Rushden Community College is to become an academy after linking up with a sponsor which is supported by national retailer John Lewis.
The Education Fellowship (TEF), based in Titchmarsh, will offer the school access to experienced academics and connections to universities, businesses and independent schools across the county.
The John Lewis Partnership is supporting the fellowship and is offering access to its management training facilities to staff and pupils.
College governors decided to make the move at a recent meeting, and headteacher Mark Lester described it as “an enormously positive step”.
He said: “It’s going to ensure that we are giving the best opportunities to young people in this area. Academy status is about giving young people opportunities. This will include opportunities in sports, arts and music.”
Chairman of governors Alan Dodds said: “We want the best for our students. We think this will allow the school to become stronger – we want our students to do as well as they possibly can. The school has improved enormously in the past few years.”
Sir Ewan Harper, executive chairman of the fellowship, said: “The college has many exciting features, and we bring a strong and experienced team of people who will help build on these so that it achieves its goal of becoming a truly outstanding school.”