Our Teaching School

Aspire Learning Alliance is a collaboration of schools, universities and Teaching Schools in Buckinghamshire.
We are:

“Specialist Practitioners in Behaviour Management and Special Educational Needs”

The Aspire Learning Alliance focuses on supporting schools with behaviour and Special Educational Needs and provides specialist and bespoke support that will also complement the school improvement activity provided by the other Teaching Schools. The values and principles of Aspire, and our partners, influence the way in which we work with schools on school improvement.

Relationships are at the heart of our practice and our focus is on finding ways to motivate and engage, how to work flexibly and creatively; our ethos is one of life long learning. We use these values when working with schools on how to change behaviour and attitudes and our starting point is to develop and co-create packages of support in consultation with the referring school.

“We respond to the needs of an individual school and create bespoke packages of training or support”

Our Teaching School partners share a common ethos, focusing on inclusion, working with staff to support improvement and meeting student needs in order to support positive outcomes.

There are 4 strategic partners, comprising 4 special schools and Aspire Alternative Provision, and an additional 34 secondary schools that operate as Alliance partners, advising and guiding in the identification of changing need. We also work closely with the other Buckinghamshire Teaching Schools, as part of Teaching Talent.

Learn more about our courses here.


Governance for the Aspire Learning Alliance is undertaken by a Strategic Board, which meets each term. The Strategic Board focuses on developing support in our specialist areas of behaviour and SEND. Our collaboration as part of Teaching Talent enables us to access, and contribute to, the other Teaching School areas of responsibility, such as ITT and Research and Development.

Within our Alliance , the named schools lead in the following areas:

ITT Vale Federation of Special Schools / Astra Learning Alliance
CPD and Leadership Development Aspire Alternative Provision
School-to-School Support Aspire Alternative Provision
SLEs Aspire Alternative Provision
Research and Development Furzedown / Marlow and Maidenhead Learning Alliance

Our Partners

Strategic Partners

Booker Park and Stocklake Park, both schools are part of the Vale Federation of Special Schools

FurzeDown School

Chiltern Wood School


Affiliated Partners

We are proud to be working with over 30 schools in Buckinghamshire including:

Amersham School

Aylesbury Grammar School (Boys)

Aylesbury Vale

Beaconsfield High School (Girls)

Buckinghamshire University Technical College

Burnham Grammar School

Burnham Park E-Act Academy

Chesham Grammar School

Chiltern Hills Academy

Cressex Community School

Dr Challoner's Grammar School (Boys)

Dr Challoner's High School (Girls)

Great Marlow School

Holmer Green School

John Colet School

John Hampden Grammar School (boys)

Khalsa Secondary Academy

Princes Risborough School

Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School

Sir William Borlase's Grammar School

Sir William Ramsay School

St Michael's Catholic School

The Beaconsfield School

The Bourne End Academy

The Buckingham School

The Chalfonts Community College

The Cottesloe School

The Grange School

The Highcrest Academy

The Mandeville School

The Misbourne School

The Royal Grammar School (boys)

The Royal Latin School

Waddesdon Church of England School

Bourne End Academy



We are also part of Teaching Talent, the alliance of Buckinghamshire Teaching Schools. There are now 6 Teaching Schools in this alliance: Astra at Dr Challoners Grammar, Aspire Learning Alliance, Cygnus at Wycombe High School, the Marlow and Maidenhead Learning Alliance at Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School, the Aylesbury Vale Teaching Partnership at Aylesbury High and the Wycombe and Marlow Teaching School Alliance at Chepping View.

Our Team

Sarah Holding – Aspire Learning Alliance Lead, School-to-School lead and CPD lead, Deputy Headteacher at Aspire Alternative Provision

Debra Rutley – Executive Headteacher at Aspire Alternative Provision, NLE

Alison Rooney – Headteacher at FurzeDown School

Chris Stephenson – Headteacher  at Vale Federation of Special Schools

Bradley Taylor – Headteacher  at Chiltern Wood School

Our Code of Conduct

We will be respectful and polite at all times, showing due consideration of the context in which we are working. We will report back confidentially to the commissioner and will present in a professional manner in terms of dress, time-keeping and safeguarding.

Email enquiries will be acknowledged within 24 hours, and further contact to explore the enquiry will be made within 3 days.
In the case of school-to-school support and/or deployment of SLEs, if a report is commissioned as part of that support, it will be drafted and sent to the school within 7 days of the visit.


Teaching Talent Newsletters


For full information please visit our EVENTS calendar. 

For further information, contact Julia Tompkins at jtompkins4@bucksgfl.org.uk



“A great way to wrap up our brilliant Aspire training”

Conference delegate 2017

“A really great conference, supporting ideas for what I’d like to do in my school next year”

Conference delegate 2017

“Well organized and useful ideas. Thank you to everyone involved”

Conference delegate 2017

“Excellent, I wish I had come to this 35 years ago!”

Conference delegate 2017

“Incredibly useful and insightful; very informative”

Conference delegate 2017

“The SEND Train the Trainer course was very useful and we have used the information from the course to update our own existing strategies.”

Course participant 2017

“After completing the SEND Train The Trainer course we are now offering a greater level of support to the pastoral team regarding SEND and behaviour management”

Course participant 2017

“The course gave me the opportunity to reflect on CPD provision and also mental health following and has helped shape other ideas for future practice”  

SEND Train the Trainer Course Participant 2017

“Outstanding. This unit allows students to turn their lives around”