A WEST Swindon school is making a bid to try and raise the standards of education across the town.

In September, Lydiard Park Academy applied to the Department of Education to form a Multi Academy Trust.

If successful it would mean Lydiard could be the lead school and take several others under its wings to help them improve.

The school, led by principal Clive Zimmerman, is the top performing school for GCSE results in Swindon, with 68 per cent of pupils receiving five or more A* to C qualifications.

Across the town however, the number of pupils achieving this government standard is falling, with Swindon in the bottom quarter of all authorities nationally. One named school failed to reach 40 per cent of pupils receiving the five qualifications.

This trend has concerned many but with many schools now outside of local government control and standalone academies there is no quick solution.

It is hoped this approach will be able to help at least some schools.

Clive said: “Many schools are now academies and while some have done well, others have struggled without the support networks in place.

“At Lydiard we have a bank of experienced and qualified staff members who are committed to increasing standards.

“We believe we can use that to help others. I would argue that we are in an average area in that we have pupils from a range of backgrounds. This puts us in a good position to understand the best ways to get results.”

The concept of MATs is not a new one but there are none in Swindon.

No school is forced to join the new arrangement so they have to put themselves forward but Clive believes there are a number of advantages which could help the schools.

He said: “I think this is a good idea. There is only so much central government can do to help local schools.

“This way, schools will have support from a local network which understands the context they are operating in.

"What it would mean is we effectively invite other schools to come see if they want to join and see how we can work together.”

No decision has been made yet by the government, with the school expecting to hear back in the next couple of months as to whether they have been successful.

A consultation has been held with parents and other stakeholders on the plan and has received a positive response.