MARIOS Solomonides has become new director of special education needs and disabilities trust (SEND) with aims to remove all barriers faced by children with additional needs within BMAT schools.
He has been appointed as the new director to take into account the different ways of learning which need to be introduced and how they will benefit different students within SEND.
Mr Solomonides has been head teacher at Magna Carta Primary Academy, in Stansted, for three years. He holds the national award for SEN (special education needs) coordinators and has also worked as a Samaritan volunteer.
He said: “At the root of this has to be the child, their needs and aspirations, rather than trying to make them fit an existing box. Even if two children have dyslexia or autism, they are not the same. We have to personalise their learning.
“A big part of this is about expectations and labels, about looking at a child and expecting the same for them as the child sat next to them. By labelling them as SEND, we are automatically saying they are not capable of achieving the same thing. That is not true. Something like dyslexia can be overcome and they can achieve the same as anyone else.”
The trust has primary and secondary schools in; Harlow, Epping, Stansted and Newham as well as a dyslexia support unit in Stansted. Mr Solomonides has said; “I will be working closely with head teachers, SEND co-ordinators and educators so that whatever strategy we come up with is implemented together. I am excited to get started.”
The schools within BMAT are; Burnt Mill Academy, Sir Frederick Gibberd College, BMAT STEM Academy, Cooks Spinney Primary Academy, Little Parndon Primary Academy, Freshwaters Primary Academy, Roydon Primary Academy, Epping St John’s Church of England School, Forest Hall School in Stansted, Magna Carta Primary Academy in Stansted and Royal Docks Academy.
Mr Solomonides is also eager to make sure that there will be a supervising system for the staff who are working with SEND students for their mental wellbeing.