Pupils are referred to Heath Farm School (HFS) through various pathways. The majority of referrals are for pupils who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) that is administered by one of the SEND district offices of Kent County Council (KCC). In some cases Local Authorities from across the South East pursue referrals that are linked to a pupil being in the care of Heath Farm Fostering, or placed with other care providers within Kent. We also have referrals from Medway LA and directly from parents/carers.
HFS is an Independent school for pupils with special educational needs, it is approved by The Department for Education under section 41 of the Children and Families Act.
A significant aspect of the referral process is to ascertain that the school can address the Outcomes as described in Section E of the EHCP. This may relate to all four areas of need:
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health.
- Communication and Interaction.
- Cognition and Learning.
- Sensory and/or Physical.
In doing so this should be without negatively impacting upon the efficient education for others.
The school has a dedicated member of staff who is responsible for overseeing the referral process. It is through this staff member that visits are coordinated, information is gathered and arrangements for admission are undertaken.
An admission will only be undertaken when the approval for funding is granted by the appropriate person who holds this authority, within the funding LA.
In all cases an induction and assessment period, equivalent to 30 schools days, will be established. During this time the school can withdraw the offer of placement if it believes that the presenting needs of a pupil cannot be met. The school will liaise and work closely with the wider professional team connected to the pupil and their parent/carer through this phase and once the pupil is fully admitted.
HFS applies the statutory reviewing process (for EHCPs, as set out within the SEND code of practice) and will use this to inform the funding authority of any changes to provision. These changes can relate to the provision provided by HFS and/or identify the type of provision that would better meet need. The reviewing process will also be used to identify the next phase of education placement (this could be, but not exclusively, a transfer to a maintained mainstream school, a different special needs settings, college of further education or employment).
To summarise, in all cases, pupils will only be considered for admission if:
- They have a current EHCP (or Statement of Special Educational Needs, if they have not yet transferred to an EHCP, not applicable from 1st April 2018).
- Funding has been formally agreed with the respective Local Authority and an Individual Placement Agreement has been completed and signed by relevant parties.
- The special needs of the pupil, can be met by the school.
- The provision, described in Section F of the EHCP, is such as can be met by the school.
- All up to date information concerning the pupil, including the most recent reviews, reports and the EHCP will be provided by the funding authority.
- There is a place available in the appropriate class / year group.
- It is compatible with the provision of efficient education for others.
- The child / young person’s attendance does not jeopardise the safety of others.