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Acting headteacher vows to turn Bicester Community College around
THE new interim headteacher of struggling Bicester Community College has pledged to be “relentless” in trying to turn the school around.
Ben Baxter, who led Cooper School to an outstanding rating from Ofsted – is the new executive headteacher of both schools.
Former principal Jason Clarke left by mutual agreement after it went into special measures. Mr Baxter takes over on an interim basis from April 15.
In February, the school received a damning Ofsted inspection that rated achievement, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils, and leadership and management as all inadequate.
It was then put into special measures.
Oxfordshire County Council won permission from the Government to sack the governing body and a new interim board was put in place.
Mr Baxter, 48, said he, along with the interim executive board, would turn the school around.
He said urgent measures had been put in place to support pupils taking GCSEs this summer, including extra tuition.
Mr Baxter said: “The school’s focus is on Year 11 first. Looking ahead we need to know the school, we need to know the school’s system, the staff, parents and students and build confidence and focus on what happens in the classroom.
“We have a moral imperative to ensure students have fantastic learning opportunities and that will be my relentless focus.
“It’s their future and they have one chance.”
For any concerned parents, Mr Baxter said: “I would say that I do know Bicester. The two schools are incredibly similar in terms of intake, these are Bicester kids. When I came here in 2005 this school (Cooper) wasn’t in great shape and parents weren’t keen to send their kids here. The results were not as they should have been.”
But he said the Year Seven students who started with him went on to achieve the best GCSE results in the school’s history.
In his first few weeks at the college, Mr Baxter will meet with the feeder schools and will also make himself available to talk to any parents who have concerns.
Mr Baxter said work would also start to build up “faith and trust” in the school and its teachers, and he hopes it will start to make progress by the end of the current academic year in July.
He said: “I hope people look at my track record and have a degree of confidence I will be there to steady the ship and working with the team at BCC to move things forward.”