Local Offer Questions for Schools
How does Philpots Manor School know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person needs extra help?
All children and young people who come to Philpots have either a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan. This document should set out the needs that the School should address but this is regularly reviewed by teacher, houseparent and therapists for any emerging additional needs. An individual education plan, a health plan and a care plan are drawn up by school staff as they get to know your son or daughter and this is reviewed termly and annually. Staff are in regular contact with parents, either by phone or e-mail. Parents can ask express concern about emerging needs at any time.
How will Philpots support my child/young person?
We have small classes of up to 7 pupils, with a class teacher, one or two teaching assistants and a number of subject lessons during the day. Classes are often split for subject lessons so your son or daughter will often be taught in a group of one or two pupils. This allows for considerable personal attention and help.
A counsellor, play therapist, speech and language therapist and various complementary therapeutic activities also contribute to addressing specific needs of each pupil. The provision of this is included in the basic fee so each pupil can receive the therapy or activity they need without delay.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child/young person's needs?
The Class Teacher will develop a specific educational plan for your son or daughter. Philpots follows the Steiner curriculum and the National Curriculum, adapted specifically as needed. In the younger classes there is a more general curriculum with academic needs being met with differentiated work appropriate to the academic level that the pupil has achieved. As pupils become older, they may choose specific options. All pupils continue with English, Maths, Science and Art but aged 16/17 years, when they have taken GCSE or Entry Levels, they may choose to specialise in Equine Management, Chemistry, Biology, Art, Sculpture, Photography or Landcraft Studies, or they may start attending a Local College on a part-time basis.
How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child/young person's learning?
Educational and social and emotional progress are monitored by teachers and senior houseparents. These are reviewed termly and annually and are discussed with parents during phone calls and meetings as necessary. Regular contact between home and school is essential for working together to support our pupils.
At Philpots we use the BSquared Connecting Steps software to record academic achievement against National Curriculum standards. This allows us to ensure that any additional support necessary can be added to allow a pupil to achieve the best academic progress they can. We have recently started to record progress in social and emotional development on this program.
What support will there be for my child/young person's overall well-being?
Residential pupils are weekly boarders in small houses on-site where they live with the Senior Houseparent, Houseparent and Co-worker. This "family group" arrangement provides an ideal setting for learning to live with others and for the social development needed by our pupils.
Two School Nurses provide cover from 7.30 am to 6.00 pm and all Senior Houseparents have First Aid at Work qualifications. All controlled drugs are given by the Schoo's State Registered Nurses and other medications by Senior Houseparents.
Day Pupils are attached to residential houses or the Day Unit and have the same benefits as residential pupils, including evening activities where appropriate, but they do not stay overnight. The Day Unit has its own Senior Houseparent and other staff to assist her.
There is a School Council, elected by pupils, where a representative of each house and day unit meets to bring suggestions and debate issues that the pupils wish to discuss. In addition there is a House Meeting each half term where more domestic issues are addressed.
Each pupil chooses their own "Named Person" who they can talk with if they feel they are having any difficulty within their class or house group.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the School?
Philpots employs a qualified counsellor, play therapist and Speech and Language therapist. Complementary therapeutic activities such as art, music and eurythmy are also offered. We also have a registered cranio-sacral therapist, osteopath and massage therapist who visit the School as needed. These are usually recommended by our School Doctor. Qualifications are listed on the Therapies section of our website. Philpots also has a specialist Literacy Support teacher both to work with individual pupils and to advise other teachers
Staff at Philpots work closely with social workers and mental health professionals working for the home Local Authority, attending meetings both at School and, if necessary, in the home area. Generally speaking, Annual Education Reviews and Looked After Child are held at the School but we will attempt to meet other professionals elsewhere when necessary.
What training do the staff supporting children and young people with SEND have or are having?
There is a wide range of qualifications held by both teaching and residential staff at Philpots. In addition to this, six Seminar Days a year are given to additional training in specific Special Educational Needs and conditions for all staff. Team Teach is a behaviour management programme for avoiding and managing crisis behaviours in children and young people that all staff undergo. We have recently had a series of trainings from the National Autistic Society, Young Mind and the Anti-Bullying Works. Other trainings are routinely delivered both at School and on-line, allowing staff to address their specific needs, as well as covering Health & Safety and other required trainings.
How will my child/young person be included in activities outside the classroom, including School Trips?
Pupils are all allowed to participate in all activities at school unless their personal risk assessment outlines reasons why they would be put at risk were they to do so. In practice this is rarely the case and all activities are carefully designed and assessed to allow all pupils to take part.
We take a group of pupils each year to a residential music and arts course in Suffolk where they join with another special school in producing a musical theatre event at the end of the week. Other shorter outings take place during days out or even a trip to Paris for one group.
How accessible is the school?
Philpots is located at the end of a country lane and is accessible by car. The site itself is spread out over several acres of land. Paths connect the mostly single storey buildings but it would be a challenge for any pupil who is only able to use a wheelchair. Pupils with limited mobility can be easily catered for and much of the site could be accessed by a powered wheelchair or mobility scooter. We have a disability access toilet in the Main School Building and one residential unit also has a disabled access shower.
Numerous languages other than English can be spoken by Philpots' staff and any parent needing a translator could be accommodated. Equipment needed to support a pupil with Special Educational Needs could be acquired in conjunction with Local Authority Services.
How will the School prepare and support my child/young person to transfer to a new school or college, or the next stage of education or life?
It is rare for pupils to leave Philpots for a new school as they have often been to a number of different maintained or independent schools before they have been able to come to Philpots. Once here they usually stay until they move on to College or employment.
Preparation for a transfer to College takes place over several years. At first a taster day or part-time short course will be attended with a member of Philpots staff at a college local to Philpots, such as Plumpton, Brinsbury or Central Sussex College. This will be followed by a one day a week course in a vocation of the pupil's choice while the pupil continues taking Entry Level/ GCSE or AS/A level courses at School. Part or full-time courses can be attended local to Philpots or the pupil's home while a gradual transition from School to home area takes place. Each young person is unique and so is their transition from Philpots.
Philpots arranges work experience local to School and this happens on a weekly basis with older pupils, ideally in a vocation in which they are interested. This may become the catalyst for a career choice or may change a pupil's idea of the work they are aiming for. Either way, it gives an experience of real life, away from the protected environment that Philpots has been.
How are the School's resources allocated and matched to a pupil's special educational needs?
All pupils are funded by Local Authorities. Budgets are drawn up by the School's Management Group and individual pupil needs are met from this budget.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
Therapies are included in the basic termly fee at Philpots. The only "extra" chargeable to the Local Authority is if a pupil needs more than 2 individual sessions a week with a Speech and Language therapist.
If a pupil needs 1:1 funding to have a member of staff permanently allocated to work with them then this is also chargeable as an extra to the Local Authority. This would have to be agreed in advance of starting or at an Annual Education Review.
Therapies are provided as required by the Statement of Special Educational Need or Education, Health and Care Plan. If an additional need emerges then any therapy or additional support required would be agreed at a meeting of the therapists and class teacher or School Doctor.
Therapies and other support are evaluated termly and annually, both individually by the therapist and in the Annual Education Review.
How are parents involved in the school? How can I be involved?
Most parents are happy to speak with and communicate with education and residential staff on a weekly basis either by phone or e-mail. Some parents live close enough to drive their son or daughter to school but for many this is not practicable.
Younger children have a home/school book but for some parents a more direct communication is more reliable. We also have a termly magazine, Philpots Pages, which gives a "taste" of the varied activities of school life. Once a year we hold an Open Day for parents and ex-pupils to visit the School and look at exhibitions and plays prepared during the Summer Term.
Significant decisions about education, care, exams and college courses are taken with parents involvement. The Annual Education Review is the main venue for reviewing the overall education and care of the pupil and we encourage parents, Local Authorities and Social Workers to attend.
Who can I contact for further information?
The first point of contact for parents who are interested in their son or daughter joining Philpots is our Admissions Co-ordinator StClair Leveaux. She will briefly discuss your child's needs and ask you to send relevant paperwork for the Admissions Group to read.
Providing we think that we may be the right school, we will invite you for a Fact Find or an Interview. If this goes well and you think we may be the right place to help your child then we will arrange a two or three day visit. If this is for a residential placement then this will include an overnight stay at the School.
Local Authority SEN Placement Officers need to be involved throughout to ensure that there is a good likelihood of funding being available.
Once your child is at the School, then the Class Teacher is the person to speak to about educational issues and the Senior Houseparent is the person to speak to about the residential side. If you feel that there are wider issues you wish to speak to someone about then the School Nurse, Designated Member of Staff for Child Protection, Care Co-ordinator or Education Co-ordinator would be the right person. Their contact details are on the website, but everyone can be rung on 01342 810268.
If you have any further questions then the School's website
www.philpotsmanorschool.co.uk is probably your first port of call.
Linda Churnside, Education Co-ordinator
Lauren Simms, Care Co-ordinator