About the 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 has just graduated in Maths and Philosophy from Birmingham University, with quite a bit of cycling thrown in! Olivia is studying English at Oxford University, while Alys is studying 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. The students of Ralph Allen are of course the heart of the school - they are genuine, open and welcoming. I have enjoyed getting to know them since I joined the school and look forward to getting to know them much better in each successive year.