Admissions to Special Schools
The Beech Academy follows the Nottinghamshire County Council Guidance on Admissions to Special Schools.
The SEND Code of Practice (DfE, January 2015) states that “All children and young people are entitled to an appropriate education, one that is appropriate to their needs, promotes high standards and the fulfilment of potential. This should enable them to:
- achieve their best;
- become confident individuals living fulfilling lives, and;
- make a successful transition into adulthood, whether into employment, further or higher education or training.”
Nottinghamshire County Council, through the integrated children’s disability service (ICDS) is responsible for ensuring that children and young people with an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) receive an education, as described in the SEND Code.
The Nottinghamshire Children’s Trust, through the Children, Young People and Families Plan (2016-18) sets a clear aspiration that Nottinghamshire will be a place where children are safe and happy, where everyone enjoys a good quality of life, and where everyone can achieve their potential. Key to this are four priorities:
- Children and young people are safe in Nottinghamshire
- Children and young people are happy and healthy in Nottinghamshire
- Children and young people achieve their potential in Nottinghamshire
- Children, young people and families receive support when needed in Nottinghamshire
- The ICDS will work together with Children and their Parents/Carers and schools to determine which school is best-placed to meet their needs.
- Children and young people with an EHCP will attend a school that is closest to their home, appropriate to their needs.
- ICDS and special schools will use EHCPs or draft EHCPs to support their decision making in identifying the most suitable school.
Gathering and Sharing Information:
- The sharing of information between families, schools and the County Council is key to the success of admissions arrangements in special schools.
- A person with parental responsibility must give consent for information to be captured and shared.
- Schools will need to capture, store and share basic information about children and families who express interest in a potential placement, this may include; name, date of birth/age, contact details, service involvement, SEN Status.
- Information provided to the school will be shared with the County Council.
Visits to Special Schools:
- Visits to schools are a good opportunity for parents and carers to see the educational provision available for their children.
- In order to arrange a visit to a special school the child/young person must have an EHCP or an ECHP assessment must be in progress.
- Parents and professionals can request to arrange a visit to schools.
- Visits to schools can be arranged for individuals or in smalls groups, this will be managed by the schools.
- Numbers of people visiting will be limited and controlled so as not to disrupt the learning and teaching of current pupils.
- Visits will offer a tour of parts of the school, provide access to prospectus’ and information and meet key school staff.
- Children are unable to attend visits, until a placement is agreed.
- It is important that visits manage the expectations of those who attend, therefore schools will be unable to:
- Comment on any available places or potential places at the school
- Reserve or offer places
- Whether or not the school is able to meet the needs of an individual
- A record of the visit will be kept by the school and will be shared with ICDS, who will log the visits and confirm the SEND status of the child. Where it is found that an ECHP/assessment is not in place/agreed the planned visit will be cancelled.
NCC Consultations with Special Schools:
- The Local Authority has a legal duty to consult with schools when determining an appropriate placement. This must occur within set timescales.
- Consultations will be administrated centrally within the ICDS and will be consistently managed.
- Where the Local Authority is considering a placement it will sent an initial consultation form, which the school will complete and return part one within 5 days.
- If the Local Authority requires additional information or a placement looks like viable, or if the parents requests specifically, the Local Authority will formally consult with the school.
- Formal Consultation will be requested in writing by the Local Authority and will usually include additional documents being made available to the school and the school visit the current education provider and an observation of the child.
Other LA Consultations with Special Schools:
- Other LAs must consult with special schools in Nottinghamshire via the ICDS in the County Council.
- If another LA consults directly with a Nottinghamshire special school, they must be informed to contact Nottinghamshire County Council.