Avalon School

Polden bower & avalon federation

The Federation was formed on 1 September 2021. The Federation consists of Polden Bower School and Avalon School, but they are also working in partnership with The Bridge School, Sedgemoor. 

Polden Bower School is an all age special school which caters for children and young people aged between 4 and 19 years. It is based on the outskirts of Bridgwater, very close to the M5. Polden Bower School is a newly built (2021) state of the art special school and hosts a warm water pool, cafe and purpose built sports facilities. 

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 Polden Bower 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.