About the Alliance

The Bristol Primary Teaching School 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 jointly in 2014) along with Fair Furlong Primary (a strategic partner school). Each are outstanding schools who work together with a small team of teaching school colleagues to broker support for schools through a range of networking, training and development opportunities and utilising our best practitioners from across Bristol.  We have Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs) and Local Leaders of Education (LLEs) from primary and special schools across the city who work together to support the city’s schools and to run training and development programmes for teachers, school leaders and support staff.

The Bristol Primary Teaching School Alliance is a hub for schools who wish to work together, either on a regular basis or on single pieces of work and provides a cohesive and single point of contact for a high quality school led system of support for our city.

We work alongside the Bristol Local Authority and the Primary Heads’ Association of Bristol (PHAB)  to ensure we are able to respond to local and national priorities quickly and effectively. We also work together with the Bristol Early Years Teaching School Consortium and the secondary teaching schools in the city to develop a robust and joined up approach to school support.

The Bristol Primary Teaching School Alliance provides 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.  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. We welcome other interested schools to be partners in our alliance to ensure a strong and cohesive message and a breadth of support.

Teaching Schools have been established to support the delivery of school led improvement and have 3 key responsibilities, these are:

  1. To support, through partnership and collaboration…co-ordinating and providing high-quality school-led initial teacher training (ITT);
  2. providing high-quality school-to-school support to spread excellent practice, particularly to schools that need it most;
  3. providing evidence-based professional and leadership development for teachers and leaders across their network.

In order to ensure a self-improving, school-led system, teaching schools are required to operate by the following principles:

Effective delivery
Each teaching school alliance effectively delivers across all 3 areas of core activity: ITT; continuing professional development (CPD) and leadership development; school-to-school support.

In order to ensure credibility and high impact of all teaching schools, they must adhere to requirements set by NCTL and co-operate with necessary reporting processes.

System leadership and engagement
Teaching schools build an effective alliance of schools, and work strategically with other schools and providers within their regional and sub-regional networks to ensure every school can engage in school-led improvement.

Continuous improvement
Each teaching school is required to pursue continuous improvement supported by the peer review process in order to develop and achieve/sustain maturity of provision.

Our vision and values

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.

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

Partners and Resources

Contact BPTSA

Mike Eatwell

Bridge Farm Primary
East Dundry Road
BS14 0LL