Polden Bower & Avalon Federation

Polden Bower School and The Bridge School, Sedgemoor have been working in a formal partnership since 2019. From 1 September 2021, Avalon and Polden Bower Schools have formed a hard federation. The three schools share Executive Leadership and work closely together to share resources, facilities and expertise.

Avalon School is a small community secondary special school in Street, Mendip. The school caters for students in their secondary and post 16 years. The school is situated next door to Brookside academy which supports a smooth transition for children moving from the primary specialist base into Avalon special school when they reach Year 7. 

The Bridge School, Sedgemoor is the Pupil Referral Unit in Bridgwater. The Bridge School has three sites, 2 in Bridgwater and one in Cossington, a small village just outside. The Bridge School works with children who have been or at risk of being permanently excluded from school. It also works with children who have mental health difficulties and also works in a preventative way to support schools with inclusion. 

The Federation was formed following formal consultation where the IEB (Interim Executive Board) for Avalon formally requested a long term permanent relationship with the school. This followed a support package for Avalon which was provided by the leadership team at Polden Bower School. 

The forming of the partnership, gives greater opportunity to share resources, facilities and to develop and support staff training and professional development. There is greater opportunity to share staff expertise and skills and this will benefit all the schools within the partnership. 

Helen Farnell - Executive Headteacher of the three schools has the overall responsibility and oversees the strategic direction of the partnership. 

Each school has an operational lead - Head of School.

The Federation - Polden Bower School and Avalon School have a shared Governance Board, the chair of which is David Purcell. 

The Bridge School, Sedgemoor has a Management Committee which sits separately from the Governance Board of the Federation. 

An Executive Committee has been formed which has representation from both the Federation board and the management committee and this has the role of overseeing the work of the partnership and evaluating the benefits to all schools.