Meet our staff

Principal Teacher

Beth Chalmers


Teachers of ASL

Jane Farquhar

Alex Fordyce

Evelyn Fulton

Jane Gardiner

Judith Maison

Debbie Massie

Kirstin Neall

Steph Newbould

Melanie Smith

Viv Todd

Gillian McColl


Pupil Support Assistants

Melanie Boak

Vicky Chalmers

Karen Duncan

Michelle Findlay

Gemma Gill

Lynne Hadden

Yvonne Knowlson

Kirsty MacDougall,

Suzanne Martin

Carole Murray

Carol Smith

Irene Smith

Yvonne Thomson

Joanne Watt

Additional Support for Learning Department

Many children will face barriers to their learning at some time in their school career.  These may be short or longer term and for a variety of different reasons. Some children may benefit from having some sort of support plan in order to develop learning.  Pupils, parents and staff are involved in developing support plans, helping to identify specific needs and what might be done to help overcome areas of difficulty.

The Additional Support for Learning Department work together with others to meet the full range of needs individual pupils have and intend to get it right for every child (GIRFEC) by working closely with colleagues, both teaching and non-teaching.


There are regular meetings held with Principal Teachers of Guidance to identify and monitor any additional support planning required for individual pupils. Support can also sought from a wide team of partners including Educational Psychology, Health, Police, Community Learning and Social Work.

All Aberdeenshire’s Secondary Schools have Enhanced Provisions and at Banff Academy we also provide Community Resource Hub provision.

In line with the legal presumption of mainstream education embraced by Aberdeenshire Council, every child’s needs will be assessed with a view to meeting them in their local school.   Almost all children will be educated in their local school, including those with challenges to learning arising from physical, sensory or language impairment, or difficulties associated with diagnoses such as developmental delay, autism, cerebral palsy or Down’s syndrome.  Children requiring access to Community Resource Hub provision will be those with the most severe and complex needs requiring a more specialised learning environment than can be provided in their local school or Enhanced Provision Centre.

In Aberdeenshire we adopt a multi-agency approach to supporting pupils with additional needs.  Some of the people we meet with regularly include; educational psychologist, school nurse and doctor, family support workers, speech and language therapists, pupil support workers, police liaison officers and our support for learners’ teacher. Similar processes may also be put into place for pupils who have been assessed as being able or gifted as these children might also need additional support to reach their full potential.

A child or young person is said to have ‘additional support needs’ if they need additional support with their education. Additional support can mean any kind of educational provision that is more than, or very different from, the education that is normally provided in mainstream schools.

A child or young person may need additional support for a number of different reasons, for example:

  • Difficulties with mainstream approaches to learning
  • Disability or health needs, such as motor or sensory impairment, learning difficulties or autistic spectrum disorder.
  • Family circumstances e.g. young people who are carers or parents.

The Aberdeenshire website contains extensive information and advice on a range of additional support needs and support available including:-

  • Pathways to Policy
    Download the six booklets that explain Aberdeenshire’s Policies relating to children and young people and their learning needs.
  • Support for Autism
    Find out how Aberdeenshire Council supports children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Read about the National Autistic Society’s Directory of Local Services for people with ASD.
  • Educational Psychology Service
    Find out about the work of the Educational Psychology Service. Download leaflets specifically for Parents and Carers.
  • Literacy/Dyslexia Support

Read about the support provided for literacy/dyslexia.

  • Sensory Support
    View information about the Aberdeenshire Sensory Support Service, download leaflets for Parents and Carers, and read our Frequently Asked Questions.
    View information about the Aberdeenshire Staged Intervention Supporting Teaching.

(ASSIST), which supports all school staff with the management of behaviour.

  • CALM
    Find out about the Crisis and Aggression, Limitation and Management (CALM) model that is used to de-escalate behaviour crises in our schools.
  • Accessibility Strategy
    Download a copy of Aberdeenshire Council’s Accessibility Strategy. Improving Access to Education contains a range of information and advice which will support all schools to comply with disability/additional support needs legislation.
    Read about the services provided by ASPECTS. ASPECTS works with schools to support children with additional support needs by making use of specialist ICT equipment.
  • Aberdeenshire Support Manual
    Aberdeenshire Support Manual provides practical guidance and support to ensure all practitioners work effectively together and with parents/carers to Get It Right For Every Child.


  • Aberdeenshire Support Directory For Families
    Aberdeenshire Support Directory for Families provides a fast and reliable way to access information, help and support from a wide range of organisations.
  • Planning Documentation
    Information including formats for planning to meet additional support needs including: Individual Education Plans, Co-ordinated Support Plans, Managing Accessibility Plans and Flexible Learning Pathways
  • Total Communication

Total communication involves using any means of communication to support children to initiate and participate in conversations, making their own needs known, expressing preferences and opinions.

If you require further information about any aspect of your child’s education do not hesitate to contact us at Banff Academy (tel. 01261 812591).