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A LIFELINE to keep a failing school from closing has been welcomed by the newly-elected MP for Reading East.

Matt Rodda was delighted to discover Oxfordshire councillors would not be recommending to close Chiltern Edge School, which houses more than 400 Reading students.

The Sonning Common school was slammed by Ofsted and branded 'inadequate' by education watchdogs, which led to Oxfordshire County Council considering whether or not to keep the school open.

The Labour politician said he was pleased to learn that the neighbouring council would not be closing the school, but Chiltern Edge leaders have been given a matter of months to make key changes.

Mr Rodda said: “This is a great step forward for the school. I think the important thing to focus on is the future.

“Chiltern Edge is a much loved school with a strong reputation for special needs and it has a new head, Moira Green, who has a strong track record of improving schools.”

Councillors recently recommended not to close the school at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, much to the relief of 'Save our Edge' campaigners and nervous parents.

It has been suggested that Chiltern Edge could remain open, but be turned into an academy as part of the Maiden Erlegh Trust.

The MP for Reading East added: “We need to put an end to the speculation about the school possibly closing. I think the really important thing is for Reading and Oxfordshire to work together on this matter.

“There is a great sense of respect in what the school has done, particularly in the special needs aspect and a lot of parents think that the Ofsted report has been somewhat unfair.

“I am looking forward to a good partnership between Oxfordshire and Reading. I just want the school to succeed; that's the most important thing.”