Oxford Spires Academy

Oxford Spires Academy is a state funded secondary school for children aged 11–18 in Glanville Road, East Oxford, England formerly known as Oxford Community School and The Oxford School. It is sponsored by the CfBT Education Trust.[1]

Oxford Spires Academy
Glanville Road

, ,

Coordinates51°44′36″N 1°13′16″W / 51.74327°N 1.22119°W / 51.74327; -1.22119Coordinates: 51°44′36″N 1°13′16″W / 51.74327°N 1.22119°W / 51.74327; -1.22119
TypeSecondary Academy
MottoTo Be the Best You Can Be
EstablishedJanuary 2011
Local authorityOxfordshire
SpecialistEnglish language, Business and Enterprise College
Department for Education URN136261 Tables
PrincipalMarianne Blake
Age11 to 18
Colour(s)purple, yellow

The school has a co-educational student body of 1,087,[2] and has specialist Business and Enterprise College status. The student body is drawn from across the city, though the majority of pupils are from the Cowley, Rose Hill, East Oxford, Donnington, and Blackbird Leys areas of the city.

The school has long had a very varied and multicultural student body, reflecting the community in which it is based, and can claim to be the city's most "international" school. The school's work with refugee children and those for whom English is not their first language has been notable.


The school was originally established in 1966, following a merger between Southfield Grammar School and the City of Oxford High School for Boys, taking over Southfield Grammar School's Glanville Road site. The school was a single-sex grammar school for boys until 1972, when it became comprehensive, taking the first intake in September of that year. Entry also changed from aged 11 to aged 13 with the introduction of Middle Schools in Oxford. A reform of the educational system in the City of Oxford in the 1990s saw the school become coeducational. In 2003 the school changed from a 14-19 Upper School to an 11-19 Secondary School due to the City of Oxford Reorganisation. In 2005 the school gained Business and Enterprise status, providing extra funding for a state of the art conference centre. In 2006, the school recorded its best ever GCSE results. At the beginning of 2008 Oxford Community School became a Foundation School. The school has achieved Green Flag Eco-School Status.

At the start of 2011 the school reopened as Oxford Spires Academy. A new uniform was chosen and school took on a distinctive purple colour theme both in uniform and on the site itself.

Ofsted undertook a monitoring inspection[3] of Oxford Spires Academy in April 2012 and determined that Oxford Spires Academy had made good progress towards raising standards. This was confirmed in Summer 2012 when Oxford Spires Academy achieved outstanding GCSE results. 78% of students achieved 5 or more A*-C grades and 57% students achieved 5 or more A*-C grades including English and Mathematics.

In 2014 The Oxford Mail reported allegations that Spires had excluded many of its least able students to bolster its external exam results, and therefore its standing in school league tables.[4]

Sue Croft, the first Principal of Oxford Spires Academy, retired at the end of the 2016-17 academic year. Her successor, Marianne Blake, took up post in September 2017.

Ofsted undertook a short inspection[5] of Oxford Spires Academy in November 2017 and determined that Oxford Spires Academy continued to be good.

Notable alumniEdit

Notable former pupils include Garry Parker (professional footballer with Nottingham Forest and Leicester City), and Jermaine McSporran (professional footballer with Wycombe Wanderers, Doncaster Rovers, and Chester City).

Notable alumni of the former City of Oxford High School for Boys include Lawrence of Arabia,[6] Ronnie Barker, Tony Juniper and Jack Gibbons.

Notable alumni of the former Southfield Grammar School include actor Patrick Mower.[7]


  1. ^ Liam Sloan, New academy pledges to be best school in the city, Oxford Mail, 7 January 2011.
  2. ^ enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk, Ofsted Communications Team. (5 July 2018). "Find an inspection report and registered childcare". reports.ofsted.gov.uk. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  3. ^ Ofsted inspection report April 2012, section 8 inspection report,
  4. ^ Ffrench, Andrew (22 January 2014). "Oxford Spires Academy denies it moved poorly performing pupils to help league place". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  5. ^ Ofsted short inspection report January 2018, short inspection report,
  6. ^ BBC - T.E. Lawrence, To Arabia and back
  7. ^ Daily Mail: "I don’t need to act in Emmerdale - I’m just reliving my own past, says Patrick Mower"

External linksEdit