Assistant director SEND and inclusion - Update

18 Jan 2024

Message from Robert South, the strategic director of children’s services /Julie Lewis, director learning, standards and school partnerships

Following an extensive recruitment and selection campaign in autumn, I am delighted to announce that Aretha Banton will be taking up post as assistant director SEND and inclusion on15 April 2024.

Aretha is very excited to be joining Ealing and to be building on the tremendous achievements of teams working to improve the lives of children and young people with SEND and additional needs. In this role, Aretha will be leading statutory SEND services, inclusion teams and working with partners to deliver the aims of our SEND strategy.

Aretha is currently strategic head of education, quality and inclusion in Medway where she has led the council’s transformation programme for SEND services. In her council based roles, she has led school effectiveness teams, SEND and EP services, Early Years, Commissioning and QA, Exclusions and AP and Fair Access. Aretha also took the lead in developing Medway’s self-evaluation for SEND and forward planning to secure sufficiency of places.

Prior to her work in Medway, Aretha was a vice principal in two large academy trusts. She has worked as a senior leader across all phases of education from EYFS to P16.

Aretha joins Ealing with extensive experience of working with services to ensure a holistic approach to education and inclusion. She is passionate about ensuring that children and young people have access to the right services at the right time.

Read Aretha's brief bio under downloads.

Madhu Bhachu – Acting AD SEND inclusion

Aretha will be taking over the reins from Madhu Bhachu who stepped up into the AD role in April 2023. In this period, she has placed high value on building teams, engaging with parents and building critical partnerships for success.

Madhu has brought the SEND strategy to life, secured Ealing’s first self-evaluation summary against the new inspection framework and worked tirelessly to develop shared leadership around our four priory areas.

I want to acknowledge Madhu’s significant achievements in leading SEND at this level over the last 10 months. In the Spring, Madhu will be preparing teams and services for the handover, consolidating inputs to the next self-evaluation update and supporting our inspection preparation.

Thank you Madhu Bhachu!

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Last updated: 18 Jan 2024

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