Stephenson Academy

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Brighter Futures”
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All students and families have access to qualified therapeutic and family support staff. There is a Psychologist (Dr Marie Ramsay), Counsellor (Mr Dirk Griffin), Integrative Therapist (Mrs Karen Sawyer), Systemic Therapist (Miss Velettia Davis), Social Worker (Ms Pippa Williams), Assistant Psychologist (Miss Jade Dillon and Miss Sophie Pratt) and Family Support Worker (Ms Lorraine Sweeney). They are qualified professionals able to provide a range of interventions at a number of levels, including: 

  • direct work with young people
  • systemic interventions with families
  • advice and training
  • joint work with other agencies

As an Academy we are in a unique position to promote well-being and good mental health and we think it is important to create an environment that encourages well-being and resilience and have developed therapeutic provision as a key part of this.

A range of interventions at a family, school and individual level are available dependent on need. Successful interventions in school focus on positive behaviour and group interventions, combining instructional strategies with behavioural management, for example teaching social and emotional skills such as conflict resolution and problem-solving.

We offer Psychological therapies for individuals or groups (e.g. CBT and social skills) as the primary intervention for conduct problems, as they have a strong evidence base. This is to reduce aggressive behaviour and increase pro-social interactions.

We also offer Systemic family therapy which provides effective help at a family level for a range of difficulties. Family therapists are trained and experienced in mobilising the resources of families that have reached an impasse.

At the School level

We have a house on site as a ‘therapeutic’ area, with bookable space. It has a networked hot desk admin area, a family focused room, art space with blackout blinds (photography), a group room, 1:1/2:1 space and re-sited medical room during the week for students or staff.

We have provided an on call service throughout the week for students or staff.

We use Learning Mentors to support timetabled and targeted interventions in relation to social skills, emotional regulation and anxiety management.

We enhance the PSHCE curriculum to include emotional intelligence.

We value staff training and professional development to ensure staff knowledge and skills are updated and supported.

The therapeutic department offer supervision and advice for existing staff to discuss students.

We operate an on call service for students and staff across the week.

At the Individual level

We have an experienced Psychologist and an experienced Therapist able to offer recommended interventions at a family, group and individual level, and to manage risk.

Group Work: There are two typical interventions: social interaction skills (led by Psychologist); language and communication skills (led by Speech and Language Therapist). Other group interventions are available dependent on need.

We have a Counsellor able to offer both talking and music based interventions.

We have three Learning Mentors to help individuals overcome barriers to learning such as: Attendance, the key barrier to learning is non-attendance; Disengagement, due to a lack of skills or confidence; An inability to regulate attention or emotions resulting in internal/external exclusion or truancy. They could do this by: individual /group sessions; support for work experience/On Track; support for vocational learning if it is off site; after school activities; integration into mainstream/PECs.


We have an experienced Systemic Family Therapist who is able to provide recommended interventions at the family and individual level, and to manage risk.

We have two Family Support Workers whose role is to support families with more day to day issues.


If you or your child need any support or you would like to discuss anything linked to support for your  child or family then please contact Dr Marie Ramsay, Deputy Principal with responsibility for Therapeutic and SEN, by ringing the Academy directly.

Telephone: 01908 889400