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Specialist staff

Head of Therapies

Anne-Marie Stewart Wright

Mrs Anne-Marie Stewart Wright is a trained and accredited Psychodynamic Counsellor and a CBT Therapist. She is also a trained Triple PPP certified parenting practitioner and a registered MBACP. Anne-Marie's first degree is in Psychology and she has a MA and Post-Graduate qualification in Counselling and Therapy. She has worked for the Local Education Authority for over thirty years. Anne-Marie has worked extensively with children, young people, parents and a range of professionals from diverse backgrounds. She has also been involved in a lot of cross-borough work with neighbouring authorities. Anne-Marie carries a wealth of experience from working with schools, the Voluntary sector and other professional services including CAMHS.

Anne-Marie is responsible for coordinating the therapeutic interventions offered to our cohort where therapy is required. She works closely with staff to develop strategies to support our students manage their anxiety and regulate their emotions. She conducts RCADS, Beck YIS, ADIS DSM and other assessments. These involve meeting with children/young people and parents to determine the most appropriate therapeutic intervention for the child. Anne-Marie works with internal disorders and is able to identify external disorders. Her work with a young person is to create a formulation so they can see why the problem exists, understand their core belief and and how the problem is maintained. This then helps them to decide what goals they would like to work on. She works  on the specific internal disorders model that is identified as the primary type of anxiety a child or young person is experiencing. This can range from Separation Anxiety, Social Phobia, General Anxiety, Panis, OCD and Depression.

Educational Psychologist

Mike Beswetherick

Mr Mike Beswetherick is a chartered educational and occupational psychologist who has spent more than 30 years working with local authorities in both mainstream and special schools.

Mike is in school for one day a week and he works with all pupils by assessing them and providing strategies to staff on how to help a young person successfully engage in education. Mike assesses pupils once a year in preparation for their annual review which helps register their progress and areas where additional work is needed.

Speech and Language Therapist

Marilyn Shah

Mrs Marilyn Shah is a qualified speech and language therapist. She is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and has many years of experience.

Marilyn is in school for one and a half days each week and works with every pupil on roll. Her work at High Close centres around social skills, understanding social situations, reading body language and facial expressions and helping young people learn how to interact appropriately with those around them. Pupils see Marilyn on a one-to-one basis or in small groups depending on the area being targeted. She has also introduced a senior mentor scheme whereby older pupils assist younger students in their sessions with Marilyn and around school, as appropriate, which has proved beneficial to all. Marilyn also works on interview skills with older pupils and provides staff training so that work can continue throughout the week in her absence.

Occupational Therapist

Catherine Elsey

Mrs Catherine Elsey is a qualified occupational therapist and is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. She has worked in many different settings, including the NHS as well as independent practice.

Catherine is at High Close for one day a week and works with various pupils who are referred by staff or have a need established on their statement. Catherine’s interventions help provide pupils with the strategies and techniques as well as the adaptive equipment to make academic learning, daily living and leisure activities both physically and mentally more comfortable. She also provides staff training to raise awareness and understanding of the problems pupils face and possible solutions.

Learning Support

Tanya Trafford

Tanya is a qualified Special Eductaion Teacher. She is registered with PATOSS (Professional Association of Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties).

Tanya is in school for four days each week and works with every pupil on roll to assess and monitor their progress and to identify the cognitive differences in each child so that they may be appropriately supported in class.

Tanya also works on a 1:1 basis with a number of students who have specific areas of need including support with literacy, numeracy and planning skills.