Venture Academy is a school for children and young people aged 9 to 16 years old who have social, emotional and mental health needs and/or autistic spectrum condition. When at full occupancy, the academy will provide 50 places across all age groups. For a child/young person to be admitted to the school, his/her placement must be agreed by a local authority (LA) and named in the child/young person’s education, health and care plan (EHCP).
The Admissions Process
The process of admission to Venture Academy is as follows:
- The Local Authority will send a copy of the child’s/young person’s Education, Health and Care Plan, latest annual review and any other relevant paperwork to the school for consideration.
- All children/young people will be visited in their current school placement and home if possible. The visit forms part of the admissions process but may happen before or after the ‘admissions interview’ with parents/carers, as follows:
- If it is clear from the paperwork that the school can meet the young persons needs, the Principal or the Family Footings Facilitator will invite the child and his/her parents/carers into school for a visit.
- The Principal will then arrange a dedicated member of staff (usually the Family Footings Facilitator) to visit and observe the child/young person in their present setting and in their home. They may also talk to any other professionals including an Educational Psychologist if involved.
- If it is not clear from the paperwork that the school can meet the child/young persons needs, the Principal will organise a dedicated member of staff to visit and observe the child/young person in their current setting and talk to all relevant professionals including Educational Psychologists. In this situation, the child/young persons parents/carers will be invited into school for a tour if they have not already visited.
- Following the admissions interview or current placement/home visit, the school will endeavour to make a decision promptly. The school acknowledges that parents have often been through many assessments in the past and will aim to let parents/carers know the outcome as quickly as possible. The decision will be communicated to the parents/carers and the LA including a proposed start date.
- Once a decision has been made, the Principal will agree a fee level with the LA, confirm a start date and arrange the admission of the student.
- If the school decides that it cannot meet the child/young person’s needs, the Authority will be advised of the reasons for this decision in a form that can be shared with parents/carers.
- The LA will arrange transport in accordance with its own Home to School transport policy.
- If the school is full, it cannot offer a place as this would compromise the safe and effective education of the children/young people already on roll.
- Following the admissions procedure, If a place at the school is not offered, parents/carers may indicate to the LA that they would like Venture Academy to be named as the school of preference within their child’s EHC plan. The LA will consider parents/carers preferences but may not agree to the school of preference. In such circumstances parents have the right of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (SEND).
Arrangements to help transition into school
Venture Academy will liaise with the parents and carers and/or the current educational setting to see what transition arrangements will best suit the child/young person.
Transitions are often difficult for children who have social, emotional and mental health difficulties or an autistic spectrum condition.
An induction programme, appropriate to the individual child/young person will be drawn up to support transfer to Venture Academy. It is essential to consider mechanisms/strategies that may make the process easier for the child/young person. This may include visits by key staff between schools.
The school is keen to work closely with families to ensure that the whole family’s needs are taken into consideration when looking at suitable placements and transition arrangements.
Social stories and photographs of the school and staff will be offered to the children/young people as well as visits/part-time placements to the school so that the child/young person and their family feel fully prepared for the move to Venture Academy. Any visits will be planned with parents/carers and will be bespoke to individual needs.