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Principal designate appointed at town’s first studio school

A new Bicester school which is set to prepare young people for careers in sustainable construction has appointed a principal designate.
Richard Brown, currently a director of The Langley Academy in Slough, has taken up the post at Bicester Technology Studio which is due to open in September 2016.
The school will cater for up to 310 pupils aged 14 to 19 and provide a curriculum specialising in sustainable construction technologies and business logistics. It is being sponsored by Activate Learning and will be run with the support of employer partners who will shape the curriculum, set projects and provide mentoring and work experience.
Mr Brown, who worked in research and development and international sales before training as a teacher, said: “I entered education because I wanted to make a difference to the lives of young people. I am passionate about helping students to see and fulfil their potential and it is what continues to drive me today.
“Bicester Technology Studio is a fantastic opportunity for Bicester and an excellent model of what a school should be. It will set students up for successful careers by equipping them with the skills that are sought after by employers.
“I believe that the school will transform the way that employers and educators work together in the local area as we develop the industry leaders of the future.”
Mr Brown has worked in education since 2002 and worked in schools in York, Surrey and Slough before joining The Langley Academy where he is responsible for curriculum, assessment and standards.
Bicester Technology Studio is proposed to open in new premises on Queens Avenue, adjacent to Bicester Community College. Planning application has now been submitted. In the meantime local people are being invited to have their say on the school’s curriculum and admissions policy during a public consultation which runs until 3 July.
Feedback will be used to seek a final funding agreement from the Department for Education before the school opens for student applications from September 2015.
Lee Nicholls, executive director curriculum, standards and academies at Activate Learning, said: “Bicester Technology Studio’s focus on practical, project-based learning and work experience, coupled with its strong links with local employers, will help to create work-ready young people who can meet the town’s growing employment needs.
“We want to give students the best chance of succeeding in their future careers whilst providing Bicester with the skilled workforce it needs to realise its vision as a leading eco-town.” 
Students joining Bicester Technology Studio in Year 10 will follow core GCSEs alongside specialist technical qualifications tailored to regional employment needs. At Year 12 students will have the opportunity to study A-levels in maths, science and engineering alongside BTEC qualifications.
The school’s employer partners currently include A2Dominon, Brita, Chiltern Railways, RED Engineering, Zeta Specialist Lighting, Bioregional and Willmott Dixon.
To find out more and take part in the consultation visit the Bicester Technology Studio website