News Archive

SENAD Group Welcome New Directors

After 15 years tireless work across the SENAD Group Mark Flynn, Chief Operations Officer has retired and he left the SENAD Group on the 31st August 2022. We wish Mark a long, happy and healthy retirement and send huge thanks to him for all the fantastic work he did for the Group.

We’re pleased to welcome 2 new Directors who joined the team on Monday 5th September.

Suzanne Pennington -Director of Education

After being Head Teacher of a large Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ special school in Buckinghamshire, Suzanne relocated to Derbyshire in 2012, joining the SENAD Group as Head Teacher of Pegasus School. She then successfully commissioned and set up both Ecclesbourne Lodge and OneNineFive transitional homes on behalf of the Group as she struggled to find suitable adult provision for Pegasus School leavers. Suzanne then joined St Andrew’s School in Derby as Head Teacher; a ‘Good’ school with a residential department that was judged to be ‘Outstanding’ at the first inspection under her tenure.

Suzanne is passionate about coaching and mentoring staff to achieve the best outcomes – for themselves and for the young people with whom they work. Suzanne was a Director of the Derby Teaching School’s Alliance, working across the City to provide high quality training for staff in all school settings. The focus was ensuring equality of opportunity and inclusion for learners with additional needs.

Suzanne has worked for over 30 years in specialist settings advocating for adults and young people with SEND. She has been successful at leading schools, colleges and adult settings to become highly effective organisations, also contributing to the development of specialist educational services locally through focus groups and working parties, countrywide through DfE action groups; and internationally in Moscow and Japan.

Mark Ryder – Director of Children’s Social Care.

Mark started his career as a qualified Social Worker and was then a Care Inspector for 11 years, 7 of which with Ofsted. In 2014 he joined the SENAD Group as Head of Care at Alderwasley Hall School and was part of the team in getting the care provisions to ‘Outstanding’ at both the Lower and Upper School sites for three successive years.

Mark has since worked with a large SEN provider as their Senior Regional Operations Manager where he was the Responsible Individual for 5 children’s homes and led on compliance for a further 27 homes. He was also the National Lead Safeguarding Manager for this group and more lately, he leads the care division with a group specialising in SEN and EBD children’s homes in the Midlands area.

Mark has successfully registered a number of specialist homes and received good and outstanding Ofsted grades for newly created and developing services. He is committed to excellent outcomes for young people and is a strong advocate for them, Mark brings a wealth of experience to the role and is looking forward to meeting with and supporting both previous and new colleagues.

A Right Royal Celebration in Herefordshire

Jubilee Celebration day at Rowden House School took place on Friday 27th of May.

We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make this year’s day such a wonderful success. It was lovely to welcome all guests for the day to our campus; it was lovely to see so many familiar faces during the afternoon, it’s been far too long. We would like to thank the newly appointed Mayor of Bromyard for officially opening our afternoon & also for judging our ‘All Things Royal’ art competition. Some fabulous pieces of artwork were created by the students, residents & staff.

The winners of this competition were:

• Adult Home – Park House

• Young Person Home – The Grove

• Rowden Student – LBS

We had local store holders on campus selling lovely handmade art and food. Local musician Ray Mytton join us for the afternoon, taking requests. We drummed up some love with Drum Love, we enjoyed the Archery with Richard from Really Rural, the coconut shy was a real ‘hit’ with everyone, we enjoyed a game of croquet on the main lawns and the traditional British ‘wellie wanging’ went down a storm!

Lunch was served alfresco, looking out across our beautiful lawns, with views of the Malvern Hills in the distance, the ever-popular local Ice Cream man made a very welcome return later in the afternoon, much to everyone’s delight. Tea, coffee & squash were served all afternoon, along with some sweet treats for everyone to enjoy. The fabulous Jubilee cake was made by Emmas Farmhouse Cafe which lasted all of 5 minutes!! To close the day we had a traditional Punch & Judy show from Juggle Puppet along with circus skills. So many local businesses have been very generous with gifting donations towards our Grand Raffle; we will be very busy writing thank you cards next week!

Marking Social Care Day of Remembrance & Reflection

Today is Social Care Day of Remembrance & Reflection. It is 2 years since the start of the pandemic and when the UK went into Lockdown. Today is a day for us to pay tribute to all the people who work in social care, whether that be as a carer, maintenance, part of the domestic or catering team, or in a supporting admin role. Thank you.

Awarding Staff for Excellence

In May 2021 we launched the very first SENAD Staff Awards to celebrate excellence by recognizing members of our team that have gone the extra mile to make a difference to the lives of those we educate, care and support.
Award winners were announced at the end of the year, with 153 members of staff from disciplines across the group, receiving awards for their contribution to their service. 50 of these winners went on to win the overall SENAD Group awards. Categories included Care Practitioner of the year, Domestic Champion to IT Champion, and nominations were open to all employees. Huge congratulations to all of the 2021 winners… Look out for nominations opening for the 2022 awards soon.

Celebrating Thanksgiving at Orchard End

The guys at Orchard End celebrated Thanksgiving in style on Saturday 20th November with a Turkey Roast and a choice of Pumpkin or Pecan Pie for dessert. During the meal, they talked about all the things that they were thankful for, using their preferred method of communication.

Ram Trail Events for Children with SEN.

SENAD Get Ramtastic with The Derby Ram Trail

We are proud sponsors of Derby Museums, Derby Ram Trail which is a spectacular free art sculpture trail coming to Derby in the summer of 2021. From 27 May to 22 August a flock of fabulously colourful and unique rams will take you on a trail around the beautiful city of Derby.

The Derby Ram Trail is being brought to the city by Derby Museums, together with Wild in Art who are a leading producer of creative events that transform places into free, family friendly outdoor art galleries.

As part of the activities around the trail, all SENAD service users have been offered the opportunity to take part in a ‘Design a Mini Ram’ competition. 160 people are taking part from across the groups services, bringing the fun of the trail across the country.

Derby care group expand Ram Trail to their care homes and schools – Derbyshire Live (

Training Team win National Award

Congratulations to our training team at Rowden House School who have been awarded SME Employer 2020 by our training partner Aspiration Training Ltd. Find out why its great to work for the SENAD Group and how our staff training programmes enable us to provide the very best specialist care and education.

“Lockdown Lock-in” a hit at Orchard End

Thirsty residents at Orchard End were able to enjoy their favourite tipple without flouting coronavirus restrictions, by holding an in-house “Lockdown Lock-in” pub theme at home during September.

For one night only, residents and staff converted the conservatory area into “The Orchard Inn”. There was an authentic bar, dining area and lounge bar. Music was played through speakers to recreate the atmosphere of a traditional “local”.

Residents were able to choose from a choice of non-alcoholic wine, beers and cider. There were savoury bar snacks and classic pub style basket meals. The menu included chicken nuggets, scampi, sausage and chips.

With plenty to eat and drink and a relaxed, convivial atmosphere, the event was a huge success and there were no sore heads In the morning.

We’ll drink to that!!