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Nicola Whitcombe

Nicola Whitcombe is Deputy Headteacher at The Springfields Academy, a large special school for autistic learners between the ages of 5-19. Nicola successfully led Springfields to achieving the ’NAS Advanced Specialist Award’ in June 2022 and was part of the team that achieved Ofsted ‘Good’ in March 2022. Nicola oversees a large team of teachers, therapists and wider professionals, setting the strategic direction for the curriculum and teaching and learning.

Nicola is an experienced mainstream and specialist practitioner; she is a qualified SENCO and holds the NPQH. She has experience as a Resource Base Manager and overseeing an accredited Nurture facility. Nicola holds a range of postgraduate qualifications in autism and SEND and applies this knowledge to strategically lead the autism provision within the academy. Driven by a passion for enabling young people with autism, Nicola’s enthusiasm for effective and inclusive autism practice is genuine and infectious. She is a compelling advocate for child-centred practice and always ensures that understanding autism is at the heart of the strategic leadership agenda. 

A collaborative professional, Nicola has led SENCO Hubs and now facilitates the NA SENCO for Best Practice Network. She is a co-founder of A-Fest, a Festival Celebrating Autism and Autistic Individuals. She also facilitates the NPQSL. Nicola is part of the Springfields Autism Support Team and is a School Improvement Partner.