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Lancashire and West Yorkshire

In LWY SEND Leaders are currently working with LAs, Opportunity Areas, MATs, Dioceses and schools to develop solutions to enhance SEND related school improvement and workforce development. 

We are committed to improving the quantity and quality of trained SEND Reviewers. We have a developed network of specialist Teaching Schools and SEND Reviewers and are continually enhancing this talent pool. We are developing locality specific ‘provision maps’ for SEND CPLD to close gaps in workforce development and encouraging all schools to sign up to the Community of Practice.

We recognise the importance of engaging with children and families to support school improvement. We will collect and collate examples of Best Practice relating to SEND regional issues and share these cross-regionally. We are also sharing excellence in SEND ITT by contributing to research projects.

Image shows Lancashire and West Yorkshire region on a map

Local authorities in this region

Blackburn and Darwen, Blackpool, Bolton, Bradford, Bury, Calderdale, Halton, Kirklees  Knowsley, Lancashire, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Sefton, St. Helens, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wakefield, Warrington, Wigan, Wirral.

Meet your Regional SEND Leads

Deputy Regional Lead

Hilary is currently a Deputy Headteacher responsible for Inclusion in North Chadderton Secondary school in Oldham. She is passionate about meeting the needs of children with SEND and has a background as a SENCO in a mainstream secondary school.

 She is particularly interested in supporting students with Social Emotional Mental Health difficulties and has trained in attachment, therapy, and whole-school mental health support. Another area of interest for Hilary is Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD), she is a specialist assessor for pupils with SpLD in literacy.

Hilary advocates strongly for the inclusion of learners in all areas of school and all activities within it. She also understands the importance of the support and advice of colleagues in the SEND community to allow schools and colleges to support pupils with SEND. It was the work she carried out with other professionals in the SEND community using WSS resources that motivated her to become Deputy Regional SEND Leader, Whole School SEND for Lancashire and West Yorkshire. 

A professional headshot of Hilary Cook

Hilary Cook

Deputy Regional Lead

Nicole Dempsey is Trust Director for Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities and Safeguarding at Dixons Academies Trusty, a multi-academy trust with schools in Bradford, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester.  She is also a Deputy Regional SEND Lead, in the Lancashire and West Yorkshire region, for Whole School SEND, a consortium of organisations committed to enhancing the quality of education for learners with special educational needs and/or disabilities throughout England.  She writes about SEND and inclusion on her blog,, and tweets under the username @NDempseyDTA

Image shows Nicole Dempsey, Deputy Regional SEND Lead for Lancashire and West Yorkshire

Nicole Dempsey