Street will keep its governing body and Cleves Cross headteacher Alison Lazenby will become executive head of both schools.

She said: “Our new relationship, following their conversion to sponsored academy status, gives a new start for Rosa Street and will formalise the work we are currently doing.

“This will ensure that the improvements already underway within the school gain further momentum and pace in the coming year.

“We look forward to building up a strong and successful partnership with Rosa Street's community, pupils and parents and continue the journey to take Rosa Street out of special measures and provide the quality of education that all children deserve.

“We will share good practice, staff and curriculum expertise and build on the strengths that Rosa Street already has.”

Cleves Cross has not had an Ofsted inspection since it became an academy last November but its most recent report, in 2009, described it as outstanding.

Mrs Lazenby believes Cleves Cross will also benefit from the move - as valued staff will have more opportunities to continue professional development within the trust.

And in the future pupils from both schools could meet up for trips and special events.

She said: “I hope we get a good strong partnership going.

“I’m really looking forward to making it more formal, it is an exciting time.”