About the Executive Principal

I joined Ralph Allen as Principal in September 2013. My background is largely in comprehensive schools in the south-west, and includes time in Frome College and Brimsham Green School in Yate, which are not far distant.  As a deputy headteacher, I worked in Bristol and North Somerset.  Most recently, I was headteacher at Stroud High School in Gloucestershire.  Stroud High is a girls' school of around 900 students. 

What I find most attractive about Ralph Allen is its friendliness, its caring and supportive ethos, its proudly comprehensive nature - and also its potential.  Location, accommodation, staff, students, governors - there is really nothing to inhibit continued success and development on the road to being outstanding, but schools that obsess about being outstanding sometimes forget that it is merely the hard day to day work of making learning better for students that makes this Ofsted judgement possible.

My own children have been to a similar school to Ralph Allen in North Somerset.  Joe graduated in Maths and Philosophy from Birmingham University, with quite a bit of cycling thrown in!  Olivia graduated this year in English at Oxford University, while Alys has just completed A levels.  I think that being a parent helps me understand the parental and student perspective on school much better at times.  My wife Jane works in a North Somerset primary school.

Having worked in most neighbouring authorities, it is really exciting to be in a learning position once again; over the last year we have continued to work closely with our local primary schools partners in the Palladian Academy Trust (PAT), something we are passionate about. The multi-academy trust (MAT) is a group of like-minded local schools - all academies – that have chosen to work together in partnership for the benefit of our children’s education.

The Trust – a group of geographically close secondary, primary, infant and junior schools - will build on existing good practice and collaborative work. It will seek to retain the ethos and identity of each school while enjoying and exploring the benefits of partnership.

The eight schools in the Palladian Academy Trust (PAT) are:

  • Combe Down C of E Primary School
  • Oldfield Park Infant School
  • Oldfield Park Junior School
  • Ralph Allen School (secondary school)
  • St Martin’s Garden Primary School
  • St Philip’s C of E Primary School
  • Widcombe Infant School
  • Widcombe C of E Junior School

The students of Ralph Allen are of course the heart of the school - they are genuine, open and welcoming and we look forward to the many opportunities for learning that being part of the PAT offers our students.

Tim Withers

Executive Principal, Ralph Allen School

CEO, Palladian Academy Trust (PAT)