The staff team offer a nurturing approach to learning. They are qualified in a wide range a subjects and the majority of staff have specialist ASC training. The staff work hard to create the school’s unique pastoral care system where every pupil is valued and cared for. Each child or young person has their own curriculum built around their individual needs.
Leaways School has specialised subject staff who teach English, maths, science, cookery, IT, humanities and construction. Young people at Leaways School can have access to therapeutic support through an internal referral process. There is a pastoral lead and access to speech and language therapy and occupational therapy supplied by contracted professionals.
Meet the Team
Hannah Coles, Speech and Language Therapist
Hannah Coles graduated from Reading University in 2007, having gained a first class degree with clinical distinction in BSc Speech and Language Therapy. Since graduating, Hannah has worked with children and young people, aged 2-19 years old, with a range of speech, language and communication needs.
For the past four and a half years Hannah has worked as a highly specialist speech and language therapist for individuals with ASD and Social Emotional and Mental Health Needs.
In September 2014 Hannah was awarded the Sternberg award for Clinical Innovation. This is a Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) Honours award to acknowledge the achievements of therapists who have contributed outstanding services to speech and language therapy.
Melanie Whitfield, Head of Leaways School ASC Department
BA Hons, PGCE, NPQH
Melanie qualified as a teacher in 1990 and spent the first twenty three years of her career working in two challenging inner city secondary schools in the London Borough of Lewisham. Both schools had significant numbers of children with Special Educational Needs and behavioural challenges. Melanie rose from part time Drama and Music teacher in 1990 to Head Teacher in 2008.
In 2013 Melanie took the decision to move away from mainstream education and into special education – a decision informed by her passionate belief that ‘every child matters’ and that government education policy was not working for the most vulnerable children in our society.
Melanie began leading a small unit for KS3 autistic children with additional and complex needs and by summer 2015 had grown that small unit into a stand alone ASC school of twenty five children with a Primary Class and a Sixth Form provision!
By September of 2015 Melanie had been recruited by Kedleston Schools to develop their London provision for children with autism and additional and complex needs.
Melanie has three (now grown up) children, one of whom has special needs and a Grandson with autism.