Bicester Community College on road to improvement

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Bicester Community College is ‘making reasonable progress’ towards getting out of special measures, according to the latest monitoring report by Ofsted.

The Queens Avenue college was put into special measures in February when inspectors who visited in December rated the college ‘inadequate’ in all areas.

The most recent monitoring report, due to be published in the next couple of days, shows improvement with inspectors citing the success of the on-going partnership with neighbouring Cooper School and the ‘relentless’ focus of new headteacher Tony Rushworth as key factors in driving improvements.

It also praised the vision of the appointed Interim Executive Board (IEB) of governors and noted significant improvements in both staff morale and students’ engagement in learning. The report also said although the marking of students’ books was more regular and consistent, expectations of presentation could be better.

It added English and science students’ work was regularly checked and progress was evaluated, but that was not a consistent feature in other subjects.

Mr Rushworth, who joined the college in September, said the hard work and commitment of his staff had created a ‘real buzz’ around the college.

He added: “The collaboration between the Cooper School and Bicester Community College has been a fantastic success alongside great support from Bob Wintringham and the IEB.

“We hope this collaboration can continue for the benefit of the whole town as there is still work to be done to ensure our new way of working becomes the norm over the long term. We are all very positive about the college’s future and working hard to ensure we are taken out of special measures at the next visit.”