The Bicester School

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The Bicester School
Motto Aspire and Achieve
Established 1966
Type Academy
Headteacher Mr Tony Rushworth
Location Queen's Avenue
OX26 2NS
Coordinates: 51°54′03″N 1°09′39″W / 51.900813°N 1.160806°W / 51.900813; -1.160806
Local authority Oxfordshire
DfE number 931/4011
DfE URN 142024 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 989 (May 2014)
Gender Co-educational
Ages 11–18
Colours Burgundy     

The Bicester School (previously Bicester Community College) is a mixed, multi-heritage, secondary school, with around 963 students (including a sixth form). It is situated in Bicester, Oxfordshire, England, and occupies a 32-acre (130,000 m2) site leading off Queens Avenue.

The school's sports facilities are used by Bicester Athletic Club, which has been awarded National Lottery funding to add all‑weather surfaces to the sports field's jumping and throwing event areas.[1]


The Bicester School was formed as a new comprehensive school in 1966. It was created by the merger of Highfield Secondary Modern School and Bicester Grammar School, who had shared the current site since 1963. Bicester Grammar School had previously been situated at the junction of London Road and Launton Road.[2][3]

The school has been a Government-designated specialist Technology College since 1998. In May 2011 Bicester Community College received the Most Improved Award from the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) for improving its GCSE results by 20 percentage points from 2007–2010. The college received congratulations for significantly improving its 5+ A*–C results including GCSE English and Mathematics.

At the previous inspection in October 2010 the 963-pupil school was deemed satisfactory. The latest Ofsted inspection that took place on 6 and 7 December in 2012 has revealed that Bicester Community College, overall, falls under the inadequate category. Inadequate is the lowest of all four tiers ranked by Ofsted, with the other tiers being "Requires improvement" ( previously "Satisfactory"), "Good" and "Outstanding."

Achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management were deemed level four on the scale of one to four, with four being the worst category (inadequate). Principal Jason Clarke has responded to the report, stating that "[the school is] very disappointed by the outcome of the inspection and the impact it may have on hard work undertaken since the last inspection two years ago. The report acknowledges the recent positive impact of many initiatives currently in place and under way. My greatest disappointment is the grade for behaviour, which does not truly reflect the positive attitude and pride the vast majority of our students have for their school."

The school was put in special measures in February 2013.[4]

Oxfordshire county council subsequently asked the Department for Education for permission to remove the board of governors, with the request being granted on Thursday 21 February 2013. A new five person interim executive board (IEB) was put in place to oversee the school.[5]

On Monday 18 March 2013 the Principal Jason Clarke left the school by mutual agreement with the IEB. The IEB announced the appointment of neighbouring Cooper School head Ben Baxter as interim head from Monday 15 April.[6]

A school inspection on 21 and 22 May 2014 rated the school "Good" in all categories. The requirement for special measures was removed. [7]

In August 2015 Bicester Community College converted to academy status and was renamed The Bicester School. The school is now sponsored by Activate Learning.


Bicester Community College students achieved their best-ever results in 2010.


Examination Performance 2010

  • Students achieving at least five A* to Cs GCSEs 69%
  • Students achieving at least five A* to Cs GCSEs including English and Maths 55%
  • Students achieving at least five A* to Gs GCSEs 99%

Sixth Form 2010 Success[edit]

  • A Level Grades awarded at D or E 0.98%
  • A Levels awarded at f grade 78%

The college gained School Achievement awards in 2001 and 2002 in recognition of the significant improvements in its examination results.[8][9] In 2006 Bicester achieved membership of the Most Improved Specialist Schools Club after the number of pupils getting five or more A*–C grades at GCSE rose from 40 per cent in 2002 to 50 per cent in 2005.[10] The results dropped in 2006 with only 36 per cent achieving the benchmark five or more GCSE passes at A*–C,[11] but the 2007 results were a significant improvement with 52 per cent gaining five or more GCSE passes at the appropriate grades.[12]

There have been successful Oxbridge applications from the school in the last ten years, and the school has sent students to other top UK universities, including King's College London, the London School of Economics and Political Science, University College London, the University of Warwick, the University of Bristol and the University of Nottingham. The University of Reading, Coventry University, the University of Southampton, Oxford Brookes University and Nottingham Trent University are also popular destinations for former students of the school.[citation needed]

Performing arts[edit]

In 2008 the college was awarded the Artsmark Gold Award in recognition of its achievements in the arts.

Bicester Community College has a performing arts department, with a jazz band, choirs, wind band, string orchestra, chamber ensembles, a boys' dance company and dance clubs.[13]

The orchestra and jazz band went on a trip to Germany in July 2007, performing three concerts.[14]

The orchestra and jazz band also visited Belgium in July 2009, performing at various venues and events, including The Last Post Ceremony at Menin Gate, Ypres.

Music and dance groups from the school performed at the MAD about Waddesdon festival in June 2010.[15]

The department has put on shows, including Grease in 2006,The Sound of Music in 2007 and High School Musical in February 2008, Les Miserables in 2009 and Bugsy Malone in 2010.[16]


  1. ^ "Bicester Athletic Club scoop Thames Valley public TV vote and Lottery cash" (Press release). Big Lottery Fund. 30 November 2007. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Revamp starts after 20 years". Bicester Advertiser. 8 December 2000. Retrieved 19 December 2007. 
  3. ^ "Former pupils reunite". The Oxford Times. 23 April 2002. Retrieved 19 December 2007. 
  4. ^ "School placed in special measures". Bicester Advertiser. Newsquest (Oxfordshire & Wiltshire) Ltd. 2 February 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Inspection report: Bicester Community College, 21–22 May 2014" (PDF). Ofsted. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "2001 winners of the School Achievement Award (Round One)". Department for Children, Schools and Families. Retrieved 14 December 2007. 
  9. ^ "Bicester College 2002 School Achievement Award (Round Two)". Retrieved 14 December 2007. 
  10. ^ "School among most improved". The Oxford Times. 26 January 2006. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  11. ^ "Business alarm at bad GCSE results for town". Oxford Mail. 27 October 2006. Retrieved 18 December 2007. 
  12. ^ "2007 GCSE and A-level tables". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  13. ^ Bearder, Tim (7 December 2007). "Bicester Community College Jazz". BBC. Retrieved 18 December 2007. 
  14. ^ Comley, Helen (9 January 2008). "Bicester Community College Music Tour". BCC. Retrieved 9 January 2008. 
  15. ^ "MAD about Waddesdon – Sunday Programme". Archived from the original on 27 June 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  16. ^ Comley, Helen (9 January 2008). "Bicester Community College Performing Arts Reviews". BCC. Retrieved 9 January 2008. 

External links[edit]