SENCO – Abby Austin
I have been the SENCO at De Lacy Academy since 2015. Prior to that, I have taught English since 2004 at three schools within Wakefield. I hold a BA Hons degree from Manchester University. In 2017 I achieved the Post Graduate Certificate National Award in SEN Coordination and in 2018 I attained the AAC and CCET awards which enable me to conduct educational testing to put Exam Access Arrangements in place for those who need them.
In school, I am supported by the SEND administrator, Dot Lynch, and I report to the Head of Inclusion and Behaviour. I lead a team of six fantastic Learning Support Assistants and work closely with teaching staff to ensure all our students’ needs are met, keeping them updated on any new diagnoses and recommended strategies.
I work closely with a range of outside agencies across the Local Authority, such as Educational Psychologists, counsellors and specialist therapists, as well as colleagues in school to get the best outcomes for our students and to ensure that they are well-supported.
Before students come to De Lacy, I liaise closely with the Primary SENCOs and Year 6 teachers so that we are well-prepared for the new intake. In cases where students have an EHCP, I attend their annual review during their final year at Primary school and, alongside Mrs Watts (Transition Leader) and Mrs Pickin (Student Support Officer for Year 7), I organise additional visits for students who we feel may benefit from a more in-depth transition programme.
When I’m not doing my SENCO work, I teach English and some other subjects across a range of year groups. I also plan out a programme of interventions to ensure that students have a secure foundation of knowledge to build upon. I liaise with Heads of English and Maths to identify gaps in students’ knowledge so that interventions are targeted to those who need them. We also offer interventions to boost students’ social skills, manage emotions and improve memory.
If you are the parent of a child with SEND and would like to find out about how we can support your child, please get in touch. Also, if you have any concerns about your child’s progress and feel that they may have an undiagnosed SEND, please ask us for feedback and advice. We are happy to support parents with referrals to specialists where students display additional needs in school.