The Springfields Academy

Reach South Academy Trust

Our central mission is for Reach South pupils to aspire to achieve beyond the expectations that others place on them.

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About us

About Us

Are you looking to develop your practice around SEND?

Then the Springfields Academy is here to help. Here at Springfields autism is our passion and we aim to support, enable and empower autistic learners every day.

As a provision accredited by the National Autistic Society, as well as the Autism Education Trust training hub for Wiltshire, our aim is to provide life-transforming education and care for young people aged 5-19 with autism. Our desire to learn, share and celebrate good practice has led to the creation of Springfields Autism Support. If you're looking for strategies to help you make reasonable adjustments, insight into sensory needs or a more bespoke package of support then we can help. You can meet key members of our SAS support team below.

For all enquiries regarding training and development please email:

Nicola Brooks

Lead for Staff Development and Partnerships

Nicola is likely to be your first point of contact with the Springfields Autism Support Team. Nicola will respond to your enquiry and match you to the right team member to meet your needs. Nicola leads the Autism Education Trust training hub at the academy, alongside the Wiltshire Women Leading in Education Network, and the Wiltshire SEND Chartered College of Teaching Hub. Nicola is a co-founder of A-Fest.

Jon Hamp

Executive Headteacher

An experienced teacher and leader, Jon is able to advise on all aspects of strategic SEND leadership, including across multi-academy trust settings.

Mike Thomas

Deputy Head. Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Mike has significant experience of both classroom teaching and leadership positions across mainstream and specialist settings. With an unrelenting focus to look at teaching through the eyes of the autistic learner, Mike’s unique empathetic and problem-solving approach is a skills-set sought by others. Mike is studying for a MA in Autism through Sheffield Hallam University and is an experienced autism trainer. Mike is also able to offer guidance and support around safeguarding.  

Nicola Whitcombe

Assistant Head (Quality of Education)

 Nicola has significant experience of mainstream and specialist settings, holding senior leadership positions including the role of SENCo. Nicola has extensive experience of school to school support and is an experienced trainer, offering support on the theories of autism, quality first teaching, the role of a SENCo and more.

Jess Mayo Ward

Deputy SENCo

Jess is a multi-skilled practitioner with experience of leading High Needs provisions and interventions. Jess is the academy’s lead TEACCH practitioner and is able to advise others on aspects of good autism practice including Bucket Time and Attention Autism approaches. Jess helps lead a team of talented Learning Support and Higher Learning Support Assistants and can advise on the effective deployment of additional adults.

Liz Burns

Lead for Therapy and Integrated Services. Occupational Therapist.

Liz is an experienced Occupational Therapist who is committed to supporting young people to live safe, independent lives. Liz is able to advise on strategies to meet pupils’ sensory needs as well as environmental adaptations to enable learners. Liz is a key part of the Autism Education Trust delivery team, bringing a unique perspective on how to support learners in the classroom. Liz is able to support schools with environmental audits and sensory needs.

Claire Ludlow

Cohort Lead for Cognition and Learning

A specialist in learning through play and Early Years teaching, Claire is highly skilled in engaging and supporting young children into the school environment. Claire uses TEACCH and Bucket Time principles across her teaching and is able to advise others on the use of these practices. Claire is also the Attention Autism Champion for the academy.

Rebecca Lland

Speech and Language Therapist

Rebecca holds a MSc in Language pathology from Newcastle University and is a qualified Speech and Language Therapist. Rebecca holds additional qualifications in Makaton and is a specialist in autism, providing others with a deeper understanding of how to promote successful communication. Rebecca supports children of all ages with speech difficulties, language delays/disorders, communication difficulties, and stammering. Support can take the form of assessment and target setting, advice in class, advice to parents/carers/staff, working on targets in small groups, and working 1:1.

Nancy Gosling

High Needs Lead Practitioner and AET Trainer

Nancy has experience of SEND teaching across mainstream and specialist settings, including leading High Needs provisions. Nancy is part of the Autism Education Trust delivery team, leading training to a range of educators.