Lucie Calow joined Unity Schools Partnership last month as our new director for children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND). Here, she talks about her excitement at starting the new role and how it will support students across the trust.
“I have always thought SEND is the most exciting phase of education.
It has always been my passion and that is why I have devoted my entire career to it. I completed a specialist degree way back in the 1980’s and have continued to work in this area ever since.
I started my teaching career in Westminster supporting children with moderate learning difficulties before I moved to Hillside Special School in Sudbury where I progressed to Acting Headteacher.
Although I then moved to Cambridge where I helped build Granta Special School from scratch for pupils with complex needs, you could say I have come home to Suffolk by joining Unity Schools Partnership.
Throughout my working life, I have come into contact with some of the most amazing children and families – and that has been a real privilege.
All schools offer great pastoral care but it is magnified in special schools. There is also a significant responsibility to get things right.
I have really enjoyed my first few weeks at Unity Schools Partnership. From a personal development point of view, this is an amazing opportunity to support a wider range of both schools and families.
I have been really encouraged by the warmth of the people I have met and I am really excited by the opportunity to work with colleagues in the Unity Research School.
I think this is a unique trust as Unity has made a direct commitment to special educational needs. Its plans are innovative and exciting and I really want to be part of that.
You have so much fun with SEND children – I actually think it is the best kept secret in education. It is a wonderful area of education and I look forward to working with our young people right across Unity Schools Partnership.”