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Last Updated: Friday, 23 April, 2004, 05:42 GMT 06:42 UK
School may become 'city academy'
Bexley Academy
Bexley Academy in south-east London was the first city academy
Secondary students in north Oxfordshire may be offered more vocational subjects based on a teaching model from the US, under new plans for education.

Proposals suggest turning Drayton School, Banbury, into a "city academy", which were introduced by the government four years ago.

The government sees the academies as a fresh start for failing schools, giving pupils a better start in the workplace.

The first academy opened in Bexhill, south-east London, in 2002.

School merger plan

Further sites opened in Liverpool and Middlesbrough and three more are planned for the Birmingham area.

Under the city academy initiative, sponsors such as local businesses invest in the building or modernisation of school premises while the state meets essential running costs.

It is an idea which borrows heavily from a concept born in the United States.

Other plans being considered by the council for the future of Banbury's secondary education include the merger of Drayton School with Oxford and Cherwell College.

Plans to close Drayton or join it with other Banbury schools were rejected last autumn.

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