Michelle Dyer - Head of School
I am very proud to be Head of School at Avonbourne Academies. I have worked for United Learning since 2019 when I joined as the South Coast Advisor for English based at Glenmoor and Winton but supporting Avonbourne on a weekly basis. I joined Avonbourne full-time as Senior Vice Principal in January 2020 and was appointed as Head of School in June 2021.
I hold a BA (Hons) in Literature, PGCE, NPQSL and am currently undertaking the NPQH. I am also an accredited Specialist Leader of Education and have supported a range of local academies with school improvement. Prior to working for United Learning, I was part of the Senior Leadership Team at Magna Academy in Poole. Prior to my teaching career, I have worked in finance and as a civil servant.
The values we hold at both United Learning and Avonbourne Academies that every child deserves the best education- both academic and character - aligns with my own educational values. We are unapologetically ambitious for our students and our approach is underpinned by a sense of moral purpose and commitment to doing what is right for our young people to bring out the 'Best in Everyone'.
Gemma Creed - Vice Principal
I am excited to be part of the Senior Leadership Team at Avonbourne Academies as Vice Principal. It is fantastic working with the local community to support all our students’ educational success.
My subject background is in Chemistry. I hold a Master’s degree in Environmental Chemistry (MChem), as well as a PGCE. Prior to joining Avonbourne Academies, I was on the Senior Leadership Team at Magna Academy Poole, as Assistant Principal and have previously held roles as Head of Faculty and Head of Science. I have also worked in areas outside of education including in the charity and social enterprise sector.
I strongly believe in making sure all of our students not only experience an academically rigorous education, but one which allows them to fully develop their character too. All of our students deserve to leave their time with us with an outstanding education that both supports their future careers and encourages them to be proactive and engaged members of society.
Imogen Bull - Vice Principal
I am very proud to be Vice Principal at Avonbourne Academies and to be part of the United Learning family. I hold a BSc (Hons) in Geography, a PGCE and an NPQSL. I have worked at Avonbourne Girls' school since 2010 in several different roles, including Head of Department and Assistant Headteacher. Prior to this, I worked as a Head of Department and Deputy Head of House at a school in Greater London for 7 years.
Seeing Avonbourne Academies develop over the last two years and playing my part in the Academy improvement journey has been, without question, the highlight of my career and gives cause for huge excitement and optimism about where we can go as a community.
I am passionate about my subject- Geography and my current area of responsibility- Teaching and Learning. I believe that the quality and rate of student learning is the most important thing we can do, ensuring every child is able to achieve the highest possible progress and have the opportunity to go on to university or an alternative of their choice.
I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible throughout the year.
John Walter - Assistant Principal
I joined Avonbourne Academy in the summer of 2020 from St Thomas the Apostle College in Peckham where I was Head of Sixth Form for 5 years. Prior to that, I spent 9 years at Mossbourne Community Academy in Hackney and a year teaching in Melbourne, Australia before returning to my roots here in Dorset. I am excited to develop the United Sixth Form into an outstanding academic post-16 provision for our students and send them off to the very best Universities they aspire to study at or support their pathways into prestigious Degree Apprenticeships at top employers locally and nationally. I also look forward to developing a thriving Character Education programme where students can pursue their passions and interests; sport has always played a big part in my life and I wish for our students to access those opportunities whether they be on the field of play, in the orchestra, performing on stage, in the art studio or in the technology or science lab.
I graduated with a BEd (Hons) in Physical Education & Mathematics from University of Exeter in 2003 and became an Advanced Skills Teacher in 2010. I was delighted to assist the Frederick Gibberd College in Harlow as their lead Sixth Form consultant when they first opened their doors. My experience teaching in Inner London and overseas has shaped my aspiration for the young people of Avonbourne Academies to leave us at 18 with the very best life chances for their futures and their career ambitions and set for adult life with enriching experiences behind them from their time at school.
Avonbourne Academies are on an exciting journey and we look forward to the engagement of our students, their families and the local community as a whole.
Angelina Brittain - Assistant Principal and SENDCo
I am delighted to hold the post of SENDCo and Assistant Principal at Avonbourne Academies. I have worked at Avonbourne Academy since 2003 in various roles including Subject Leader, Head of Year, SENDCo and Assistant Principal. The length of time at the Academy reflects my commitment to the school community.
I hold a BA (Hons) in Music, LBCA (TD), PGCE, NASENCo and IQ Level 7 PAPAA. Prior to working at Avonbourne I was the Head of Music in a large London comprehensive school. Prior to my teaching career I was a successful performer in National Music Competitions and ran a private music tuition service in London. I have also been an adjudicator at National Music Festivals as well as more locally, the Bournemouth and Southampton Music Festivals. My work in music supports my commitment to fully enriching the lives of all children, including those who may have additional needs.
My work with students is based on a fundamental belief that all children can achieve. Every individual student is capable and entitled to reach their full potential with the support and challenge of both home and school. Every child is entitled to the same high-quality education and should look forward to an aspirational future.
Oliver Maund - Assistant Principal
I am very pleased to have joined Avonbourne Academies in September 2020. I have worked for United Learning since 2013 and thoroughly enjoy working for such an established Academy trust who focusses on the ‘Best in Everyone’ by providing excellent education for all their young people.
I achieved a Bachelor of Education with Honours in Physical Education in 2001 and feel privileged to be able to call myself a teacher. I have held several roles during my career but have spent a number of years as Head of Year, developing a passion for Pastoral care within schools, and the importance it plays in supporting students to be successful, confident learners within their environment. I have also completed an NPQSL.
Prior to joining Avonbourne Academies I worked at Glenmoor and Winton Academies in Bournemouth for 19 Years and am very proud to be able to say I played a part in creating two highly successful schools in Bournemouth.
I am driven to replicating the successes I have previously enjoyed, at Avonbourne Academies, creating a school where students experience the very best education and experiences both in the classroom and beyond.
James Goldsmith - Assistant Principal
Since moving to the area over a decade ago, I have been extremely proud to work within this educational context and serve our local community. I have always had a passion for teaching and coaching and at the heart of this, lies a desire to help young people develop and achieve great things.
I hold a BA (Hons) in Physical Education (QTS Sec), and NPQSL, and have enjoyed a variety of roles that range from being a Subject Specialist and Faculty Leader, through to my current role focusing on culture and behaviour within our Senior Leadership Team.
I believe that high expectations, clear routines, and a shared ethos are at the heart of all successful teams and organisations. I am passionate about ensuring that all students achieve excellent outcomes, but my background in sport has also led me believe that there is more to a good education than simply outstanding exam results. I believe that it is our moral imperative to develop character, compassion and service within our students and provide them with a range of experiences. I want our students to look back on a schooling which has inspired and challenged them, preparing them for the ups and downs of life.
Jo Booler - Assistant Principal
I am an Assistant Principal with responsibility for Assessment, Data and Exams. I relocated from Yorkshire to work at Avonbourne Academy and I am delighted I chose to do so. Avonbourne is on an incredible journey and I am excited to be a part of it.
I have a BSc (Hons) in Zoology from the University of Wales, Bangor and completing a PGCE in Sheffield to become a Science teacher. I am new to the United Learning trust having previously held leadership positions in other successful multi academy trust in Yorkshire and North Nottinghamshire.
I believe that every student should have the opportunity to achieve academic and personal excellence in an inspiring, engaging and dynamic learning environment. I am passionate about and work hard to ensure our students at Avonbourne are equipped to reach their full potential.
Feona Copley - Assistant Principal
I started working at Avonbourne Academy as an Assistant Principal in January 2020 having previously been Head of Mathematics at The Blandford School. Avonbourne Academy is my local school and I feel proud to be part of its current journey with United Learning. My role at Avonbourne is as KS3 Raising Achievement Lead with responsibility for Pupil Premium and EAL students.
I have a Masters in Teaching and Learning, a postgraduate Diploma in Japanese Language, a BSc (Hons) in Pure Mathematics as well as my PGCE. I am a Professional Development Lead and a Secondary Mastery Lead for the NCETM (National Centre for Excellent Teaching of Mathematics).
Prior to my teaching career I was a Global Property Fund Management Analyst for Grosvenor (the Duke of Westminster’s property company) in London. Moving to the seaside with my children and changing career has allowed me to indulge my passion for maths. I particularly enjoy supporting students through their learning journey ensuring that they all have the same opportunities and are supported to make their aspirations come true whether that is University or a good apprenticeship.
Nikki Barr - Assistant Principal
I am thrilled to be working as a member of the Senior Leadership Team at the Avonbourne Academies. Having joined Avonbourne 9 years ago, I have been committed to improving the education outcomes of our community and supporting our education with character offer. I am very excited about the future at Avonbourne.
I have a BA (Hons) in Dance and a PGCE from the University of Exeter and have completed my NPQSL through the Univeristy of Winchester. As a teacher of dance, I am passionate about providing students with opportunities to explore their interests and develop their talents which help to equip them with the character attributes that will enable them to succeed later in life. I love the buzz of dance rehearsals and productions and teaching a subject which takes students away from their desks and allows them to think critically, be creative and gain confidence.
As the Head of Year 7, I am fortuante to support and welcome students and parents at the very beginning of their journey at Avonbourne, where we expect the highest standards in our mission to bring out the 'best in everyone'. I aim to assure the local community that Avonbourne is the right choice for your son or daughter as through challenge and the persistance to work hard and be at their best, our young people can achieve the future of their dreams.
Daniel Parker - Assistant Principal
Having joined Avonbourne Academies in January 2020, I have a real sense of pride of where we started, what we have achieved and am truly excited for the next stage of our journey. As an Assistant Principal who is Head of English and Year 11 Raising Standards; I feel privileged to help drive Excellence at both whole school and departmental levels.
I achieved a 2:1 BA (Hons) from The University of Liverpool in English Literature and Communications. Subsequently, I gained my PGCE through Teach First, qualifying from The University of Manchester. Currently, I am completing my NPQSL from University College London and United Leaning’s Senior Leadership Programme. Previously, I have taught in an inner-city school in Manchester as Head of Department for Media Studies, in Oxfordshire as Deputy Head of English and Literacy Co-ordinator and volunteered to teach in Africa on three occasions.
I believe in the work being done at Avonbourne. I consider it to be at the forefront of transformational educational change and relish working across many departments - collaborating with unrelenting leaders, teachers and support staff.
Most importantly, we are committed to being ‘unapologetically ambitious’ in delivering the highest standards of Teaching, Learning and Behaviour to develop our students. I believe that the educational philosophies which underpin our school values, will deliver excellent outcomes for our students, ensuring they progress to their desired next stage in life.
Georgina Wallace-Northridge - Associate Assistant Principal
I have had the pleasure of working for United Learning for the past 3 years . My role as the South Coast Maths Advisor has seen me work with a number of schools in the Trust and I look forward to using my expertise with my students here at Avonbourne Academies.
I graduated from the University of Exeter with a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics and worked in London in Client Management before returning to my home in Dorset and retraining as a Maths teacher. I am passionate about my subject and am a great believer that students can be successful in mathematics with hard work and dedication. I work tirelessly to ensure that students have the best start in life by leaving education with an outstanding results to back them up.
Outside of work, I am a Vice President at Wimborne Rugby club where I have both played and supported since the age of 5. I live in Salisbury with my husband, Colin and our daughter, Josephine.
Laura Tsabet - Associate Assistant Principal
I was pleased to join Avonbourne Academies in January 2020, very much at the start of its exciting transformational journey. In my role as Associate Assistant Principal, I oversee Initial Teacher Training and the Early Career Framework within the academies, and lead on CPD, ensuring our staff have access to the best and most research-informed professional development available.
I hold a BA (hons) in English Literature and PGCE in Secondary English from the University of Portsmouth, and I am currently completing an NPQ in Senior Leadership from University College London. This year I will complete a further NPQ in Leading Teacher Development through the Ambition Institute.
As well as fulfilling my love for learning through continuing studies, I have also written regularly for the Times Educational Supplement and have co-authored a book entitled Succeeding as an English teacher, published through Bloomsbury. Prior to working at the academies, I fulfilled a voluntary role as the Dorset regional advocate for Litdrive, a non-profit organisation providing CPD for English teachers. To date though, my greatest achievement is raising my wonderful daughter.
I'm hugely excited to continue the journey started by our leadership team at Avonbourne. I believe that the exceptionally high standards of teaching, learning and behaviour contribute to a culture where pupil learning is placed at the forefront and where all students, regardless of background, can achieve the results that they deserve. We are ambitious because we care.