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Contact Numbers
Referrals 0203 988 4682
General 0800 138 8680
Referrals 0203 988 4682 General 0800 138 8680

Admissions criteria

Who do we support?

Clay Hill School supports children and young people between the ages of 5 and 19 who have difficulties with autism, attachment disorder and associated complexities including learning disabilities.

When a new pupil is referred to Clay Hill, we will carry out an assessment to ensure that we are able to meet their individual needs. Our admissions criteria takes into consideration a range of aspects when looking at a new placement, including prior history, current pupil need and disaffection with education and specific pupil needs to ensure that we can achieve the best possible outcomes for each child.

Children and young people attending Clay Hill School are likely to have:

  • A diagnosis of autistic spectrum condition or evidence of behaviours which are in accordance with such a diagnosis
  • A possible learning difficulty within the mild to moderate range
  • Adequate physical ability to participate in a physically demanding programme of learning
  • No reported adverse medical conditions or factors. Children whose special needs are characterised by behaviours that severely challenge and those who are assessed or proven to pose a significantly high risk to other children, will not usually be considered for placement

The admissions process

Step 1

The first step after receiving an enquiry is to decide whether Clay Hill School is suitable for the young person by studying reports, previous assessment data and other available information. We then request a fuller assessment, liaising with other professionals and the pupil.

Step 2

Parents/carers and the young person themselves will be invited in to meet with our senior managers, teachers (and the care team where applicable) to identify any personal and explicit needs and ascertain if these can be met.

Step 3

The school makes a detailed placement offer to the referrer, which includes how we envisage meeting the young person’s needs and the anticipated outcomes.

Step 4

The involved professionals and the pupil accept a place at Clay Hill School. We arrange a review meeting to discuss the young person’s transition into the school to maximise the placement’s chance of success.

Reviewing the initial placement

Clay Hill School has a thorough placement review system in place, whereby we send regular Initial Placement Reviews to the placing authority from a pupil’s second week at Clay Hill School.

Regular communication and placement reviews are essential as they enable us to monitor the on-going success of all placements and, where required, adjustments can be made quickly and effectively in order to maximise the chance for a successful placement.

We develop an Individual Pupil Plan (IPP) and child-centred care plan for each of our young people prior to admission to Clay Hill School, followed by organising a therapy provision. These are based on the needs identified during their assessment, overall placement objectives and aims and intentions for the young person in the areas of:

  • Educational needs and targets
  • Health needs and health promotion
  • Cultural, religious, language and racial needs
  • Behaviour support plan, including an individualised risk assessment
  • Social and emotional development

The pupil’s tutor (representing the education team) and their key worker (representing the residential team where appropriate) will work closely together to implement and monitor their IPP and the Care Plan on a day-to-day basis.

Multi-agency working

Multi-agency working is central to the approach taken by Clay Hill School, from admission right the way through to a pupil’s transition into further education, training or employment. The school works with a wide range of agencies to ensure that we are always acting in the best interests of the young person.

How to make a referral

To find out more about making a referral to Clay Hill School, please contact:


E: clayhillschool@priorygroup.com