About Us

What is the Avon Teaching School Alliance?

The Avon Teaching School Alliance (AvonTSA) is an alliance of secondary schools, primary schools and other educational institutions across Wiltshire and Gloucestershire who work collaboratively to develop, improve and invest in teachers at all stages of their career. Our collective aim is that every pupil in our Alliance has the best possible education and is inspired, challenged and supported to realise their full potential. Avon TSA is based at Malmesbury Secondary School, North Wiltshire.

AvonTSA gives partner schools the opportunity to play a pivotal role in the professional development of teachers either as participants on training courses or by facilitating those courses.

We are committed to delivering the highest standards of teaching, learning and achievement in each phase of education. We ensure excellent professional development for current practitioners and leaders, for aspiring leaders and for future recruits to the profession.

Through dynamic partnerships, the Alliance is making a significant contribution to raising standards in all associated schools. Wherever possible, we offer professional development at minimum costs to ensure as many colleagues as possible benefit from the opportunities available.

We believe collaboration between primary and secondary schools is key to improving the education of all our pupils. We have a strong working relationship with the Mead Teaching School in Trowbridge and together we deliver a range of CPD programmes where cross phase exchange of ideas leads to a richer experience for all participants.


What Makes us Different?

We offer a wide range of continuous professional development; our core programmes are STEM related.

Malmesbury School is proud to be a hub school for the Adfecto Science Learning Partnership (SLP). Collaborating with our partners we provide quality, high impact, subject specific CPD for primary and secondary schools in the area. We combine local expertise in teaching and learning in science to improve outcomes for our pupils in all phases. We are part of a network of SLPs and other support for schools that is managed by STEM Learning.

We work very closely with the GLOW Maths Hub and lead Post 16 Core Maths training.

We run fully funded Teacher Subject Specialism Training (TSST) in Maths, Physics and French. These courses give non specialists and former teachers who are returning to the profession an opportunity to develop knowledge, skills and confidence to teach up to GCSE. These courses are offered completely free of charge.

The Teaching School Team

Tim Gilson
Tim Gilson, Chief Executive Officer, Athelstan Trust

Tim is the founding Chief Executive Officer of the Athelstan Trust and has been Headteacher of Malmesbury School (11-18 mixed comprehensive of approximately 1329 students) since 2008.

The Athelstan Trust is a MAT consisting of three secondary schools in Wiltshire and Gloucestershire and Malmesbury School is the lead school in the Avon Teaching School Alliance.

Tim has been a teacher for 25 years in London, Kenya and Wiltshire and is a National Leader of Education. He spent a year working for Ofsted as a seconded Inspector and has since served as an Ofsted Inspector.

Tim has served as Chair of the Wiltshire Association of Secondary Headteachers and as a member of the Wiltshire Safeguarding Improvement Board. He also spent three years on the Independent Monitoring Board of HMP/YOI Ashfield.

Alison Simpson
Alison Simpson, Teaching School Director

Alison has worked in education for 10 years. Her previous roles include Second in Sixth Form and Head of Science. She is currently Assistant Headteacher at Malmesbury School and has worked in this capacity across two schools in the Athelstan Trust to support leadership development.

As founding Strategic Director of the Avon Teaching School Alliance, Alison has gained considerable experience in bringing together key personnel from different organisations to shape the vision and direction of the Alliance. Working collaboratively with strategic partners, she has developed and facilitated a suite of programmes to support teaching and learning and to develop leadership potential.

Alison sits on the ChemLabs Outreach Advisory Board for the University of Bristol. She is an approved trainer for the Royal Society of Chemistry and a qualified facilitator for the Olevi Improving and Outstanding Teacher programmes.

Before embarking on a career in education Alison worked in the pharmaceutical industry.

Margaret Beggs
Margaret Beggs, Teaching School Manager

Maggie has worked in education for 21 years. She has held a variety of roles within the Science Faculty of Malmesbury School and has contributed to many new initiatives. She has a passion for transition from KS2 to KS3 and has delivered CPD to primary colleagues. She also coordinates the provision of high quality science equipment to the feeder primaries.

Maggie’s passion for environmental issues has been a constant feature of her career and has enabled her to work with schools in Denmark, Germany and Uganda. Besides working with colleagues in these very different environments Maggie has used environmental projects to engage with the local community. She brings a strong track record of fundraising and project management to the teaching school.

Alison Simpson
Sian Jones, Teaching School Administrator

Sian began with Avon Teaching School Alliance in November 2015 and has worked with the partnership to develop and expand the training programme offered. She is the first point of contact for all enquiries and looks after the day to day running of the teaching school.

Previously Sian worked in the hotel industry focussing mainly on sales and marketing and conference management.

Other TSAs we work with:

The Mead Teaching School logo

The Mead Teaching School

Pickwick TSA logo

Pickwick TSA

North Wilts TSA logo

North Wilts TSA

Hardenhuish School logo

Swindon TSA

Excalibur TSA logo

Excalibur TSA

The Avon Teaching School Alliance is an inclusive organisation which welcomes other schools and other institutions to our partnership.

Membership is available to all those wishing to contribute to and/or benefit from the work and ethos of the Alliance.