Susan is a Consultant who provides support for SENCOs and School Leaders on special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) issues to ensure young people with SEN receive a high quality support tailored to their individual needs so that they meet their potential. She is an experienced SENCO and teacher, having worked for over 30 years in inclusive schools and a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU). Susan has up to date experience of implementing the SEND Code of Practice (2015) including making successful applications for Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans, training SENCos on applications and carrying out pupil-centred reviews, in addition to training teachers and TAs to implement the code of practice.
While at the PRU Susan conducted baseline assessments and implemented support to enable pupils to return to school. Many students were found to have complex social, emotional and mental health needs requiring EHC Plans to access appropriate provision. Susan regularly liaised with external agencies to ensure successful applications for over 30 students. She also worked with Cheshire East schools advising staff on how to avoid permanent exclusions and draft successful EHC Plans. Susan delivers training on the SEND code of practice (2015) and a range of relevant SEND issues to ensure the successful inclusion of pupils with complex educational needs.
Curriculum Vitae - Susan Nuttall
Describe your approach to students in 3 words.
Calm, positive with high expectations
What are your priorities as a SEND professional?
Early identification of children with special educational needs
What advice would you give to SENCOs?
My advice would be:
I worked with Susan for seven years (1999-2006) in my capacity as Head of English in a challenging high school. She has the personal qualities and wide range of professional experience to be highly effective as a consultant on any area of SEND.
She is a dedicated champion of young people, especially those who are vulnerable, and this shows in her committed approach to getting the outcomes for them which are required by law and desired by outstanding schools. Her mix of pragmatism, patience and empathy allows her to be realistic about how to meet the needs of students whilst keeping systems manageable for staff.
She is an experienced manager of people, having run Humanities and Special Needs departments in her career. In these roles, she has trained others to her high standards and managed her workload and the work of others to great effect. Staff enjoyed working for Susan, as she was highly organised and clear in direction. She is highly effective in all interactions – with students, with staff and with external agencies. Her calm, quietly assertive approach inspires confidence in those she works with. I certainly appreciated her consultative and level-headed manner in my collaboration with her.
Her broad experience, as subject department manager and SENCO in mainstream and a PRU, gives her a unique insight into the organisation of special needs provision as a whole and where students sit within it. Her extensive academic and professional qualifications speak for themselves. She is clearsighted and knowledgeable about the legal requirements which schools need to meet and experienced in writing EHC plans and SEND policy. In short, schools can trust that any advice from Susan will be backed up by a lifetime of experience and knowledge.
Head of Year 13
Christleton High School
I remember our many discussions with Susan about SEND report, the care that you took with the preparation of EHCP applications and your high expectations and ambitions of students. She really cared for and about our students, and always sought to obtain the best possible outcomes for them. Maintaining good relationships with the Local Authority was an important feature of your work.
Chair of Interim Executive Board of Cheshire East PRU later known as Oakfield Lodge School 2014-2016
As an officer for the local authority who is responsible for all permanently excluded (PEX) children I worked closely with the Pupil Referral Unit staff of which Susan was the SENCO. In order to support the prevention of PEX Susan supported a number of our Secondary schools with their EHCP application paperwork in order to obtain an EHCP and the correct provision for the child.
Susan also supported my work of reintegrating children who attended the PRU back into mainstream school. Sue accompanied me on home visits to discuss options with the family. Susan offered support to the child and school during the integration period which was invaluable.
Education Access Support Officer
Susan's website is http://www.susannuttall.org/
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