Tony Rushworth – Headteacher

Tony has extensive experience in secondary education. He qualified as a teacher in 1992 in Avery Hill College, London, and completed an MA at Kings College, London University.

Tony spent the first 10 years of his career in London schools, teaching Economics and Mathematics. In 2013, he was seconded as Interim Headteacher to The Bicester School from The Cooper School, Bicester, where he had been Deputy Headteacher and then Head of School. Tony was appointed Headteacher at the Bicester School in 2014 after a successful Ofsted inspection, where the school was graded ‘Good’ in all categories.

In 2015, the Bicester School received an award from PiXL for being one of the most improved schools in England.

Tony said: “I am delighted to be working with our partner and sponsor Activate Learning in building what we expect to become an exceptional school. Our staff are incredibly committed and highly professional with a willingness to ‘go the extra mile’ for our students.”

Tony is married and has a daughter. He is a keen Brompton enthusiast (a type of cycling) and enjoys the writing of CS Lewis.

Roland-HowardRoland Howard – First Deputy Headteacher

Roland has taught English, Media Studies, Drama and Spanish, but his real love is teaching English.

After qualifying as a teacher at Manchester University, he gained an MA from Warwick University. He has taught in schools in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire for many years because”I love teaching teenagers! They keep me entertained because they are so open to ideas and knowledge, so passionate, cheeky and fun.”

Roland is a keen cyclist, writer, gardener and traveller, who loves music, theatre and film. He is  also passionate about climate change issues.


Claire Shepherd – Acting Deputy Headteacher

Having previously worked in Essex and Buckinghamshire, Claire Shepherd has worked in the English department at The Bicester School for 12 years. She has been a senior leader at the school since 2009.

Since 2016, Claire is a trained Ofsted inspector who has participated in numerous school inspections,  including Section 5 and 8 inspections. under the new Ofsted framework.

Claire was actively engaged in the implementation of the National Literacy Strategy and is a firm advocate of the view that every teacher is a teacher of literacy. On becoming an Advanced Skills Teacher in 2007, Claire was able to further investigate the impact of poor literacy on pupil learning and progress, developing a range of interventions and resources to support the improvement of literacy across the school.

Claire now has a responsibility for Teaching, Learning and Assessment across the school, working with a team to ensure that pupils at the school enjoy challenging, absorbing and thought provoking lessons.

Phil Hollindale – Assistant Headteacher

Phil-HollindalePhil graduated from Newcastle University wi


th a BSc in Mathematics and Statistics before working for five years as a Government statistician in The Department of Environment.

After gaining his teaching qualification from Oxford University in 1996, he taught in both state and independent schools before arriving at The Bicester School in 2004 as Head of Mathematics. In this role, Phil oversaw a dramatic improvement in exam results. As Assistant Headteacher, his responsibilities now include timetabling and academic data.

Phil hugely enjoys working with young people and sharing with them his love of mathematics. He says: “It is a subject which is often misunderstood. For me, it is about developing a way of thinking, which can help to more deeply understand all kinds of situations and problems in the world around you. I love trying to develop an appreciation of the subject in pupils. I also love the fact that I use my subject knowledge, practically, in my leadership role to support the school’s work to help all our pupils reach their full potential”

Nicola Le Brun – Assistant Headteacher and Raising Standards Leader

Nicola Le BrunNicola graduated from Loughborough University


with a BSc in Maths and Management before completing her teacher training and then moving into her first teaching post.

She spent the first eight years of her career teaching in Bicester, taking on various roles until she became Head of Maths. To gain wider experiences and take on new challenges, Nicola spent the past four years teaching elsewhere and is excited to have returned to The Bicester School in her new senior role.

As Assistant Headteacher and Raising Standards Leader, Nicola is working closely with teachers and students to ensure everyone has the best opportunity to fulfil their academic potential.

Charlotte Roberts – Assistant Headteacher

After gaining a BA (Hons) degree, Charlotte worked in publishing at Oxford University Press before realising that teaching was the career path that she truly wanted to follow. Charlotte completed her English PGCE and then worked at a local secondary school for 13 years before joining The Bicester School English department in September 2017.

As Assistant Headteacher who is responsible for Inclusion, Charlotte is passionate about being an advocate for those students who may find school challenging, she is keen to ensure that all students are helped to be able to achieve their very best.

Charlotte holds the statutory positions of Designated Safeguarding Lead and SENCO for the school.