Tel: 01606 853005

Academy Support

Independent Speech and Language Therapy

In addition to services provided by the NHS, The Russett School commissions an independent Speech and Language Therapist to support the speech, language and communication needs of all our pupils. Our therapist works with identified pupils on a 1:1 basis as well as in small groups. She also regularly provides whole staff training and resources to ensure best practice across the academy, which benefits all pupils.

Independent Occupational Therapy

Our independent Occupational Therapist has been commissioned to work collaboratively with our teaching staff, other professionals and families to help our pupils develop functional skills for everyday life in areas such as self-care and life skills.

Our therapist is currently supporting identified pupils with:

  • Fine and gross motor and co-ordination skills
  • Sensory based strategies to support sensory integration
  • Self-help and independence
  • Specialist equipment needs, such as adapted cutlery, pens and writing slopes.

Occupational Therapy can be provided in individual or group sessions as well as integrated into the classroom with programmes delivered by the class team.

Behaviour Team

At The Russett School we believe, the approach to the management and support of behaviour is key in supporting pupils to achieve the best possible outcomes and should therefore be viewed as an issue of the highest importance. We follow The Institute of Applied Behaviour Analysis (IABA) model to behaviour support which is a form of Positive Behaviour Support (PBS). PBS is widely acknowledged to be the most effective way to support people whose behaviour challenges those around them and is a blend of person-centred values and behavioural science which uses evidence to inform decision-making. PBS approaches are based on a set of overarching values which include the commitment to providing support that promotes inclusion, choice, participation and equality of opportunity.

The role of our Behaviour Team is to ensure that our approach to behaviour is adhered to and implemented successfully across the academy. Our team support colleagues by carrying out observations and recommending support strategies for individual pupils as well as carrying out regular training for all staff.


Meet the Team

Jessica Dennis

Deputy Head of Academy (Lower School), Academy Behaviour Lead

Ed Duffy

Lower School Behaviour Lead

Craig Williams

Upper School Behaviour Lead

Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSA)

ELSA is an initiative developed and supported by educational psychologists. It recognises that pupils learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are met alongside their academic ones. At The Russett School we have a team of highly trained ELSA’s that deliver sessions to small groups and individuals to support a range of emotional needs, including:

  • recognising emotions
  • Self-esteem
  • Building resilience
  • Social skills
  • Friendship skills
  • Anger management
  • Therapeutic and social stories
  • Loss, bereavement and change within families.

Recognising that pupils learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are met alongside their academic ones

Our ELSA Team

Katie Pinnington

Philippa Davenport

Sarah Vickers

Other Staff Members

Julie Hulse

Careers Lead

Julie Hulse is our Academy Careers Lead and is responsible for The Russett School’s bespoke Careers and Work Experience Programme ‘Horizons’. Julie ensures that through Horizons the academy meets the Department for Education’s 8 Gatsby Benchmarks, ensuring all our pupils benefit from high quality careers education.

Jane Palfreyman

Job Coach

Jane Palfreyman is the academy’s job coach. Her role involves working closely with Julie to implement the work experience aspect of the Horizons Programme. Jane supports pupils to access both internal and external work placements that meet the unique interests and abilities of our pupils, preparing them for potential future employment.


Further information about the academy’s ELSA programme can be found within the following documents: