The Croydon-born man behind the plan to turn Coulsdon High into a Christian-run academy has spoken of his intentions after the council approved his takeover.

From September Coulsdon High will form part of the Oasis Academy programme, an umbrella group of the Oasis Foundation UK and the brainchild of Reverend Steve Chalke.

Oasis Academies are opening up across the country with the support of local authorities as well as residents.

There were fears over the academy plan and some opposition from parents. Questions were also raised about why the school's recent recovery appeared to have been overlooked.

But the council said 80 per cent of people who took part in a consultation were in favour of the plan.

Speaking from Rome, Rev Chalke said: "The decision to step in and help Coulsdon High was a logical progression from all our other work. I was born in Croydon and have run projects similar to this all over the world. When the opportunity arose to give something back to Croydon I jumped at the chance."

Feedback from 130 questionnaires filled out by residents showed 81 per cent were strongly in favour of the Oasis takeover.

Rev Chalke went on to say the centre will not just be for children and young adults but for parents too.

"Over the next few years a lot of money will be spent on expanding the current facilities of the school, we intend to build a new gym as well as roll out the post-16 programme.

"This programme has been set up not only for what were once sixth-form students but for parents as well. As part of a wider community cohesion scheme we intend to run adult education classes alongside classes designed to help parents and adults with problems like healthier living and family issues."

Kay Cleary, Coulsdon High's chairman of governors, said: "Coulsdon High School is a successful school. From September 2008 it will be Oasis' responsibility to build on this success and ensure that the rapid improvements already made continue so that all students reach their full potential."