Referrals come through several agencies, including schools, Sharing Panels, Pupil Connect, BSS, YOTs, Social Workers, SENAS, LACES, etc.
The procedure is as follows:
- An initial enquiry should be made to us to first identify if there is a place available and whether or not we feel that we may be able to meet the needs of the young person being referred.
- The referring agency should then secure funding for the placement (as specified below) from funders such as schools, Sharing Panels, BSS, SENAS, etc.
- An interview is arranged for the student, their parents/carer and referrer to come to the school to find out more about us and for us to explain the way we work. It is helpful if referral forms can be completed in advance of this meeting so that all parties are aware of the student’s needs and how we might be able to meet those needs.
- If the student and their parent/carer feel that the placement would be the right one for him or her and if we feel that we are able to offer a place, we would then require a Funding Agreement to be signed by the person who will be responsible for paying for the placement.
- Once this and all other relevant paperwork is received, the school sends a start date letter to parents/carers.
- Students are initially provided with a four-week provisional placement so that all parties can be assured that the placement is appropriate and beneficial to the student and so that no organisation is asked to pay for something that does not work.
- Learning Groups
Students who are placed in the Learning Groups work with approximately seven other students, a Teacher and a Social and Learning Mentor. This programme supports a full timetable which reflects the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3 and which leads to GCSEs and other nationally recognised qualifications at key Stage 4. Individual support is also provided, as outlined above.The basic fees for this programme are: £4,355.00 per term
- Gap Programme
Students who are placed on the Gap Programme receive one-to-one support at all times. Considerable emphasis is placed on cognitive development, including emotional maturity and social development, including interpersonal relationships. The formal curriculum includes maths and English for all students (aimed at the level that each individual is capable of accessing) and other subjects depending on individual need, ability and attainment level.The basic fees for this programme are: £6,190.00 per term
- Supplementary costs
Supplementary costs may be incurred to meet the individual identified needs of students regardless of which of the two programmes outlined above.When a student poses a significant risk to self or others for any reason, it may be deemed inappropriate for him or her to be left unsupervised at any time or for one person to work alone with him or her.Similarly, a student may require one-to-one support even though s/he is capable of working to a full, academic timetable.If either of these occur, the fees will include the costs of employing an extra member of staff:£3142.00 per term
- Supplementary provision
Supplementary provision such vocational training is charged at the rate laid down by the training organisation. It may be necessary to add travelling expenses to this cost.
Elements of our provision that we consider to be unique
The unique elements of our school and those that work particularly well with our client group are:
Active participation of students in the life of the school:
- Students are encouraged to play an active role in school through our Community Group, involvement in committees (Equal Opportunities, Health & Safety, Fund-raising, Fairness & Disciplinary)
High staff-student ratio and emphasis on pastoral support:
We are able to provide a ‘family-like’ environment. This helps to fulfil needs that might otherwise be unattended to in a large organisation. Our highly trained staff are also able to provide a therapeutic atmosphere which helps students to come to terms with and overcome personal and emotional difficulties.
The development of positive relationships between students, staff and parents:
Considerable effort is put into home-school liaison and parents are encouraged to play an active role in their child’s education. Positive feedback is provided to parents and carers at every opportunity. Teachers and mentors are approachable, first names being used by all staff and students and the ethos of the organisation is built on social justice.
A focus on cognitive development and emotional maturity:
This equips students to deal more adequately with difficult situations, to manage anger more effectively and to become more rational and reasonable in their approach to others.
Individual Development Sessions:
Students work with mentors to identify their strengths and areas for improvement. They develop SMART targets and action plans to help them to achieve and experience success.
Social and Learning Mentors provide counselling and other support to help students overcome social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, to take responsibility for and to understand the consequences of their actions.
Community Group Membership:
Students who successfully complete the four-week provisional placement by adhering to the terms of their Learning Agreement are offered full membership of our educational community. This allows them to access the privileges available such as being able to claim credits (see below) and enjoy recreational visits and excursions.
Effective feedback and reward systems:
We operate a colour feedback system which engages students in the evaluation of their performance in school and which is used to help them set SMART targets for progress.
Our reward systems include the award of certificates each week for being helpful to other members of the community, meeting targets, making progress and sustaining effort.
Credits are also awarded to those students who have exceeded the requirements of their Learning Agreement and who have been particularly caring or considerate to other members of the community. These credits have a cash value for those students who are full members of our community.