Pupils admitted to the school have physical disabilities and/or more complex medical needs. Pupils may have profound and multiple learning difficulties and associated medical or sensory conditions. The school’s age range is 2-19 years.
Pupils offered a place will have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) or Statement of Special Educational Needs naming Bedelsford School. Exceptionally a child may be admitted without an EHCP/Statement, e.g. a pupil coming from overseas, for an assessment period if an EHCP/Statement is pending, or after hospitalisation following an accident or illness.
On enquiry parents/carers are sent a prospectus and are invited to visit the school to see the provision on offer. It is helpful if the prospective pupil is also able to attend. However, no commitment to placement is ever made to parents/carers at the time of the visit. If a parent/carer wants to request a placement for their child they must do so through their Local Authority.
If the pupil’s LA feels that Bedelsford School may be able to meet the child’s special educational needs, documentation on the child will be sent to the Headteacher. The documentation usually includes the EHCP/Statement of Special Educational Needs. Appendices to the EHCP/Statement should include the latest educational psychologist’s report and medical reports, information from the current school or previous schools (where applicable) and information from other relevant professionals.
The Headteacher, with delegated authority from the Governors, will consider the following points before making any decision:
- that the appropriate class or year group has a physical space
- that the child’s needs can be met within the school
- that there will be sufficient resources and expertise available
- that the placement will not be incompatible with the efficient education and welfare of the other children.
- that healthcare specialists including the School Nurse and representatives of Physiotherapists and SALTs will be consulted.
If the school is able to offer a place a letter will be sent to the pupil’s Local Authority detailing the pupil’s banding, as assessed by the school and any additional costs for therapies and equipment. The LA’s Special Needs Panel then makes the final decision on the placement and informs the school of its decision. If the placement is agreed a start date will be arranged and, where possible, records obtained from the previous school.
For very young children, under 3 years of age, a six month assessment period may be available, usually for 2 sessions a week. The pre-entrance meeting is held in the school before the placement begins and usually involves the Education Psychologist, portage worker and possible health reports. At this meeting entry times and sessions are agreed. Towards the end of the six month assessment period, a meeting is arranged for parents/carers and relevant professionals to decide on the suitability of the placement. If the placement is deemed appropriate the child can move into nursery/reception pending the full Statutory Assessment procedure.
Nursery provision is offered the term after the child’s second birthday. This is a part time placement of 5 sessions per week (15 hours), for 38 weeks per year (the Nursery is closed for the first week of the autumn term), sessions may be increased gradually to this level if this best suits the child. Sessions will be offered where they are available, parental preferences will be considered subject to class size and staffing availability. Currently the legal requirement is to provide up to 15 hours of education per week.
A full time placement will begin in the September the child reaches reception age (the September following their 4th birthday). Again, sessions may be increased gradually from this date if this best suits the child.
The school places great value on building a constructive partnership with parents/carers and a sensitive induction is arranged in partnership with them as soon as possible for any pupil placed in Bedelsford School. Some pre-school pupils may be visited at home. Parents may remain with the children during the first session at school. The pupil may be invited to spend one or two sessions in school to meet all the therapists and School Nurse individually to ensure all their therapeutic programmes are in place before they begin at the school.
The school will keep in close contact with the parents/carers through the use of the home/school book, telephone and termly parents meetings and Bi Annual or Annual Reviews.