Admissions

Woodlands SignThe Woodlands School feels best able to satisfactorily meet the needs of pupils admitted at the earliest possible stage of their secondary education, giving us more time to build in our pupils trust, confidence, self esteem and respect for their school, for others, and for themselves as both young citizens and as learners. For this reason we admit far more pupils in Key Stage 3 than in key Stage 4.

Places at Woodlands are offered on a permanent basis, although as statements are reviewed annually it sometimes becomes necessary to re-consider placement for pupils who have made significant progress since their last review.  At times, this means that pupils, in consultation with parents/carers, are involved in discussion regarding a planned and phased move back to an appropriate mainstream school.

Woodlands School Admissions process as agreed 27th September 2012

It was agreed there is a need to establish procedures that can:

  • provide clarity in terms of process for all involved (LA, Woodlands, parents, mainstream schools, TMBSS)
  • enable decisions regarding placement to be based on the best available evidence and advice
  • ensure appropriate placements are made every time
  • utilise the existing legal framework provided by two key statutory processes (of  Statutory Assessment of Special Educational Needs and the Annual Review of SEN Statements) as the most appropriate mechanism(s) for the consideration of significant changes to provision/placement, not least as the Statement must be amended to name Woodlands prior to placement
  • be responsive as quickly as possible when demand for consideration is triggered
  • use the experience of mainstream schools (or other current/recent provider, for example TMBSS) as the best basis on which to evidence decision
  • reflect the changed balance of responsibility in the schools/LA relationship, and the more limited capacity of organisations to provide free services (EPS for EG) where schools are increasingly accountable for their harder to reach pupils
  • replicate the established process for identifying and then reintegrating Woodlands pupils back into mainstream placement, which follows an amended Statement

Should a mainstream school feel unable to continue to support a pupil with a Statement of Special Educational Needs for SEBD they should conduct an Annual Review (A/R) of the Statement, or call an interim or emergency review if necessary:

  • having submitted pre-review paperwork which will identifies to the LA for the first time that there is a potential placement issue, and allows the LA to assess whether or not to  send an officer to attend the A/R
  • showing the reasons why maintaining a place is no longer appropriate
  • providing clear evidence of the range of strategies used (including those identified in the Statement and subsequent Annual Reviews), and how successful they have been
  • detailing additional professional educational advice (for example of an EP, or from Woodlands outreach) demonstrating further evidence with regard to:
  • relevant details of these strategies, for example time-scales and levels of support involved
  • the relative efficacy of strategies used, and
  • the difficulties that remain despite these strategies,
  • the appropriateness of provision
  • and which records parental views specifically with regard to the potential of placement at Woodlands

On receipt of the completed A/R paperwork the Woodlands admissions panel will consider evidence from the A/R and either:

  • decline the request for consideration, stating the reasons why, or
  • begin a three-week placement assessment process where Woodlands will engage with relevant stakeholders (usually the pupil, the current provider, parents/carers and other agencies supporting the pupil) and decide to either
  • keep the request open but request that certain additional actions/strategies be employed and reviewed prior to a final decision
  • agree to the placement and arrange a start within this two week period or as soon as possible after

Should a mainstream school feel unable to continue to support a pupil who at present does not have a Statement of Special Educational Needs for SEBD the LA will assess placement following the evidence contained within the statutory assessment process, with placement being made to either:

  • mainstream school;
  • TMBSS for further assessment/emergency placement pending completion of the Statement in a 16-week ‘assessment place’, or
  • Woodlands if evidence is clear and conclusive at that point that this is the most appropriate placement.  If this is the case, the LA will contact Woodlands to begin the three-week placement assessment process mentioned in 2) above where Woodlands will engage with relevant stakeholders (usually the pupil, the current provider, parents/carers and other agencies supporting the pupil) and decide to either:
  • keep the request open but request that certain additional actions/strategies be employed and reviewed prior to a final decision
  • agree to the placement and arrange a start within this two week period or as soon as possible after
  • suggest that the pupil attend Woodlands for an extended amount of time (usually around two terms) for an extended assessment placement, to allow the pupil to settle down and to provide for an informed decision regarding placement, whether this is to remain at Woodlands or to return to mainstream school with a phased programme of support. If this option is taken, it will be done so on the agreement that Woodlands will fully assess learning and behavioural needs and that the LA will support a request for Statutory Assessment, to be completed prior to the ultimate decision regarding provision following the extended assessment placement