Bristol_Primary_Teaching_School_Alliance_Fair_Furlong_17Working in collaborative partnerships, sharing effective practice and developing collective school improvement systems are the approaches that the Bristol Primary Teaching School Alliance seeks to establish. Teaching Schools are one way the government hopes to make school improvement school led. However in Bristol, there are already highly effective and well established networks, federations and alliances that are leading the way in school improvement.

The Bristol Primary Teaching School Alliance therefore, hopes to provide a vehicle for the promotion and development of what is currently working well and could be shared more widely, as well as a forum for new alliances and collaborations to form and develop based on the issues and concerns of Bristol schools and in response to national initiatives. There are also many schools who have excellent practice to share but who do not have a city wide forum to promote their practice and many schools with similar priorities and challenges who do not have colleagues to problem solve and join with. The Bristol Primary Teaching School Alliance hopes to establish a hub for schools that wish to work together in this way, either on a regular basis or on single issue pieces of work or CPD. The Alliance seeks to complement the work of the Early Years Teaching School, to work with the secondary Teaching School at St Mary Redcliffe as well as alongside the LA, PHAB

The Alliance is currently made up of three schools who have been awarded Teaching School status: Ashley Down Primary School (awarded Teaching School status in 2013); Whitehall Primary and Bridge Farm Primary (awarded Teaching School status in 2014) and Fair Furlong Primary (a strategic partner school).

Teaching Schools have been established to support the delivery of school led improvement and have 6 key responsibilities, these are:

To support, through partnership and collaboration…

  1. the development of high quality teaching, learning and leadership across the Bristol area
  2. the training of new teachers
  3. peer to peer learning and professional development
  4. the designation and deployment of SLEs
  5. the identification, nurturing and management of leadership potential
  6. research and development that puts evidence at the heart of practice

We believe that a learning culture of professional openness, honesty, trust and collaboration is essential to enable teachers to grow and improve their professional skills so they can provide the very best learning opportunities for their pupils. We will seek to work with and learn from a wide range of partners, including schools from different phases, localities and areas of specialism and school improvement organisations from a wide variety of backgrounds – as long as they share our desire for continuous and supportive improvement. The notion of joint practice development must lie at the heart of all we do, based on an understanding that we can all learn from each other to improve the collective educational experience for all learners.

The Alliance is guided by its vision and values:


  • Focus on improving Outcomes for children
  • Focus on Empowering the Workforce
  • Focus on Strengthening the Community
  • Focus on Effective Partnerships and Collaboration
  • Focus on Evidence based Practice
  • Focus on Working across Phase, Locality, Area, City and Local Authority and National Boundaries

  • Working with a Spirit of Openness, Integrity and Transparency
  • Building Sustainability and Building Strength
  • Being Inclusive and Learning from Each Other
  • Making sure that Pupil Voice is Listened To and Acted on Wherever Possible
  • Behaving in a Socially Responsible Way
  • Being Self-Evaluative

The Bristol Primary Teaching school Alliance was awarded the licence to deliver the NPQ suite of leadership programmes which will begin early in 2018: this includes the NPQML for middle leaders, the NPQSL for senior leaders and from September 2018, the NPQH for those aspiring for headship.

Meet the team:


The work of the alliance is managed by Mike Eatwell: he can be reached via email at: mike.eatwell@bristol-schools.uk 


The finance and administration of the alliance is supported by Sarah Felton, our business manager.

Sarah can be contacted via email at sarah.felton@bristol-schools.uk


Our Training Manager, who supports the delivery and training of our school direct trainees is Mark Townsend.  Mark can be reached via email at: mark.townsend@bristol-schools.uk