Ben Baxter


Ben has been substantive Headteacher of The Cooper School since September 2005 and Executive Headteacher of Bernwode Schools Trust (previously Bicester Learning Academy) since July 2014.

In 2011 the school changed status from an 11-16 to a 11-18 provider and Ben was instrumental in managing that substantial change management process which included the building of a carbon-neutral two-storey £4.3m post-16 centre and three new science laboratories, as well as increasing teaching staff by over 40% in two academic years.

In 2012 The Cooper School and Glory Farm Primary School joined in a hard-federation arrangement which included the creation of a new single governing body for the two schools which Ben oversaw when he was appointed Executive Headteacher. The two schools became converter academies in July 2014 with the creation of the Bicester Learning Academy Trust.

During the fourteen years that he has been Headteacher, The Cooper School has never been judged by Ofsted as anything worse than ‘Good’ (2007, 2013, 2017) and was judged ‘Outstanding’ in the Ofsted inspection of 2011.

In addition to the work that Ben has done at The Cooper School over the last fourteen years, he has increasingly helped and supported other schools, most notably:

Acting as Interim Headteacher, Ben provided vision and direction to a local school moving it from ‘Inadequate’ to ‘Good’ over a period of 15 months (February 2013- May 2014). HMI monitoring reports made reference to Ben having vision and direction and that he had ‘kick-started’ the school on its journey of improvement.  Ben acted as mentor to the new substantive Headteacher for their first two years in post and was a member of the Interim Executive Board for two years until the school was judged ‘good’ by Ofsted in May 2014.

Ben’s support for other schools extends beyond the county boundary of Oxfordshire, with mentoring support being provided to a number of schools in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire and Warwickshire and of course, our own primary school, Glory Farm.  All of the schools Ben has worked with have been judged to be “good” in their most recent Ofsted reports.

Ben has also been a parent governor of a village primary school in Buckinghamshire (2012 – 2016), including providing challenge and support as a member of the General Purposes Committee and Lead Governor for Literacy. The school had been judged by Ofsted as 3 (Satisfactory) for overall effectiveness in April 2011, moving to overall ‘Good’ in 2013.

As Executive Headteacher, Ben is instrumental in delivering the Trust’s vision and direction for both schools and is relentless in his drive to improve the life chances of all our children and young people. 

Ben Baxter

Executive Headteacher