Leadership (ID 1205)
Mike has significant experience of both classroom teaching and leadership positions across mainstream and specialist settings. With an unrelenting focus to look at teaching through the eyes of the autistic learner, Mike’s unique empathetic and problem-solving approach is a skills-set sought by others. Although he provides extensive support and guidance to other school settings and education professionals, Mike’s main priority is the safeguarding of young people on their journey to safe, independent lives. Mike’s strong strategic leadership skills place him at the heart of the senior leadership team, as well as a valued professional voice within the trust.
Nicola WhitcombeDeputy Headteacher
Nicola Whitcombe is a talented, compassionate and high-skilled professional. As a teacher Nicola has experience of mainstream and specialist settings, holding senior leadership positions in both including the role of SENCo. Nicola holds a range of postgraduate qualifications in autism and SEND and applies this knowledge to strategically lead the autism and SEND provision within the academy. Driven by a passion for enabling young people with autism, Nicola’s enthusiasm is genuine and infectious. As well as having strong emotional intelligence, Nicola has the ability to build effective relationships with others based on mutual respect. Nicola is also able to implement clear systems and structures to ensure an outstanding quality of education for young people. A co-founder of A-Fest, Nicola is a compelling advocate for child-centred practice and always ensures that good autism practice is at the heart of the strategic leadership agenda. Nicola is an expert content creator for The National College, producing three webinars for them.
Samantha CottrellAssistant Headteacher - Quality of Education and Behaviours and Attitudes
Sam has extensive teaching experience within mainstream schools, alongside the management of resource base settings. She is an experienced SEND advisor and an integral part of the Springfields Autism Support Team. Sam leads on the academy Behviours and Attitudes strategy and leads the Emotional Regulation Team. In addition to this, Sam oversees the Communication and Interaction & Physical and Sensory Curriculum areas.
Lee DavidsonAssistant Headteacher - Quality of Education and Personal Developement
Lee Davidson is an ebullient and charismatic leader who is passionate about helping learners succeed. Lee ensures the right systems and processes are in place to enable learners to thrive. Lee leads a team of talented and diverse practitioners across a range of academic and vocational areas. Lee also works with a range of further education establishments and other education professionals to determine the right next steps for pupils. As a highly visible leader who prides himself on building effective relationships with pupils, parents and staff, Lee brings the energy and drive to the senior leadership team.
Liz BurnsHead of Therapy and Designated Safeguarding Lead
Liz is an experienced Occupational Therapist who is committed to supporting young people to live safe, independent lives. Liz has a passion for autism and uses a range of resources, interventions and therapeutic approaches to help engage young people in the learning process. Liz leads a team of talented therapeutic and outreach professionals from our very own Therapy House, a bespoke provision for our learners. Liz works across both sites to ensure that learners make social and emotional progress alongside academic progress. Liz brings a unique perspective on how to support learners in the classroom.
Connie is a highly dedicated and skilled practitioner with experience in both mainstream and specialist settings. Her positive attitude and enthusiasm enables her to build strong relationships with both pupils and staff.
Connie oversees the school SEND strategy and adapted provision as well as leading a team of talented learning support and higher level learning support assistants. Connie can be contacted by phone through the school office on01249 814125or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicola BrooksHead of Staff Development and Partnerships
Nicola Brooks is an experienced SEND and mainstream teacher who now specialises in staff development. Nicola’s values of collaboration and life-long learning guide her leadership of professional learning across the Academy. Nicola oversees the many hubs, networks and partnerships that the Academy is involved in. Nicola builds relationships with other education partners and professionals to optimise opportunities to share, learn and collaborate. Nicola’s belief in teacher-led, grassroots CPD helped lead to the inception of A-Fest. Described by her colleagues as caring, thoughtful and driven Nicola is committed to helping all staff achieve their best. Nicola holds a MEd with Distinction in Educational Leadership in Management. Her dissertation focused on the identity, relationships and skills of middle leaders. She is currently studying for the NPQSL.
Claire LudlowCommunication and Interaction Lead
Claire has significant experience of teaching learners in specialist settings. A specialist in learning through play and Early Years teaching, Claire is highly skilled in engaging young children into the school environment. Claire uses TEACCH and Bucket Time principles across her teaching and is able to advise others on the use of these practices. Claire is also the Attention Autism Champion for the academy. Calm, caring and resilient Claire is also a line manager and mentor.
Claire WilliamsKnowledge and Understanding of the World Lead
Claire is a hugely dedicated practitioner with significant teaching experience across mainstream and specialist settings. Known for her ‘can-do’ attitude, Claire is enthusiastic, resilient and practical. Claire is a child-centred practitioner and she supports her team with creating the right environment to support learners to flourish.
Darren MullignsPhysical and Sensory Lead
Darren is an experienced practitioner who leads the Physical and Sensory Curriculum across the academy. As a creative leader he has implemented a variety of opportunities within for pupils to achieve at school level and in sports competitions.
James CoomberPersonal Development Lead
James Coomber is Personal Development leader and specialist SEND teacher at The Springfields Academy. James is a highly experienced teacher, who has been successful as a teacher and leader in both mainstream and specialist settings. James has been subject leader for PE, Maths, Science and PSHE in the past, and puts enormous value on learning through ‘real life’ experiences linked to the curriculum. James believes, first and foremost, that for children to be successful learners in school they need to feel happy and comfortable in their surroundings, with the ability to explore their talents and interests.
Coral PagramDiscovery/Semi-Formal Curriculum Lead
Coral is an experienced teacher and middle leader who has taught across the primary age range in both mainstream and specialist settings.Coral is the academy’s Semi-formal Curriculum Lead, as well as the Discovery class teacher. Coral believes that children learn best when they are happy- she is dedicated to ensuring that all children receive the individualised care needed to feel safe and flourish. Coral is particularly skilled at working with pre and non-verbal children. She promotes a range of communication strategies within her classroom, ensuring that communication needs do not become a barrier to learning. She is the academy’s lead practitioner for Bucket Time and Sensory Bag, modelling effective practice in these areas. Coral is respected by her peers for her resilient, practical, and child-centred manner. She is also an experienced ECT mentor.
Maxine PageDeputy SENCO
Maxine is an experienced SEND practitioner who supports the implementation of the SEND strategy across the school. She oversees the Secondary English Curriculum and Specific Needs cohort as well as contributing to the admissions team.
Laura WellsDeputy SENCO
Laura is the Lead for the Complex Needs Provision and PLACE provision. Laura is an experienced SEND teacher who has worked in all areas of the school. She leads a SEND ECT hub and supports the admissions team.