The purpose of this short guide is to support parents in understanding the process which happens when a young person is permanently excluded from school.
After Permanent Exclusion
When a child is permanently excluded the school informs the local Authority and completes a referral for the SSSFN. Upon receipt of this referral the appropriate part of the SSSFN will make contact with the family to arrange for the child to begin a process of Assessment. Initially a planning meeting will be held with the family and child where the process of assessment is explained and paperwork completely. The child will then receive a start date for their provision.
What does Assessment entail?
The SSSFN deals with a large number of permanently excluded students each year. To ensure that the wide range of needs are carefully considered and addressed, each child begins with a period of assessment. This will normally last for three weeks and during this period the child will usually attend for 2 hours a day and work in a very small group or sometimes one to one.
The purpose of this assessment is to gain an understanding of the academic, social, behavioural and emotional needs of the young person
What does the young person do in Assessment?
In Assessment we do a range of tests on the young person as well as observing him/her and trying to understand their behaviour.
We try to understand:
- Their national curriculum levels in core subjects
- Their preferred learning style
- Their social and emotional skills
- Their reading and spelling capacity
- Their self esteem
The work involved in this is likely to be heavily based around literacy and numeracy activities and the young person may find this very different from the work they did in their mainstream school.
We also conduct a thorough review of any school files and paperwork we can obtain about the young person. As a result of the Assessment process we create for the young person an Individual Learning Plan (ILP)
The ILP helps to inform where the child then receives provision and is used to ensure all future staff have a full understanding of the needs of the young person.
What happens after Assessment?
After the period of assessment we decide on the onward route for that child. Most young people proceed into one of four routes
1. Immediate return to new school.
Wherever possible we try to return students immediately from assessment into a new school.
2. Additional One to One support
Where the needs of the young person are severe and we feel they would be unsuccessful in one of our group environments — we sometimes place the child into 1:1 provision for a further short period. This continues to be 2 hours a day but is a temporary measure until they can be incorporated into a group.
3. Core Provision
This group of up to 6 six students receive a timetable which is similar to a mainstream school. Once students are ready they are reintegrated from the Core group into mainstream schools.
4. Engagement Provision
Where the needs of the young person are judged to be more severe and prompt reintegration is unlikely, the young person may be accommodated in our engagement provision. This provides a more flexible enrichment based curriculum which is practically based whilst still addressing their literacy or numeracy core skills. In the case of Year 11 students, they may be placed directly into post 16 provision in preparation for Further Education opportunities.
Students within Engagement groups are often reintegrated into specialist provision rather than mainstream schools.
Commonly Asked Questions
Will the Child get transport?
Permanently excluded children get transport to the SSSFN in accordance with the NCC Transport policy. If the young person lives over 3 miles from the school (2 for younger children) they will receive a bus pass. In some cases where the young person is vulnerable or lives a long way from the school a taxi may be provided instead.
Why is Assessment only two hours a day?
Young people arrive at the Short Stay School at a time of crisis having recently been permanently excluded. Often the school receives little or no information prior to the child’s first day. In order to ensure that the child’s needs can be met in a safe and secure way we begin with a three week period where the child is taught in a very small environment for just two hours at a time. For many SSSFN students this will feel like a long session as they have had a very disrupted school experience. As the work is delivered individually the amount accomplished is often much greater than the student has previously achieved in a full day.
The assessment period also takes account of the need to understand the level of risk associated with each child. Some students arrive at the SSSFN with significant histories of violent or vulnerable behaviour and this initial period allows us to understand their needs and put in place appropriate protocols to keep everyone safe.
How long before they get a new school?
This common question is very hard to answer as it will depend entirely upon the success of the child in dealing with the factors that led to their permanent exclusion. It is always our aim to quickly reintegrate every child.