Hebden Green Community School and Cheshire Academies Trust

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At the heart of Cheshire Academies Trust lies a profound commitment to fostering educational environments where every child is valued and given the opportunity to excel. This ethos resonates with the core values of Hebden Green Special School, which prioritises individualised care, ensuring that pupils with diverse needs are supported to achieve their full potential in a nurturing and inclusive setting.

Both organisations share a vision where education transcends academic achievements; it is about holistically nurturing young minds to prepare them for a fulfilling life beyond the classroom walls and into adulthood. This shared perspective champions the idea that education should be a journey of discovery, where every pupil, regardless of their background or abilities, is encouraged to explore their passions, develop resilience, and become lifelong learners.

Central to this vision is the belief in the power of community and collaboration. Cheshire Academies Trust and Hebden Green Special School understand that it takes a village to raise a child. By fostering strong partnerships between educators, families, and the wider community, they aim to create a supportive ecosystem that uplifts every student. This collaborative approach ensures that education is a collective effort, where successes are celebrated together, and challenges are addressed through shared wisdom and resources.

With Hebden Green and CAT working together for the last five years, our partnership, pre and post due diligence has been to set the framework for a primary mainstream and special school partnership which will meet the systemic national challenges presented. From a mainstream perspective, increasingly profound needs are being more evident and teachers’ knowledge and expertise requires significant support to ensure they can fully adapt their classrooms to support an ever increasing range of needs. The Trust's strong commitment to collaboration, efficient resource management, and cross-sector work provided Hebden's governors and leaders with a compelling strategic proposition. This approach is designed to support the school's future development, ensuring stability and fostering growth through shared values and collective effort.


CAT Primary SEND vision​- A SEND Hub for the Future

  • Mainstream schools who are able to confidently support children with SEND to achieve​ through an up to date and visionary approach
  • Special Schools who continue to grow and increasingly become centres of excellence enabling them to support the mainstream SEND picture but also the required growth of special school places
  • Mainstreams who are supported by Special Schools to provide a consistent approach to SEND in relation to strategies, curriculum, data, environments, training and ongoing CPD ​
  • A Trust who wishes to work together, cross sector, to enable children with EHCPs to be educated within the mainstream provisions ​
  • Mainstream schools who wish to work collaboratively to support pupils with SEND to achieve better and to transition with their peers through to the mainstream high schools. ​
  • Building a SEND hub to bring professional development and knowledge sharing between sectors to support pupils with SEND and those who are most vulnerable within the educational system

Our vision for the future of our Trust brings together schools from both the primary phase and special sector to build an inclusive group of schools that can mutually support, learn and improve together. Through this partnership and in light of the previous Green Paper, we believe we can work to address the inequalities in the SEND system, support a drive for equity and inclusion for our most vulnerable pupils and deliver a positive experience for children, young people and their families.

The Green Paper recommended the establishment of local SEND partnerships. As a Trust, we aim to bring together a range of stakeholders including in education, health and care partners alongside local government to provide an offer that provides solutions to long standing challenges. Working together, we will provide access to high quality, inclusive professional development by collaborating together to provide improved training, growing expert teachers for all pupils in both sectors.

We believe our values of Care, Collaboration and Creativity provide the bedrock for the Primary and SEND sector to engage so that the optimal impacts can be experienced by children, staff and communities. Our lens for the most vulnerable pupils allow us to see a truth about the effectiveness of our provision. It is through these that we will judge our impact, our capability, our capacity to make a difference, beyond that which may be attributed to advantage or need. It is for this reason that we actively wish to form a mixed MAT where primary and special colleagues work together. We plan to accelerate these strategies to secure greater impact and improvement that better serves all of our pupils and families.

Ultimately the attainment, progress and attendance of vulnerable pupils and those with additional needs is a key measure for Cheshire Academies Trust and each academy; as an indicator of the effectiveness of provision for those who most need it. In working collectively with colleagues at Hebden Green we can share expertise from both sectors so that the improvement curve will be accelerated.

We will co-produce our strategic work with our special sector / primary colleagues to create a hub specifically to provide training and development for inclusion. The Green Paper called for a local inclusion plan and we believe a SEND hub working alongside our strong schools would provide the necessary specialist expertise that schools, mainstream in particular, teachers and parents require in order to better prepare their children for adulthood.

Our strategy will be to ensure deep collaboration across schools providing opportunities for practice to be shared, innovation to take place and resources to be created so that key aspects of practice are effective. These include:


  • Excellent provision from early years to adulthood, considering pedagogy and inclusive practice.
  • Consider the role of support assistants, providing them high quality professional development based on Maximising the Impact of TA’s.
  • Ensure that SENCos in mainstream primary schools benefit from expertise from special school colleagues.
  • Integrate, where responsible to do so, pupils from special schools into activities and lessons within our mainstream environments in order to build a culture of inclusion and social equity.
  • Ensure all our mainstream SENCOs can work strategically for our pupils rather than become frustrated with bureaucratic paperwork.
  • Learn from practice in both sectors to ensure reciprocity across our network of schools.

“Every child has the right to excellent education - particularly those with special educational needs and disabilities, who often need the most support.”    

Green Paper 2022

We have developed a specialised hub within Cheshire Academies Trust that serves as a centre of excellence in supporting mainstream schools to effectively teach children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). We aim to promote inclusivity and ensure that every child, regardless of their individual needs, receives a high-quality education within a supportive and nurturing environment.​


Over overarching principles for an inclusive educational partnership

Dignity not deficit:

At Cheshire Academies Trust, we view difference and disability as normal aspects of humanity. Our approach to education, especially for children with SEND, is characterised by dignity and high expectations, not by a perception of deficit or medicalisation. We will ensure that every child is seen as an individual within the broad spectrum of humanity, deserving equal value and respect. Our goal is to create an inclusive learning environment where diversity is celebrated and the unique abilities of each child are recognised and nurtured.

We envision a Trust where the focus shifts from what children with SEND can't do to celebrating what they can achieve. This involves integrating adaptive technologies, differentiated instruction, and individualised support plans tailored to each child’s unique abilities. Our inclusive practices will extend beyond the classroom, ensuring that all school activities, from sports to arts, are accessible and welcoming to students with diverse needs.

Greater complexity merits greater expertise:

We believe that every child at Cheshire Academies Trust deserves a high-quality education. Recognising the special needs of some students, we are committed to providing expert and specialised support to ensure that these students thrive. Our focus will be on attracting and training educators who view teaching children with special educational needs as a prestigious and rewarding responsibility. We will foster a culture where expertise in SEND is valued and seen as essential to our educational excellence.

We aim to create a network of expertise within the Trust, where schools can collaborate and learn from each other’s successes and challenges in SEND education. Regular workshops, seminars, and peer mentoring will be integral to our strategy. This will not only enhance our teachers' expertise but also ensure that our students with SEND receive the highest quality of education and support tailored to their individual needs.

Different but not apart:

Our vision is to build an inclusive society where children with different learning needs grow up together, learning from and with each other. We aim to normalise encountering and embracing difference, thereby fostering a more inclusive and understanding society. Our schools will be model environments where integration and mutual respect are the cornerstones of our educational approach, ensuring that children with SEND are not segregated but are integral members of the school community.

Success in all its forms:

At Cheshire Academies Trust, we recognise that success comes in many forms and celebrate a wide range of achievements. Our educational philosophy extends beyond academic performance to include various forms of participation and accomplishment in society. We aim to foster an environment where every student's unique talents and achievements are recognised and valued. Our approach is to ensure that every child feels successful and is motivated to reach their full potential, regardless of their learning needs.

Action at all levels:

We understand that meaningful change in inclusion requires action at all levels. At Cheshire Academies Trust, we empower every member of our community, from school leaders to teachers, to actively contribute to advancing inclusion. Our strategy involves continuous training and development, ensuring that our educators are equipped with the best practices and knowledge to support learners with SEND. We are committed to creating a culture where inclusion is seen as everyone's responsibility, fostering a collective effort towards a more inclusive and equitable educational environment.




Contact Us

01829 752811
Kelsall Primary School, Flat Lane, Kelsall Cheshire