Click Here To Meet Our Team

Mrs Marie McMurdo

Assistant Headteacher: SENCO and 6th Form

Mrs Kay Tyson

Higher Level Teaching Assistant


Mrs Rosemary Glasson

Higher Level Teaching Assistant

Victoria Daniels

Ms Victoria Culley

Higher Level Teaching Assistant

Ms Sharon Morter

Ms Sharon Morter

Teaching Assistant

Nadia Page

Miss Nadia Page

Teaching Assistant

Mrs Gail Hammell

Teaching Assistant

Miss Carla Richardson

Teaching Assistant

Hayley Holliday

Ms Hayley Holliday

Teaching Assistant

Jasmin Smith

Miss Jasmin Smith

Teaching Assistant

E Stamper

Mrs Esther Stamper

Teaching Assistant

Accelerated Learning Centre (ALC) – Special Educational Needs and Disabilities at The Whitehaven Academy

Vision: At The Whitehaven Academy we believe that all students should be the best they can be and embody our three core values or Respect, Responsibility and Resilience. The SEND department, known as the Accelerated Learning Centre (ALC) supports students on the Code of Practice so that they can fully access all areas of school life and thrive within an inclusive environment where their needs are met.

We strive to ensure that all areas of school life, both in the classroom and in extra-curricular opportunities, are inclusive and allow students with SEND to make progress, both academically and socially, so that they are prepared for adulthood.


‘Without the support of ALC it is likely that my daughter would not have been able to attend mainstream school, for that I am forever grateful’

Year 11 Parent

‘I cannot praise the ALC team enough, they go above and beyond to support my son in school’

Year 8 Parent


Inclusion for all:

We believe that all students, regardless of learning need, benefit from being in a classroom with a specialist teacher and their peers. We are proud that almost all of students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities are taught in mainstream lessons, with appropriate support.


Celebrating the success of students with SEND at Year Group Rewards Assemblies.

Other opportunities include:

  • Targeted small group intervention
  • 1:1 literacy programmes
  • Life skills

‘ALC is my favourite place in school and the staff always help’

Year 11 student 

The ALC Team

At The Whitehaven Academy the key contacts for SEND are:

The Whitehaven Academy SENCO

Mrs McMurdo:

Senior HLTA

Mrs Tyson:

Director of Learning Provision and SENCO for Cumbria Education Trust

As a team we also benefit from the expertise of Sue Newstead, our Director of Learning Provision and SENCO for Cumbria Education Trust.

Contacting us

Please feel free to contact us with any concerns. As an academy we are keen to support all students and families and it is essential that we listen to each individual’s needs. Please email Mrs Emma Graham who will forward your concern on to the relevant member of staff.

At the same time, it may be that you need to raise a complaint. It is essential that we address any complaints regarding the learning of students with SEND needs. Please follow this link to our complaints policy that will address your concerns.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in Cumbria:

Local Offer: The Cumbria Local Offer is a directory of all the services available in Cumbria, the link below will take you to the Local Offer website:

Cumbria’s SEND Local Offer


Special Educational Needs and Disabilities support and guidance:

If parents and carers feel they would like some impartial information, advice or support on any issues relating to their children’s special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), they can contact the Cumbria SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) who can offer a range of support. They will help parents, carers and young people to prepare for meetings with schools or the local authority and practically support them at the meetings in an appropriate and impartial manner. They can also signpost to other relevant support networks.