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12 Feb 2020   |   Judith Smith   |   Positive Regard TSA, Wellspring Academy Trust


I am delighted to now be part of the Central Team supporting our Academies to be the best that they can be.  I join you from Talbot Specialist School in Sheffield, where I worked for 20 years, the last 14 as Executive Head.  As well as being an NLE for Fusion TSA which we established within Talbot in 2013, I am also the Regional SEND Leader for Whole School SEND/Nasen, as part of a DFE funded commission.  My region covers East Midlands, South Yorkshire and the Humber.  This role has allowed me to work with mainstream and specialist colleagues in building capacity, sharing knowledge and liberating the talent to meet the needs of our increasingly diverse population.  I am looking forward to using this knowledge and opportunity for the benefit of all pupils but especially those attending Wellspring Academies.  I will be working to develop the SEND offer as part of the TSA and in support of Dave Whittaker and Chris Jessup, in addressing school development needs.


Resources – there are a mass of FREE resources available to all schools on this website.  There is also a forum through which you can share ideas and resources.  All schools have free membership at Bronze level and whilst this does provide only basic access, schools can upgrade to silver or gold or an additional cost.  Take a look!

Real Group – they have recently developed a course on subject leadership and pupils with SEND.

Pdnet – there is now free online training available ( plus toolkits for evaluating your provision with physical disability in mind.

Natsip – they have on line a range of free downloadable resources you might want to check out (

Potential Plus focus on pupils identified as gifted and talented and have a number of free resources on their web –


If you have others, please let us know and we will share in the next newsletter.



13 February 2020
FREE Conference on “Ofsted – lessons learnt from the new framework on Leadership of SEND”  9.30 – 3.00, Holiday Inn, Junction 28, M1.  To book your FREE place, go to  and select the date from the calendar.

12 March 2020 – FREE Conference, “EYFS and Autism” – a working title!  Tankerlsey Manor, Sheffield, 9.30 – 3,00, TBC

16/17 March 2020 – Engagement Model training for SLE’s.  Please contact Alison Ley at Penine TSA to apply.

SENCo Network Meeting

If you know of other events, please let us know so we can share these with colleagues



  • Nasen will launch their new Senco Development Guide, 12 condition specific videos for NQTs and case studies on preventing exclusion of pupils with SEND all at once! This is likely to be in March.
  • Engagement Model – Following the Rochford Review in 2015, P5-P8 will be replaced with Pre Key Stage standards (KS1 – 1 to 4 and KS2 1 to 6). For pupils working at P1 – 4, the recommendation was that these pupils will be assessed against the Aspects of Engagement which have been reduced from 7 to 5. The Engagement Model is for pupils working below Pre Key Stage standards in at least 1 of the areas of reading, writing or maths.  10 training opportunities across the country are being held to train lead trainers. If you are an SLE with a background in SEND, please get in touch with Alison Ley at Pennine TSA to receive an application form.  Training for our region to become a Lead Trainer is being held on 16th and 17th March in Grantham and Lincolnshire.
  • At a recent conference “Where’s the H in EHCP” over 70 colleagues came together to listen to expert keynotes and debate the challenges in meeting increasingly complex clinical need within our schools. Schools Week published an article on this event and it sparked considerable interest.  I am now working with colleagues from around the country and Special School Voice, to maintain momentum around this issue.  If you would like to know more, please get in touch.
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