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Charlotte Deaves

SENDCo and Class Teacher at Hartford Junior School

After qualifying as a teacher in 2011, Charlotte Deaves started her teaching career with a variety of supply roles in schools across Huntingdonshire.

She joined Hartford Junior School in 2014 as a supply teacher and has never looked back.

Having experienced a breadth of roles, from Planning, Preparation and Assessment (PPA) cover and Subject Leader release, to her current Senior Leadership role as a SENDCo, she brings of a wealth of experience and understanding.

She assisted with Hartford’s transition into The Cam Academy Trust in 2017, and in her current role is responsible for a range of pastoral support provisions at the school, as well as teaching Year 5 pupils.


What inspired you to become a SENDco?

“My degree is in psychology, and whilst I was completing my university studies, I aspired to be an Educational Psychologist (EP). At that time, the route to completing a doctorate in this field, meant completing employment within the education sector.

During university, I had spent some time volunteering at local schools, and thought that teaching would provide me with some great transferable skills I could use once I qualified as an EP. But, once I started teaching, I realised I loved it.

SEND had always been a focus for me when I started teaching. After joining Hartford and realising the high levels of need across the school, I made it clear early in my career here that working toward being a SENDCo was something that I wanted to achieve. The opportunity presented itself in 2018, and I have been the SENDCo ever since.”


How has your time at Hartford Junior School supported you with your career?

“Whilst I’ve been at Hartford, I’ve really been able to develop my practice and have been exposed to a wealth of opportunities. No matter who has been in a leadership position during my time here, there has always been a supportive culture – where staff are nurtured to grow in their roles.

I don’t believe I would be the teacher I am today without working closely with the more experienced teachers I had access to when I first started at Hartford, and when I have moved into more senior roles.

For example, I was very lucky that when I started in my SENDco role Vicky McGregor had just started as the SENDco at Hartford Infant School. As an experienced SENDco, she was, and still is, a fantastic mentor, and we’ve been able to collaborate on processes to ensure a smooth, and consistent, educational journey across the two schools.”


How has working for The Cam Academy Trust provided you with opportunities (including training or CPD) or links you might otherwise not have made?

“The collaboration across the Trust has been incredibly beneficial, especially the termly SENDco network meeting. Being a SENDCo can be quite isolating, so having these meetings where we can share best practice, tap into a wealth of knowledge and experience, and know that there are others in the room who understand the pressures you face is really encouraging.

Also, completing my SENDCo qualification has been a really important step in my career. Before even starting the course, leadership supported me in finding a course which suited my needs and aspirations. I was able to complete my studies locally, meaning I learned alongside professionals who would be using the same processes as me in their settings, building a valuable support network. The course then contributed a third of the credits I needed for my Masters degree in SEND and Educational Leadership, which I completed in 2022.

There has always been buy-in from leadership while I have completed any additional qualifications, including any research I have conducted to support these, to the point where I even sent my dissertation to the Head of the school at the time for him to read.

Leadership, not only at Hartford, but across the Trust, has always been forward thinking and has provided us with lots of relevant training, including most recently some legal training in SEND, which has been invaluable.”


What’s your favourite thing about the role?

“No day is the same. I get to work with a wide variety of people across lots of disciplines and really feel like I get to make an impact on the lives of pupils here, as well as develop meaningful relationships and partnerships.

From working closely with families to ensure they have adequate support to liaising with staff and external agencies, my role is also incredibly dynamic, and I am constantly learning.

Having been at Hartford for nearly 10 years, and having come from the area myself, I’m at the stage where I am now teaching and interacting with the children of my peers from school. I have been able to establish a lot of great relationships within the school community, and it’s a lovely full circle moment for me.

I am also part of a great leadership team that shares my vision, and we are all working towards a common goal.”

Excellence For All