St Clare’s School provides education for children with moderate learning difficulties and more complex needs.
Our children all have cognitive functioning that is below the average range for their age group. Our students have moderate to severe learning difficulties and needs. In addition to this we cater for the needs of a small number of children with mild autism, mild hearing loss, mild visual impairment, speech and language difficulties and communication needs.
We are also able to meet the needs of a small number of children with moderate learning difficulties who also have emotional and behavioural difficulties where this is their secondary need. Due to the complex nature of student needs we consider referrals to the school in the light of the needs of the whole school population. We do this to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of the whole school community.
Formal applications for admissions are made through the child’s Local Education Authority’s Special Education Needs & Disabilities (SEND) Department. They then refer the child for consideration for admission by the school. This consideration is based on professional reports, interviews and our own assessments. Governors reserve the right to refuse to admit a pupil whose needs, in the opinion of the school staff, cannot be met at St Clare’s.
Families are very welcome to visit the school before formal application is made for admission. We also encourage families and professionals to make individual visits if they are considering applying to the Authority for the admission of their child. Arrangements for visits can be made by contacting
the Assistant Head teacher.
These are guiding principles related to the school’s resources and a child’s individual needs which inform the Special Education Department when considering referral of a child to St Clare’s School.
Appendix 1 contains more detailed information about the criteria used to determine student entry to St Clare’s.
The admission criteria is regularly discussed at Governors meetings and was again ratified in March 2016.
The Admissions Policy
All children at St Clare’s School have learning difficulties as their major educational need. Some have additional emotional and/or behavioural difficulties which affect their access to learning. These difficulties may be due to a range of needs including sight impairment, hearing loss, communication difficulties and minor physical impairment.
This provides important information about the school with a view to ensuring a smooth and welcoming transfer to St Clare’s.
- The size of groups are dependent on the needs of children on the needs of children within each group. (Where there are greater or more complex needs across a group class size may be smaller).
- Learning Support staff in each class
- experienced and committed staff with expertise in teaching children with learning difficulties and more complex needs
- access to a range of Technology, including Information Communication Technology
- National Curriculum subjects and wider learning and experiences which have been modified and differentiated to meet pupils’ academic and wider needs and which may include programmes of study outside the pupil’s Key Stage
- access to an adapted learning environment with a mixture of specialist teaching as offered in Secondary mainstream schools with some lessons taught by class teachers as offered in Primary mainstream schools
- access to a range of Health Service including Speech & Language Therapist
- access to specialist services
- attractive learning environment and school playgrounds
- a staff team that cares about meeting the needs of their pupils
- accredited courses at Key Stage 4 which are appropriate to individual needs
- strong links with Post 16 providers to support transition and progression
Criteria for St Clare’s
St Clare’s Secondary School provides placements for pupils with moderate learning difficulties and may have associated additional behavioural, emotional, social, communication and language, sensory and physical needs. All pupils have a Statement of special educational needs or Education Health & Care plan.
Pupils attending St Clare’s may have a range of special educational needs and will require a special environment with staff who can support their learning and personal development.
The profile of pupils attending St Clare’s may include some elements from the following:-
1. Low levels of learning
- Barriers to learning prevent children from succeeding in mainstream. Attainment levels and learning may be inconsistent and not age appropriate. Pupils may have competency in some subjects but have an inconsistent assessment profile overall.
- The balance of pupil needs has to be maintained in order for children to access the full National Curriculum.
- Possibility of some associated health needs or other impairments which can be supported within the classroom environment and without compromising personal safety and human dignity of the individual.
2. Communication Difficulties
- Communication difficulties that still allow pupil inclusion with the National Curriculum.
- Learning levels as in section 1
- Poor communication skills – spoken and/or written
- Moderate ASD
- Speech and Language Therapy needs
- Comprehension need to be supported visually with symbols/signs
3. Possible additional features that may appear in the above categories
- Learning levels as in section 1
- May have received a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder from Health professionals
- May have moderate hearing/sight loss
- May require specific teaching techniques for developing social skills
- May have fragile self-esteem, which needs careful nurturing
- May be emotionally fragile or vulnerable
Download the St Clare’s Admissions Policy PDF