Esher Church School has been given the go-ahead to become an academy.

Academy schools are given freedoms from state control, including autonomy over their finances, curriculum, term dates and the length of the school day.

About half of all secondary school in the country and now academy trusts but only about one in 10 primary schools have made the move so far.

Headteacher Cathy Bell said: "We spoke to other schools that have made the leap and did a lot of work to look at the evidence on what it could mean for our children if we converted, as well as consulting parents and staff.

"What came across was the excitement and energy that would be generated by achieving greater responsibilities and freedoms. Other schools that had become academies mentioned this.

"It feels like a natural progression for us to take more responsibility for our own affairs. We think we know what works and want to innovate, while maintaining absolutely the Christian ethos of the school."

The school has more than 400 pupils and was rated outstanding by Ofsted at its last inspection. The move to academy will take effect this month.

Dominic Raab, MP for Esher and Walton, said: "Academy status allows local schools to tailor what they do for the best interests of the pupils and community that they know far better than a bureaucrat in Whitehall.

"It's a tremendous pioneering step for Esher Church School. I know how hard they've work for it and I'm sure they'll go from strength to strength.

Salim Mohamed, chairman of governors at the school, said: "We are delighted that they school is to become a single academy trust. We have undertaken an immense amount of due diligence to ensure academy status is the right decision for the school as the educational landscape changes."