ISAMBARD School will from September be known as Abbey Park School and pupils will be smartly attired in a brand new uniform.

Staff at Isambard have spoken of their excitement about plans for the school after its recent merger with Lydiard Park Academy in a Multi-Academy Trust.

Clive Zimmerman, executive principal of The Park Academies Trust, is keen to usher in a brand new era for the school and he is confident it can be a huge success.

Mr Zimmerman said: “We want two strong schools working together, sharing resources and a sixth form, and teaching students to very high levels.

“Teachers from both schools will work closely together to ensure everyone is teaching at the same standard and then we can settle on that being the trust’s natural standard.”

The merger occurred after Swindon Borough Council asked Lydiard Park Academy to welcome Isambard into The Park Academies Trust following the latter’s poor Ofsted report last year.

Head of LPA Mr Zimmerman entered into talks with Isambard in November.

Speaking about Isambard’s new name and uniform policy, Mr Zimmerman said: “Much of the land in North Swindon was originally part of the Blunsdon Abbey estate. The name very much reflects the history of the local area and the fact that a large section of the land in this district is park land.

“Changing the uniform to a blazer and tie in September is, I think, a really important move. We want to encourage our students to be smart and to have a more professional attitude towards their studies.

“One of my proudest moments at LPA was seeing the pupils walking down the road in new uniforms. It gave the whole school a real lift and we hope to see the same thing here.”

The school has even announced its willingness to help parents with the costs of the new uniform, as Mr Zimmerman recognised how some parents could struggle with the added expense.

Jon Young, operational principal at the soon-to-be Abbey Park School, echoed Mr Zimmerman’s hopes for the school and for the new opportunities presented to students.

He said: “The partnership has worked really well so far and I’m very much looking forward to seeing it grow. It has its challenges, and there is still a lot to do, but we are very optimistic.

“The students are great. They are a really good bunch of children who are keen to learn and to see the school succeed.”

Speaking about how the changes have so far been received, Mr Zimmerman said: “We have really supportive responses from parents and pupils. Every community wants a successful school in their area and we see ourselves providing that.

“We are only a few months into it the partnership, but we are confident it can be a success. The idea isn’t to make the schools clones of each other, but to ensure the highest standards are reached in both.”