Spotlight on Staff with Sally Banfield

22 February 2023 |

Our new blog series ‘Spotlight on Staff’ has been launched to showcase the great team we have here at Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust. 

We are keen to introduce you to the large team of fantastic staff we have across the Trust and to give you an insight into the work they do as we strive to serve our stakeholders and improve the life chances of the students in our schools.

Sally Banfield, Trust SEND Lead, joins us as the next guest for Spotlight on Staff

Can you give a brief overview of your role at the Trust and some information about your career so far?

I joined DMAT in April 2022 and am very fortunate to be the Trust SEND Lead. This means that I lead the work supporting all our young people who have Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities. At a school level, this involves supporting Principals, SENDcos, teachers and working with the DSchools Team to drive the SEND agenda forward, ensuring that all our young people and their parents and carers are supported in school and in their journey into adulthood. At a trust level and beyond, I work with the Local Authority, other Trusts and organisations to develop the opportunities for our students and their families. The Trust now has a SEND Charter which highlights our dedication and roadmap for our support of our young people with SEND and the numerous stakeholders that are part of the SEND journey.

My career began as a PE teacher and followed a curriculum and Teaching & Learning pathway, through Head of PE and Assistant Principal before embarking on the SEND world full time. I am extremely fortunate to have worked as a teacher and senior leader in both the secondary and primary sector and this gave me incredibly rich teaching opportunities from teaching in reception and at A Level!

My SENDco journey began in Primary and moved to Director of SEND and Inclusion before I moved to my current role across the Trust.

Every day I feel fortunate to be doing what I do – the SEND world is not always easy but the SENDco’s and whole school SEND teams are amazing to work with.

What do you enjoy most about working for the Trust?

The young people are always top of my list – they are the reason why we do what we do.

This role is great because I also get to work with a wide variety of different teams across the trust – from HR and finance to estates and digital. This plus all our schools makes every day different.

How would you describe your team/ people you work with?

Knowledgeable, caring, focussed on getting the best outcomes for the young people we serve and fun!

What are some of the challenges that you face within the sector?

Without doubt, funding for SEND

If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?

‘Believe in yourself’ –  and I say this to young people all the time.