Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Academies Trust

By Lawrence Chapman, SENDAT
Multi-academy trust and charity, the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Academies Trust (SENDAT), provides special education and specialist provision in the eastern region.

Published in Suffolk Director Magazine, Summer 2021

Giving Back: SENDAT

Our family of schools in Suffolk includes Priory School in Bury St Edmunds, Stone Lodge Academy in Ipswich and Chalk Hill in Sudbury. 

Our vision is to develop well-rounded individuals, who can go forward into their adult lives prepared for the work environment and capable of being independent and productive citizens. We work with each student, their parents/carers and other professionals, to understand and overcome their particular barriers to learning; so they can achieve their full potential within a secure and caring environment. We enhance the range of experiences available to our students by offering them increasing opportunities for personal, social, intellectual and physical development.

Plans for growth and expansion to SENDAT

We are embarking on an exciting year of expansion and growth for the trust and have a number of new projects on the horizon. As part of this, we are delighted to be working with John Milton Academy Trust, Active Learning Trust and Suffolk County Council, to support new specialist units which will enhance special education provision for children with SEND in Suffolk. 

The Mulberry provision will be delivered at Mendlesham Primary School and Stowupland High School, with the Peile provision delivered at Chantry Academy in Ipswich. Both provisions are due to open in September 2021 and will enable students to access both mainstream classes and specialist supported classes specific to their personal individual needs.  Some students are currently travelling some distance to access suitable provision, so the new specialist units will allow these students to attend schools within their own local communities, with all the social benefits it brings them.

We are committed to offering all our students additional experiences, including work related activities. Collaborating with the wider business community in Suffolk is key to helping develop well-rounded young people who may be able to re-integrate back into mainstream provision and also successfully go forward to post-16 education.

Working alongside local organisations

We are keen to work with local organisations and companies to explore any opportunities that may be available for our students. Employer interaction and experience in a workplace environment is essential to developing students who can leave school as independent and capable citizens fully prepared for their next steps. Any organisations and companies in Suffolk interested in promoting volunteer work, employability workshops or other opportunities for our students can contact us by emailing office@sendat.academy.

As part of our work with local communities and our students’ social development, we encourage our children and young people to take part in raising money for charities and they are always enthusiastic about embracing these opportunities. We regularly hold fundraising events and recently for Comic Relief, students at Stone Lodge Academy dressed up as superheroes, took part in a range of classroom challenges and raised £235. Whilst students at Priory School enjoyed a non-uniform day and raised £180. Over the festive period, students at Priory School took part in a Christmas Jumper Day, which raised £104 for Save the Children, and donated their hand-made Christmas decorations to a local children’s hospital ward.

Lawrence Chapman (pictured) is CEO at SENDAT For more information about SENDAT and its schools, visit sendat.academy

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