A SCHOOL that was in special measures 18 months ago has seen an “incredible” turnaround.

Bicester Community College has not only been taken out of special measures but ranked good by Ofsted inspectors in its latest report.

When it was put into special measures last February Oxfordshire County Council’s education boss Melinda Tilley described the report as the worst she had ever seen.

But the inspectors have now praised a “complete turnaround” in ethos and culture at the Queens Avenue school, saying pupils have made “rapid progress”.

Headteacher Tony Rushworth said it is the first time in at least 20 years the school is rated good.

He said: “This incredible turnaround reflects the way we have pulled together as a team and the positive can-do learning culture we have successfully created. Staff and student morale is really high and we now have a school that we are all proud to be a part of.”

But he has no plans to rest on his laurels and wants to take the school a step further.

Mr Rushworth, former deputy headteacher at Bicester’s Cooper School, said: “We are not content, though, with the second highest Ofsted rating. We want to build on this achievement and be recognised as ‘outstanding’ within two to three years.”

Bob Wintringham, chairman of the interim executive board, said the school was now “unrecognisable”.

Mrs Tilley, cabinet member for school improvement, said: “Ofsted has clearly recognised the improvements the school has made across the board, and staff, pupils and their families should take great credit and encouragement from this well-earned result.”

Our top stories: