Consultation process for local authorities

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OTS follows a formal admissions procedure upon receiving an official consultation from a local authority. 

Information gathering

OTS seeks to gain as much information as possible about students referred to us by local authorities. This allows us to make informed decisions as to the appropriateness of OTS for the student and what will be required to meet their individual needs. As part of the consultation paperwork, we ask that - where possible - the following are included:

  • Education, Health, and Care Plan (EHCP)
  • Student information such as their full name, address, and date of birth
  • Contact details of and reports from all agencies currently involved with the students
  • The student's educational history including SAT results, academic and clinical assessment data where they are available
  • The student's previous attendance, punctuality and behavioural issues
  • For Looked After Children their PEP and any relevant supporting information from agencies involved with the student
  • Latest Annual Review paperwork 

Paperwork review

Once the OTS Admissions Panel has received the consultation, the paperwork will be thoroughly reviewed to assess whether, on paper, it appears that OTS would be a suitable placement and what would be required in order to meet the needs of the student. At this stage, if the Admissions Panel feels like more information is required, it may liaise with other other agencies in order to build a greater understanding of the child. 

Following this paperwork review, the Admissions Panel will meet to discuss whether it would be appropriate for the child and parents to visit the school, or whether it believes needs cannot be met and/or that the placement would hinder the efficient education of other students at the school. 

Visits and taster sessions

At this stage, Parents/Carers and the individual student will be invited to visit the school. This will give afford the opportunity to learn more about the nature of the school, its expectations of students, and what it can offer, as well as discuss the needs of the individual student in an informal, but structured, way. Discussions may include the additional needs of the student, their educational and social background, and their current educational provision. Importantly, this visit will allow students themselves to express their own thoughts on their relative strengths and weaknesses and what they would like from a school. These discussions are of central importance in providing the additional details needed to assess whether it would be appropriate to invite the student for taster sessions.

Following these discussions, the Admission Panel will decide whether to invite the student for a taster session. These involve the student coming to the school and experiencing lesson(s) with the class in which they would join if admitted. Depending on the outcomes of these taster sessions, additional sessions may be arranged. 

Initial risk assessment and offer

If the Admissions Panel believe that it can meet the needs of the student, it will write to the Parent/Carer in order to complete the initial risk assessment. If no more concerns are raised following this risk assessment such that no more information had to be gathered and that the Admissions Panel is confident that it can meet needs, a formal offer will be sent to the local authority. 

Funding and contracts

The Admissions Panel will make itself available to discuss any queries that the local authority may have concerning funding. If the offer is accepted and the contract is signed, our finance team will liaise with the local authority regarding invoicing and our Inclusion team will liaise regarding transition plans. 

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