‘Taking school out of special measures is my first target’

New permanent headteacher Tony Rushworth, left, and chairman of the interim executive board Bob Wintringham

New permanent headteacher Tony Rushworth, left, and chairman of the interim executive board Bob Wintringham

First published in News by

THE new headteacher at a Bicester secondary school is “determined” to lead it out of special measures.

Tony Rushworth has been interim headteacher at Bicester Community College since last September and was last week given the permanent role.

He has pledged to make a “success” of the Queens Avenue school and says he is “completely determined” to lead it out of special measures.

Last January the school was placed in special measures after a damning Ofsted report.

Inspectors rated achievement, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management as inadequate.

A follow-up inspection in December said the school was moving in the right direction, but remained in special measures.

Teaching across six subjects was rated as “inspirational”, relationships between staff and pupils were positive and students told inspectors they were now “proud” to say they attended the school.

Ofsted inspectors were back this week for an interim inspection and a report is due to be published within weeks.

Mr Rushworth, who was on secondment from his role of deputy head at Cooper School, in Churchill Road, said: “We will work 24-7 to ensure this happens.”

Of his new role, Mr Rushworth said: “I am delighted to be the new headteacher of Bicester Community College and for the faith placed in me by the whole of the board.

“It is a dream job with a fantastic staff team and a tremendous group of students who are totally committed to the success of the school.”

He said over the past nine months the school has made “great progress” and has been supported by the interim board of governors and a close link with Cooper School and head Ben Baxter.

Mr Rushworth believes “the future looks really bright” for the school.

He said: “Our staff team at Bicester Community College will now be looking to establish our long-term vision of creating a school that is once again at the heart of the community, committed to securing teaching excellence and delivering a 21st century learning experience for our students.”

The school is going through the process of changing to academy status and Mr Rushworth said an announcement would be made soon about its sponsor.

Bob Wintringham, chairman of the interim executive board which was brought in to run the school, said Mr Rushworth had made an “outstanding contribution and worked tirelessly” to make improvements.

He said: “We were delighted to receive a strong response of applications to our advertisement.

“Candidates were put through a rigorous selection process over two days, involving both students and staff, culminating in a unanimous decision by the selection panel to appoint Tony.

“Tony’s energy, enthusiasm for the college, and his undoubted commitment to excellence in education are exactly the qualities that BCC needs in a leader.

“Staff and students are delighted and wish him every success in his new role.”

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