Any child who comes to Woodlands School must have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan or a Statement of Special Educational Need. Most commonly the children will have learning needs associated with Profound and Multiple Learning disabilities, Severe Learning disabilities and complex Moderate Learning disabilities. Within this range we are resourced to meet the learning styles of students with a wide range of needs including autistic spectrum and communication disorders, hearing impairments, visual impairments and physical disabilities. Students admitted to Woodlands are likely to achieve within the range P1 to Year 1/2 of the National Curriculum.
Placement at the school is agreed by the local authority Special Needs Assessment Group (SPAG) following detailed assessment of pupil needs and full consultation with all partners in the process. The aim is to ensure that parents are well informed as parental choice is paramount.
Formal negotiations about placements are the responsibility of the local authority but I am always pleased to show parents round and to talk about the provision we have to offer. Choosing the right school for a child is one of the most important decisions a parent makes in securing the best possible learning in preparation for life as an adult.
When serious interest is shown in Woodlands, and the LA has identified us as a suitable school, parents will be encouraged to bring their child for a visit. The receiving teacher and/or the Deputy Head will visit the child in their present school and, if it is considered to be beneficial, arrange a home visit.
Transferring from one school to another can be a worrying time for children, and their parents. To ease this process, Woodlands operates a transfer procedure for new admissions. This is organised in negotiation with parents and professionals working with the child. The Deputy Head is the main point of contact for this.
When admissions to our school happen during the year we usually arrange for a child to have short term, part time attendance, initially, in order to support their transition into their new learning environment. There are always exceptions to this as some children manage change better without prior visits.
As with any secondary school provision we always have an annual intake of young people transferring from Year 6 to Year 7. Planning for these admissions starts early in the Autumn Term of each academic year. During each Summer Term most students who will be transferring make a number of visits to Woodlands to develop their confidence in their new school and give us the opportunity to know every child well before they start in September. Class teachers will also visit the primary school on several occasions.
The majority of children attending Woodlands use transport provided by the Local Authority, otherwise parents arrange for dropping off and collecting their children at the beginning or end of the day. Not all students will be entitled to special needs transport and each case is assessed individually by the local authority.