Authority Placements

Admissions process

We are able to give parents information regarding our assessment and admission process on enquiry. We encourage parents to engage in a dialogue with their local authority and to make a joint application. The school will take referrals and organise admissions assessments at any point in an academic year. Intake is not restricted to September only. Once a referral has been received from an LA, the paperwork will be read by the Governing body If from the paperwork it is clear that the student would be suitable for the school then the school will invite parents in for an admissions interview. If it is not clear from the paperwork whether the school would be suitable then a designated member of staff will arrange to observe the student in either their current school or in the home setting. The parents/carers and the student will then be invited in for a tour of the school and presentation about the provision.

Following this meeting in most cases the governing body will be able to make a decision over the following few days. The school acknowledges that parents have often been through lengthy processes in the past and in recognition of this, the school will aim to advise parents of the outcome as quickly as possible. However, in a small number of cases, if the decision is uncertain then rather than make the wrong decision it may be more appropriate to delay a decision whilst more information can be obtained and school / home visits are carried out.

If White Trees Independent School is able to meet the student’s special educational needs, an offer of a place and a start date will be sent to the LA and parent/carer. The proposed fee will be suggested to the LA. When the LA confirms that the offer of a place is going to be taken up, the school will send contracts to the LA. The pre-placement process will typically consist of a member of the school team meeting with parents/carers to obtain up to date information, including but not exclusive to the following areas:

  • Previous placement
  • Behaviour
  • Academic ability
  • Religious and cultural needs
  • Parents’ aspirations for the future / what they want the school to do
  • Current multi-agency involvement
  • Family organisation.

The student attending the first part of the admissions interview will also have the chance to talk about themselves and their schooling. The student then will be accompanied by an experienced member of the staff team and will be able to, for example, join a class, tour the school or experience the environment, thus enabling the school to begin to assess how they respond to this environment and peers.

Whilst this is a recommended format it may be adjusted according to individuals. So, for example, if it is thought that it would be too stressful for the student to visit the school then they could be observed in their own current setting on another occasion. It is essential for parents and students to feel that this first point of contact with the school is positive and successful and therefore White Trees Independent School will be flexible and respond to differing needs where required.

A member of the school team will meet with the student’s mainstream school/current setting to gather information to include-

  • Whether the student is looked after and if so the name of the contact person and key personnel in the placing authority;
  • Statement of Educational Needs/Record of Need;
  • Current care, health, educational plans or relevant personal needs if available;
  • Details of any matter which makes the student particularly vulnerable or a danger to others;
  • Attendance certificates;
  • Details of any fixed term exclusions;
  • Lead person details if a CAF is in place;
  • NC levels - End of Key Stage Teacher Assessments; and
  • Evidence of all NC levels.

Transition plans will be made with the LA, the current school placement and the parent/carer. Transitions are often difficult for children who have BESD. It will be essential to consider mechanisms/strategies that may make the process easier for the student. Students may be invited in for one or more transition visits. These should be planned with parents / carers and should be bespoke to individual needs. The school will send out an admissions pack which will include information about the school for both parents and students. Prior to admission the Principal will ensure that all relevant information has been collected.

A baseline assessment will commence as soon as a student starts school. The length of time required to complete this assessment will vary, but it is usually completed within two months. Parental information, teacher observation and assessments carried out by appropriate professionals will contribute to this process. Individual Educational Plans will then be drawn up and discussed with parents prior to implementation. All students undergo annual reviews as laid down by the SEN Code of Practice.

Please see also flow chart of process,