Littledown provides education and support for up to 53 full-time equivalent (FTE) children experiencing a wide range of difficulties.
The priority for admitting children is as follows:
- Children possessing an appropriate Education, Health and Care plan (EHC) naming Littledown as part of, or a full-time arrangement.
- Looked after children, excluded or in danger of exclusion.
- Children permanently excluded from school for the duration of their exclusion until either a new school is found or the child is no longer required to attend statutory education.
- Pupils attending temporary interventions or assessment places.
Children with Statements/EHC plans
At its core Littledown is responsible for the full-time statutory education of primary aged children who have an appropriate statement of special educational needs or EHC plan.
The admission of children with statements/EHC plans is governed by the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (2014) and normally involves the Local Authority (LA) carrying out an assessment that may lead to a statement naming Littledown as the sole provider.
All decisions concerning placements are made in consultation with parents, carers, the child’s school and other agencies, and are informed by both national and local thresholds.
All placements are reviewed annually or when a particular need or set of behaviours require specific attention. This includes circumstances where changes in behaviour lead to the consideration for mainstream reintegration. All full-time children follow an appropriately differentiated National Curriculum
Permanently Excluded Children
It is a legal requirement for all LAs to provide full-time education to permanently excluded children for the duration of their exclusion. In Slough the LA has commissioned Littledown to carry out this work, for primary aged children until a new school is found.
The provision at Littledown is made through a facility similar to that of a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU). Admission to this alternative provision is automatically expected to begin within 6 school days of a confirmed permanent exclusion.
Attendance at the PRU is not normally expected to exceed 12 weeks before a child transfers to a new school. To facilitate this process normal admission procedures are adhered to, parents or carers are requested to agree to the new placement. An exception to this process may occur if a decision is made to start statutory assessment.
Once a new school has been identified Littledown manages a process of reintegration through a meeting that normally involves senior representatives of both Littledown and receiving schools. It is expected that Inclusion and/or Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinators (SENDCo) will also be involved.
All children at the alternative provision follow a fully differentiated National Curriculum. Emphasis is on identifying and addressing gaps in learning to facilitate more effective reintegration.
Pupils in Key Stage 1 can be referred for a place in the nurture unit. This is a short term intervention which aims to provide a secure, predictable environment where the different developmental needs of each pupil are catered for. It is staffed by at least three adults, for six pupils and pupils attend regularly for a substantial part of each week, whilst continuing to attend their mainstream school for part of the week.
The nurture unit focuses on emotional and social development as well as academic progress. It ensures that pupils remain on their mainstream class roll with an expectation that they will return to their class in 2- 4 terms.
Referrals are made through the monthly primary behaviour panel and assessment for suitability is ensured by use of the Boxall profile, which is a two part check list to be completed by staff who know the child in class. It provides a framework for the precise assessment of children who are failing in school and helps teachers to plan focused intervention.
As part of our vision to plan early intervention and prevent permanent exclusions occasionally pupils are referred to the primary behaviour panel who may be considered for an assessment place at Littledown School. The pupil will need to have been subject to a multi agency meeting where agencies are all in agreement that every possible intervention has been attempted in school, including the involvement of outside agencies.
An assessment place will usually be for an initial 12 week period, during which intensive academic and social assessment will be completed. A pupil will normally be expected to return to their mainstream school with appropriate supported reintegration. In some situations it may be considered that a request for statutory assessment should be initiated or a managed move to a new mainstream school completed. In these circumstances an extension to the assessment place can be granted. All placements will always consider the views of the parents as paramount.