Vicky in the studio

Episode 12: Unlocking potential: Perspectives on SEND


  • Time to read: 3 minutes

Vicky is joined by Tutor Trust trustee Martin Hanbury and former Tutor Fran Riley, a qualified teacher now working as part of the team at Tutor Trust

According to the latest school census data, over 1. 5 million pupils in England have been recognised as having special educational needs. This means that the likelihood of tutors working with young people who may be facing additional challenges has increased and need to employ strategies on how to best support them. Vicky, Martin, and Fran explore tools and techniques that can be used not just by tutors but by anyone working with young people with identified SEND.  

Martin, in his role as CEO of the Chatsworth Multi Academy Trust, has some invaluable tips for tutors and teachers working with young people who may learn differently from the rest of their classmates. He shares his own experience as a teacher and the difference in the ways his own four children learned to read. 

He also stresses the importance of assessment, and how supporting young people with additional needs is simply about better understanding how the individual learns and their preferences and focusing on that:

You can adapt the curriculum all day long, you can dilute, you can differentiate, and you can cut it up, but if you're not looking at how a child learns then all of that is a bit of a waste of time. Because all you're actually doing is you're just pulling down the quantities. You're not looking at the qualities of learning.

“If all we're doing is looking at adapting the materials, as opposed to adapting the pedagogy, then we aren't going to get anywhere.”
Martin Hanbury, CEO - Chatsworth Multi Academy Trust

Martin gives tips for adapting teaching and tutoring sessions to support the learner, including slowing down speech, something he learned earlier in his teaching career. This, he says, is especially relevant for any child struggling with cognitive or emotional processing. 

He also talks about the importance of creating a safe space for the learner and recalls one session he observed which focused on football while the teacher, child, and himself were lying on the floor on beanbags. 

He acknowledges that schools are facing challenges, post-pandemic and financially, but that he is optimistic for the support that is available for those young people who need some additional help. 

It is a very complex and challenging field at the moment. Having said all of that, I think there are some fantastic people.  And actually teaching is about people. It's about relationships. 

“And whilst there isn't enough money to go around, there isn't enough time to do the things that we would want to do, there are increasing numbers of pupils coming through with special educational needs whilst you've got all those challenges. The optimist in me is also saying there's lots of good people out there who are addressing them and addressing them innovatively and, from an ethical point of view, I think working really hard to give the children they work with the best possible opportunities in life.”
Martin Hanbury, Trustee of Tutor Trust

This is a topic which is ever-changing, and becoming increasingly relevant for many educators. So whether you’re a tutor on your first assignment, or you have many years of education to draw on, there’ll be lots of useful information for you to use in the classroom. 

We’d love to hear your own experiences of working with pupils with additional needs. Let us know on our social channels.

Fran is keen to dismantle barriers to learning for pupils. Fran has shoulder-length brown hair, is wearing a blue dress and has glasses.

Fran Riley

Data and Systems Coordinator
Fran is keen to dismantle barriers to learning for pupils. Fran has shoulder-length brown hair, is wearing a blue dress and has glasses.

Fran Riley

Data and Systems Coordinator

Fran joined Tutor Trust as a Full-Time Tutor in March 2022, following five years working in Secondary Education across the Northwest. Since September 2023, she has been working within the Impact Team as a Data and Systems Coordinator, helping with all things Salesforce. Fran is a member of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion staff group for 23/24, as well as working within the Poverty and Place research group: a social justice project in collaboration with the University of Manchester.

Fran says: "Providing equitable opportunities in education is something that has driven me since choosing my teacher training provider back in 2017; I feel very strongly about ensuring that all pupils are supported to thrive academically and socially through dismantling barriers to learning. I love working for Tutor Trust because of the positive work environment, the variety of different expertise areas across the staff body, and the fact that as an organisation it constantly seeks to evaluate and improve its impact on pupils, school staff, and tutors through research-led initiatives."

Vicky has shoulder-length, straight blonde hair and is wearing a black and white chequered t-shirt

Vicky Sadler

Deputy Director of Training
Vicky has shoulder-length, straight blonde hair and is wearing a black and white chequered t-shirt

Vicky Sadler

Deputy Director of Training

Vicky became Deputy Director of Training in July 2022. In this role, Vicky helps to oversee the comprehensive first phase of tutor training plus managing a calendar of ongoing learning opportunities for our tutors throughout the year. She helps to manage our online learning platform and ensure it is stocked full of top-notch tutoring materials and resources to ensure that tutors are thoroughly prepared for their tuition sessions. Vicky also participates in the quality assurance procedures within our organisation, in partnership with the Quality Team.

Vicky says: "With more than 18 years of education experience, primarily within Greater Manchester, my journey has been inspired by a deep passion for transforming lives through learning. Starting in Key Stage 2, I honed my skills teaching Y6 in an inner-city Primary School, later taking on leadership roles in Diversity and Inclusion as well as SENCO training, where I championed support systems for vulnerable, SEND, and EAL learners. My diverse experience also includes leadership in Literacy, Art and Design, PE, Assessment, and mentoring students and Newly Qualified Teachers. During my own children's early years, I established an 'Outstanding' rated childcare business with a Forest School ethos, served as a Network Childminder, and organised sensory playgroups at a Stockport Surestart Centre. I further fuelled my passion for Early Years as an Early Years Leader in a Stockport Primary School until 2018 when my family and I embarked upon a two-year international adventure, during which I ventured into online tutoring.

"My enthusiasm for community-driven education equity led me to the Tutor Trust team as a Primary Quality Manager in January 2021. What I truly cherish about my role is the opportunity to empower tutors, leveraging my experience and knowledge to elevate their practice. It's a privilege to facilitate high-quality tuition that genuinely transforms lives and tackles educational inequalities head-on."

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Episode 11: What's in your tutoring toolkit?

Join Vicky in this insightful episode as she unlocks the hidden gems behind successful tutoring, and we've got two remarkable educators from Tutor Trust, Charlie and Lucy, here to spill the beans on their go-to methods for igniting student engagement.