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South West

I would like to introduce myself as the regional lead for the South West of England.  I work in collaboration with all stakeholders to promote good practice for SEND across the region. The role of Whole School SEND is to support schools in prioritising SEND in conjunction with families, children and young people. There is so much expertise already in schools and communities which we want to identify and share for the benefit of all.

Whole School SEND's aim in the South West is to build our community of practice to meet the needs of children and young people with increasingly complex needs by strengthening the links between mainstream and specialist settings.

We invite parents, carers, leaders and practitioners to contact us by joining the Whole School SEND community and sharing good practice.

Image shows South West region on a map

Local authorities in this region

Bath and North East Somerset, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Plymouth, Poole Borough, Scilly, Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Swindon, Torbay, Wiltshire.

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Meet Your Regional Leads

Regional Lead

Alison has been a teacher for 26 years and is currently Deputy Head Teacher at Wynstream Primary School in Exeter. She has previously been a class teacher, nurture teacher, SENDCO, Head of Chestnut Nursery School, and Head of Inclusion for Exeter Children’s Federation.  She has been on the board of trustees at nurtureuk since 2016 and has a passion for improving the education and life chances of children from a background of deprivation. Her interest in children affected by social, emotional and/or mental health issues encouraged her to become a Specialist Leader in Education for the Exeter Consortium and Teaching School Alliance. Through this role she helps lead the Professional Community for SEND for South West Institute for Teaching (SWIFT). This community works to support schools identifying and meeting children’s needs and so reduce permanent exclusions across schools in the Southwest. She aims to keep the well-being of children at the heart of everything she does.

Headshot of Alison Betts

Alison Betts

Deputy Regional Lead

Emma graduated from Cambridge University in 1998 and has been a teacher in mainstream primary schools, in Alternative Provision with both Primary and Secondary. After setting up the first Key Stage 3 Nurture Class in Cornwall she became Lead SENDCo across the Multi Academy Trust, ensuring that children and young people have opportunities to engage and make the best progress possible in their learning and emotional/social development. During her career she has developed her passion to develop the creative/outdoors opportunities alongside the academic curriculum, instilling a love of learning, curiosity, and positivity. Emma is now Headteacher of Sky Primary and Eden Project Nursery, part of Kernow Learning Trust, which is a brand new school with a nurture inspired and learning beyond the classroom curriculum. The school is based in the heart of West Carclaze Garden Village, an eco development, and is a carbon net zero school.

Headshot of Emma Vyvyan

Emma Vyvyan

Deputy Regional Lead

Sam started teaching history in Teign School, Kingsteignton in 2010 and became SENCO in January 2015. She went on to complete her Masters Degree at Exeter University in 2012 and then completed her Doctorate in July 2021, focusing on the experiences of year 9 boys in the secondary classroom who had literacy difficulties. Sam is really passionate about ensuring that all students have the opportunity to succeed and that all teachers have the chance to improve their own practice to enable them to lead all students to the best outcomes. Her current role includes Leader of Inclusion across Education South West.

Image shows Samantha Battershall, Deputy Regional Lead of South West

Samantha Battershall