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Our SEND Reviewers

A SEND Review looks at how a school is managing it’s SEND provision.

As a reviewer, system leaders will work with you to improve your school’s SEND strategy so that funding is spent on approaches shown to be effective in improving the achievement of disadvantaged pupils.

They will carry out a focused review of your school’s current provision and work with you to put in place an improved strategy, including planned spend, on specific evidence-based approaches.
Reviewers have a track record in making a difference with disadvantaged pupils. These system leaders are responsible for the delivery of an effective review they will usually hold an initial discussion with the Headteacher of the commissioning school.

Beyond this, reviewers may deploy other members of their leadership team with expertise in this area, including Middle Leaders and SLEs, to lead aspects of the review.

Our Team

Meet our SEND Reviewers:

Claire Buffham

Head of LEARN
Director of Education – C.I.T Academies

Director of Education for SEND at Community Inclusive Trust and as part of her role Claire set up and is responsible for the Lincolnshire Education and Research Network Teaching School Alliance (LEARN). Her vision for LEARN is to create a central hub to meet the SEN needs of all Lincolnshire schools, and she has worked in education for 26 years, specifically the SEN sector since 2001.

Emily Walker

Director of LEARN
Regional SEND Lead
for Whole School SEND (WSS) –
East Midlands, South Yorkshire and Humber

Emily has worked in education for 23 years. She has worked in both Primary and Secondary settings and previous to joining LEARN was Assistant Head for a Specialist Secondary School for 7 years.
Emily is passionate about supporting teachers to play an active role in making sure all children have equal opportunities no matter what their starting point. She believes strongly that all children deserve the best possible chance to succeed.

Richard Gamman

Head of School – John Fielding Special School

Richard trained as a secondary teacher of Humanities and has taught in mainstream secondary, residential SEMH, and as a VSO volunteer teacher in Kenya before retraining as an Educational Psychologist. As an Educational Psychologist, Richard specialises in Autism and support to Fostered and Adopted Children. After 4 years as Principal Educational Psychologist at Peterborough City Council, Richard returned to teaching at Spring Common School in Huntingdon where he was in charge of Autism provision between 2011 and 2015. In 2015 Richard joined the Spalding Special Schools Federation and is now Head of School at a specialist, all provision school in Boston, Lincolnshire.

Vicky Chapman

Assistant Headteacher & Curriculum Lead – Ambergate Sports College

Vicky has worked at GANF since starting as an NQT in September 2013. She studied at Bishop Grosseteste University, where she obtained a (BA Hons) Primary Education with QTS Degree.
Vicky has had the pleasure of teaching both lower and upper school pupils, which has supported her role of Curriculum Lead, to help ensure that all pupils have access to a broad and balanced curriculum in order to progress to the best have of their abilities.

Alison Redfern

Assistant Headteacher – Ambergate Sports College
SENCO – GANF Schools and Poplar Farm School

Alison graduated from Worcester University with a BA(Hons) in English Literature and then went onto gain a PGCE from Nottingham Trent University.
She has worked in Special Educational Needs all of her career and taught across all of the four key stages.
She gained a Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Studies in Education – Addressing Difficulties in Literacy Development, along with the National Award for SEN Coordination.

Paul Hill

Director of Primary Education for C.I.T Academies

Having been in education for the past 18 years, Paul has accomplished the roles of Teacher, Headteacher and Executive Head. Now as a Director of Education for a MAT Trust, Paul completes regular health checks across primary schools. He ensures the schools are supported and challenged, and deliver the best education to their pupils.

James Ellis

Headteacher of Foxfields Academy

James has been Headteacher of Ambergate Sports College, an Outstanding Specialist school for pupils from Primary through to Secondary, for the last 5 years and has just moved to open a new free school for SEMH pupils (Foxfields Academy). Discovering a passion to work with pupils who have additional needs, James feels very strongly about providing a balanced education for all, regardless of ability.

Leigh Bentley

Deputy Director of Education (SEND) at C.I.T Academies

Leigh has worked within mainstream and special education for over 20 years, from Early Years through to Post-16. Most recently he was the Headteacher of an Outstanding school for young people with complex Mental Health difficulties.
Leigh has a passion for special educational needs and supporting young people to achieve their best possible outcomes.

Denise Parker

Owner – SENCO Solutions

Denise has been a teacher for 25 years and a SENCo for over 15 years in both Peterborough and Lincolnshire, leading SEN in a three-form entry primary school with a significant percentage of pupils with SEND. Not only does Denise have current, first-hand experience of being a SENCo and the challenges that the role faces, she also has strong links with Lincolnshire organisations such as the SEND Team, Teaching Schools and Outside Agencies. For 8 years, Denise supported the Local Authority sitting on the Allocation Meetings, which make decisions on requests for Statutory Assessments; this has provided her with a thorough understanding on how the SEND Team expect the graduated approach to be applied in school settings.
Alongside this work Denise is a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) for Keystone Teaching School, providing training for Initial Teacher Training and Newly Qualified Teachers with regards to SEND and also completing pieces of work within school settings to improve outcomes for pupils with SEND. Denise is also a trained SEND Reviewer and has been a Specialist Partner in the Lincolnshire LENS Project led by LEARN Teaching School, completing a number of SEND Reviews.
Denise also supports the Lincolnshire National SENCo Award by leading training in how to apply the graduated approach in schools.
For over 10 years, Denise has set up and led successful SENCo Cluster Groups, which meet termly to support colleagues and to share good practice. It is now an established group of SENCos, which continues to grow.
Denise holds the National SENCo Award and is an Accredited Nurture Practitioner, leading her previous school to gain consecutive ‘Inclusion Quality Mark Awards’ and to become the first school in Lincolnshire to have an accredited Nurture Group and a ‘Boxall Quality Mark Award’.
Over the last fifteen years, Denise has built up strong relationships with Lincolnshire professionals and her wealth of knowledge and experience means that she frequently offers advice to others.
It is this passion for helping others in the area of Special Educational Needs that has led to Denise becoming an SEN Consultant.

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