At Catcote Academy we know that our students progress and wellbeing go hand in hand. We want our learners to be healthy, happy and confident learners who are ready and open to learning.  We want to make sure we are supporting everyone in the best possible way so we have a range of help available.

Our Wellbeing team consists of:

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo)

Emma Straker

Being the SENCo in a special school means that I am involved in supporting every student in one way or another. I am responsible for all the Annual Reviews which look at Educational, Health and Care Plans and make sure that we are working together to support students to achieve.

I also coordinate the support that the Academy gets from external professionals, such as the Educational Psychologists, Occupational Therapist and Speech and Language, Therapy Service, linking between them and the team of teachers and support staff.

I can provide support, advice and information for parents who want to know more about:

  • Changes to the law for SEN
  • EHCP
  • Personal Budgets
  • Help with external professionals

You can contact me on the main academy number or via email: emma.straker@catcote.co.uk

Student and Family Liaison Officer

Lynn Younger

As the Student Family Support Assistant my role is school based and involves working directly with parents/carers and other agencies to ensure the best possible outcomes for all students.  Part of this means providing access to information and support for families.

At Catcote Academy we appreciate that it can be difficult to talk about some issues and concerns.  Whether your child is affected at school or home, my role provides a bridging point to support you.  The Support offered to parents/cars is friendly and non-judgemental and can cover a range of issues including:

  • Attendance
  • Behaviour concerns
  • Family support
  • Support for transitions to Academy.

You can contact me on the main academy number or via email: lynn.younger@catcote.co.uk

Health care Assistant

Emma Maunder







As the Health Care Assistant, my role is to provide both routine and emergency healthcare to our students, directed from the healthcare/action plans within the Academy.  As part of my role I liaise with home, school and other professionals regarding the healthcare needs of the students.  I also attend multi-agency meetings as required to maintain effective communication with colleagues, student’s relatives and other health professionals.  This all helps to promote students’ health and well-being.

You can contact me on the main academy number or via email: emma.maunder@catcote.co.uk

Safeguarding Lead

Anne Johnson







The safety of our students is our highest priority.  It is only when a child feels safe and secure that they can learn and thereby develop to their greatest potential.

We endeavour to place the student’s welfare at the heart of all we do and this is reflected in our policies.  

Students are educated about safe practices in PSHE and ICT lessons.

You can contact me on the Academy number or via email: anne.johnson@catcote.co.uk

Safeguarding Officer

Amanda Wilks

You can contact me on the main academy number of via email:  amanda.wilks@catcote.co.uk

TLR (teaching and learning responsibility) for Social, Emotional, Health and Wellbeing

Rick Kitson








As the lead for Social, Emotional, Mental Health and Wellbeing, my role involves a number of responsibilities to support students to break down the barriers to their learning and to become ‘Ready To Learn’. I am also the school’s Designated Mental Health Lead. Wellbeing is extremely important to us at Catcote Academy and we believe students learn best when they are happy.

You can contact me on the main academy number or via email: rick.kitson@catcote.co.uk

Specialist Sensory Occupational Therapist 

Amanda Hunter

The academy currently pays for an OT to come into school 1 day a week. 

Occupational therapy (OT) helps children to participate in daily activities. These activities may be personal care tasks (such as dressing, toileting or feeding), work and play tasks (such as activities carried out at pre-school, school or college) and/or leisure activities. These are ‘occupational performance’ tasks.

As the OT for the school I work with the students, parents and teachers to find solutions to minimise the difficulties learners face, helping them get the most from life.

Other services


Children, young people and their families can be offered support by CAMHS if they are experiencing difficulties with their behaviour or emotions, or are finding it hard to cope with life in the family, at school or in the wider world.

Hartlepool’s CAMHS team is based at Dover House and provides a range of support following referral.  We will always ask for your permission to make a referral to this service.

Educational Psychologist

Educational Psychologists work with children and young people aged up to 19 years and with their teachers, parents (and other carers) and other professionals involved e.g. doctors, social workers. Educational Psychologists work to find solutions to difficulties children and young people may be experiencing. This might be difficulties with learning, social and emotional development or behaviour, to name a few! Sometimes they work directly with children and young people, and sometimes they work only with the adults in the children’s lives.


Thrive Approach

We currently have 13 staff across the Trust who are trained in the Thrive Approach.  This approach draws on insights from neuroscience, attachment theory and child development.  It provides a powerful way of working with children and young people that supports optimal social and emotional development.  The Thrive approach is embedded across the Trust being used by all staff and where appropriate individual learners have 1:1 sessions with licensed Thrive practitioners.


The SCERTS model is a research based educational approach and multi-disciplinary framework that directly addresses the core challenges faced by children and persons with ASD and related disabilities and their families.  SCERTS focuses on building competence in Social Communication, Emotional Regulation and Transactional support.  We currently have 4 members of staff trained in the assessment of SCERTS.

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