Who do we support?
Rugeley School caters for children and young people, aged 5 to 19 years old, with a primary diagnosis of autism or evidence of behaviours which are in line with such a diagnosis. Our students tend to have associated learning difficulties within the moderate to severe range.
Here at Rugeley School we take referrals via:
- Local Authority – Education Department
- Social services
To be offered at place at Rugeley School, the young person must meet the following admissions criteria:
- A primary diagnosis of an autistic spectrum disorder or evidence of behaviours in accordance with such a diagnosis
- Learning difficulties within the severe to moderate range
- Adequate or potentially adequate physical ability to be able to participate in the programme
The admissions process
Our inter-disciplinary assessment team leads the admissions process to ensure that we only accept children and young people for whom we can offer a quality placement that meets their needs. Once we have received a request for a place at Rugeley, we will:
- Examine all appropriate documentation, especially the Statement or Education and Health Care Plan to ensure the school can meet all the young person’s needs
- Invite parents/carers to visit Rugeley School
- Arrange for a preliminary visit whereby usually two members of the school assessment team observe the young person in their current placement and then invite the child into Rugeley School so that an assessment can take place there
- Ask the Senior Management Team (SMT) to examine the report made by our assessment team to make a final decision on whether to offer a place. The SMT will consider a wide range of factors when making their decision, including:
- Statement Objectives/EHCP Outcomes
- Statutory provisions
- Internal logistics (e.g. identifying an appropriate peer group in terms of mix of abilities, age, behaviour, communication skills, required level of supervision, gender and group dynamic)
Identifying support needs
Rugeley School provides a standard level of classroom support of one adult to three children and one adult to two children in our residential homes. As part of the admissions process, we identify whether a young person will require more enhanced support than this. Before a student has been offered a place with us, the SMT will determine the level and type of support they require. We do this through:
- Examining the requirements laid out in their Statement or EHCP
- Close liaison with the therapeutic team
- Partnership working with the child’s home and discussions with parents/carers
- Observations on visits during the admissions process
- Examining past reports
We review the support provided to each student on a termly basis in negotiation with the home local authority, and adjust where necessary. We pride ourselves on the positive impact we can have on challenging behaviours and regularly see a reduction in difficult behaviours and/or an increase in independence skills.
After a pupil’s first week at Rugeley School, we implement an initial assessment called ‘The Snapshot’. This initial assessment looks at seven key outcome areas:
- Communication skills
- Sensory regulation
- Academic attainment
- Self-regulated behaviour
- Social and emotional development
It is used to identify a young person’s learning support needs (Transactional Support) and create a set of priorities/targets for their first half-term in school. The Snapshot allows us to us place them at the appropriate level of our tiered curriculum and in an appropriate class.
After a student’s first six weeks at the school, when we have had chance to get to know them better, we review the information gathered from the initial assessment and carry out a deeper baseline assessment using The Autism Education Trust Progression Framework for Pupils on the ASD Spectrum. At this point we will refine the priorities/targets in the seven key outcome areas and draw up a set of individually tailored IEP targets which facilitate the achievement of these.
The school tracks and evaluates each pupil’s progress made against IEPs and Baseline priorities on a termly basis. We use this information to ensure we are providing the best and most appropriate care and support and to decide whether any curriculum adaptations are required. Parents/carers and any other stakeholders are kept informed via Progress Reviews and other Review Meetings.