EXACTLY a year ago Oxford Academy was slated as the worst performing secondary school in the county.

This year, the school, in Sandy Lane West, has seen its GCSE results jump 16 percentage points.

In 2012 only 26 per cent of pupils achieved five A* to C grades, including English and maths, but Department for Education figures released today confirm last summer’s exams reached 42 per cent – the biggest increase by a school in the city of Oxford.

The school was put into special measures by Ofsted last January, and is still being monitored.

Oxford Academy is sponsored by the Diocese of Oxford, the Beecroft Trust and Oxford Brookes University.

Anne Davey, the diocese’s director of education, said the school had taken many steps to improve results.

One action it took was to shorten lessons from 100 minutes to 60 minutes to keep learning “sharp”, and the school’s governance was re-structured.

Mrs Davey said: “It is very significant for us. Seeing the students’ faces on results day was just amazing.

“The main thing we have done is raise aspirations across the whole community about the potential the young people here have.

“We have great teachers who meet the need of every child in the school.”

Next month Niall McWilliams, the current headteacher at Carterton Community College, will take up the helm giving the school a permanent headteacher.

David Brown was appointed last January as interim head.