ACADEMY status will bring "endless possibilities" to St Katherine’s Primary School, according to its head teacher Niki Jones as it becomes an independent school.

The Marlborough primary school has joined academy trust Excalibur as it begins its new role within the academy chain.

Academies are independent state funded schools that are overseen by charitable bodies known as academy trusts.

St Katherine’s has become part of academy chain Excalibur Academies Trust which was founded in 2012.

Excalibur is now a multi-academy trust which oversees a number of primary and secondary schools including St John’s Marlborough secondary and Burbage Primary School.

Speaking following the grand opening of the school, located next to St Katherine’s church in Marlborough, head teacher Niki Jones, said: “For the pupils the possibilities are endless. We will carry out lots of projects in areas such as sports and creative arts to allow pupils from different academies to meet up.

“It felt natural to join with Excalibur because their other schools are ones we are already doing a lot of collaboration with.

“Support from local authorities is decreasing and so this was a great opportunity for us to share resources and benefit from being part of this grouping."

The head teacher added that moving to become part of the trust would lead to improved opportunities for staff keen to progress their careers.

She added: “We are really lucky that this is a happy place to work but for career steps it can be limited.

"Some of our staff will now be able to carry out training in the other schools and it will help with retaining talent."

The process to become an academy took the school around 12 months, during which time consultations between governors and school staff took place.

Academies receive all funding straight from central government as opposed to through local authorities, which gives more power to head teachers and governors to dictate how money is spent.

The Government originally planned to make every school in England an academy by 2020 but the plan was abandoned in May 2016 after strong criticism from teachers' unions and MPs opposing the proposal.