Winchelsea School is a mixed, all range day Special School committed to meeting the educational needs of children who have an Education, Care and Health Plan. These needs include Moderate Learning Difficulties, Attention Deficit Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders and Mild Sensory and Physical Impairments.

Admissions may be made at any time during the school year but the majority take place in September. All admissions are made in accordance with the current national legislation relating to pupils with special needs, and must conform to the school’s admission policy, as agreed with the LA (Local Authority). The School’s home LA is the Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP Council).

The school is funded to provide a specific number of places by the LA. There are no prescribed place numbers relating to the category of learning difficulty or Key Stage although an appropriate balance will always be sought. The school may, in certain circumstances agree to admit pupils beyond this number if it is confident that, in so doing, the needs of the pupils in the group are not compromised and appropriate agreement is reached concerning funding for additional place provision. The discretion to admit beyond the formula number remains with the Governors through the office of the Headteacher. Governors seek to allocate places on the basis of vacancies within groups rather than overall vacancies within the school.

All admissions are administered by the LA. Occasionally admissions may be agreed for children from neighbouring authorities.

The following documentation will be required before consideration can be given for admission:

  • Education, Health and Care Plan, with supporting documentation
  • Draft Education, Health and Care Plan (in certain circumstances)
  • Details of Stage 1, 2 and 3 of the Code of Practice as undertaken at mainstream if appropriate.

Prospective parents are welcome to visit the school while the statement is being drawn up although no formal offer of a place can be made.

In certain cases, pupils can be admitted for a fixed period on an assessment basis. In such cases, the pupil may not meet the requirements detailed above. Such admissions must be mutually agreed by the Governors and the LA.

Following a request for placement from the LA, the Headteacher may consult with staff within school, and other professionals beyond the school, as to the suitability of the placement.

Where a vacancy exists and it is felt that Winchelsea is an appropriate provision to meet the child's needs, parents/guardians and prospective pupil are invited into school for an admissions meeting.

At such time parents will be given a School Prospectus, if they have not already received one through the post, and an opportunity to view the school, or department. The opportunity also exists at this time, apart from an interview with the Headteacher, to talk with the class teacher/Head of Dept to clarify issues, look at IEPs (Individual Education Plans) and work programmes and where appropriate the standard of work. Appropriate transition arrangements will also be discussed (refer to separate Transition Process). All parents are informed that they
are welcome to return at any time to talk further with the Headteacher and/or staff and to spend some time observing in a class should they wish.

Places are offered subject to availability and to the suitability of the placement to meet a child's perceived educational needs. An essential requirement of a pupil joining the school is that parents feel they can fully support the proposals set out in the School Prospectus and wish to develop a sense of mutual co-operation on behalf of their child. The School Prospectus incorporates the aims, values and responsibilities accepted by both the school and parent in connection with the education of the pupil. Parents will be requested to sign the School's Home/School Partnership Agreement although admission is not dependent on signing the document.

When parents formally request a place for their child, and this is agreed, a letter of confirmation is sent by the appropriate LA. The LA will then make transport arrangements if applicable. If the pupil is transitioning from another school, then that school will be contacted to agree appropriate transition arrangements (refer to separate transition procedure).

Issues relating to offers of a place by the LA which conflict with parental preference or requirements will be dealt with by the authority through the accepted procedure, through, if necessary, to Tribunal.

Formal Reviews will be held annually to determine the ongoing suitability of the placement.

Current part-time to full-time attendance for 4 year olds

The LA’s policy is that children attend full time from the start of the term in which they turn 5. However, in consultation with parents and other appropriate professionals, we may on occasion be willing to consider offering fulltime attendance to 4 year old children.


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