River Tees Multi-Academy Trust
We provide education and support for learners who are currently disengaged from their home mainstream provision. We have an inclusive philosophy and believe passionately in removing any barriers to learning and ensuring every learner has the opportunity to fulfil their potential through a broad and balanced curriculum personalised to every individual learner.
In addition to RTMAT provision, our Home and Hospital Service meets the educational needs of students who are unable to access their home mainstream provision due to a range of medical needs.
This Service offers education in different settings including home tuition, short term placements, and teaching services across local hospitals and medical units. Students referred to this Service are supported through their medical practitioners and may include a range of short or long term conditions such as physical and mental health issues, short stays in hospital following an accident, chronic medical conditions, anxiety, psychosis and terminal conditions. We work in partnership with the home school, medical professionals and other agencies to provide a holistic, wrap-around service.
Who to contact
Where to go
- TS3 8RD
Many of our students have significant underlying special education needs, including those related to learning difficulties and disabilities, cognitive difficulties, social, emotional and mental health issues and physical disabilities. Some of these special educational needs have gone unrecognised in their previous schools. A significant number of students are identified as requiring support to make successful transitions and many require more specialist provision. Where necessary, and in consultation with parents or carers, RTMAT will submit a request for assessment for an Education, Health and Care Plan.
All RTMAT staff are trained and experienced in working with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
Schools Extended Local Offer Response
- How does the setting/school/college know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?
We identify SEND needs in a number of ways:
- Information received from the home school.
- Meeting parents and carers and offering them the opportunity to share important information with staff which will help us to support their child.
- Base line testing when young people join us. This can sometimes give us more accurate information than data from schools as many young people who join us have been out of school for some time.
- Information from a range of other professionals such as educational psychologists, CAMHS and the 0-19 Service.
A few of the young people already have a statement (or EHC plan) in place before joining the school in which needs are identified.
Through continual assessment further educational needs may be identified by staff, and strategies put in place to address these difficulties. The Service works with a range of professionals to further support this process including an educational Psychologist.
Young people are encouraged to let staff know if they are finding anything particularly difficult. Assertive mentoring is in place with regular meetings between students and their academic mentor.
- How will early years setting/school/college staff support my child/young person?
We encourage parents / carers to play a role in supporting their child’s learning.
What arrangements are in place for review meetings for children with Statements or Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans?
All young people who have a Statement or EHC plan will have these reviewed on an annual basis or more frequently if emergency reviews are required. We work very closely with parents and carers who are always invited to the review process organised by the Services’ SEND Coordinator. They have the opportunity to share concerns and alongside their child, help to write the targets. The SEND Coordinator will usually meet with the child before the review meeting to gain their views so that they feel prepared for the meeting.
What arrangements are in place for children with other SEN support needs?
The Service works closely with a range of professionals who support the young people who attend. These include staff from the Speech and Language Service, CAMHS and the Educational Psychology Service. The SEN Adviser from the 0-19 Service also meets with our statemented pupils to help support them with their career choices post 16. In addition we have a progression team to support transition at Post 16.
How do you ensure that parents know “who’s who” and who they can contact if they have concerns about their child/young person?
As a part of the young person’s induction, parents are given the opportunity to meet key members of staff. Parents will find that the staff are very approachable and are always on hand to help however they can. Regular contact with home will be maintained via the tutor team.
Do parents have to make an appointment to meet with staff or do you have an Open Door policy?
Due to the relatively small numbers, we are able to have very regular contact with parents. We will always make time to meet with parents, but to ensure senior staff are available, we suggest they make an appointment where possible.
How do you keep parents updated with their child/young person’s progress?
Academic progress is reported to parents at the end of each term. A full report will be sent out towards the end of the school year. Progress will also be shared at termly target setting meetings, annual review meetings and parent consultation meetings: teaching staff are always happy to discuss more specific progress with parents/carers at any point.
How can parents give feedback to the school?
We encourage all parents to give the school feedback, either verbally of through parental surveys.
Do you have home/school contracts?
Yes, all students are asked to sign a contract during assessment and these are reviewed where we feel on individual student would benefit from this.
What opportunities do you offer for pupils to have their say? e.g. school council
We have a school council where pupils can discuss issues that are important to them. Each class has a representative on the council. Tutor times also provide an informal yet structured forum for pupil voice.
What opportunities are there for parents to have their say about their son/daughter’s education?
We welcome parents sharing their feelings about their child’s education and believe part of our role is to support parents. We have regular opportunities at target setting meetings, parent consultation meetings and at annual reviews although we are always happy for parents to talk to us in between these more formal opportunities. The tutor team keep in regular contact with parents and carers.
What opportunities are there for parents to get involved in the school or become school governors?
We encourage parents to get involved in the school and become school governors. We have at least one parent on our Management Board at all times.
Do you offer help with completing forms and paperwork? If yes, who normally provides this help and how would parents access this?
A range of staff are available to help parent’s complete paperwork which may be about or affect their child. Parents can contact the Service to access help from tutors or the Student Support team. We always invite parents to come in to the school and work with us to complete any paperwork and discuss any additional support.
What information, advice and guidance can parents and young people access through the school? Who normally provides this help and how would they access this?
Young people are supported by the Head of Learner Support and progression team who provide information and advice about careers about moving on to employment or further education. A Special Educational Needs Adviser will also offer support to pupils from Year 9 through to Year 11. The SEN Adviser attends Annual Reviews and will usually meet with students a couple of times throughout this time. If parents have any questions about their child’s options post 16 or any other related matter, we can arrange for SEN Adviser or progression team to contact you.
How does the school help parents with travel plans to get their son/daughter to and from school?
These are discussed at induction. Transport is available dependent on meeting the eligibility criteria.
- How will the curriculum be matched to my child's/young person's needs?
How do you help children and young people to make friends?
Developing young people’s ability to make friends and build positive relationships unpins much of what we do on a day to day basis We have programmes to develop their social skills so that they are able to interact with each other in a positive and respectful way. We encourage all young people to appreciate the needs of others and of the community around them and so encourage a community of tolerance and understanding of each other. Staff are aware of the need to role model such behaviours in the way they communicate to the young people and also to each other.
It is a priority for all staff to ensure that all pupils feel safe, secure and valued at all times. We provide opportunities for young people to work closely and constructively together throughout the school day. During lesson and at break times, we provide team building activities that develops their relationships with each other and sport is used as an excellent medium to foster good relationships amongst pupils.
- What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall well being?
We believe that if young people are not healthy and happy they will not learn. We therefore make sure that young people’s needs are met as fully as possible; a healthy breakfast and lunch are provided. Academic and pastoral support remain our focus and healthy lifestyles are encouraged. All staff are trained in Child Protection and some are Qualified First Aiders.
What is the school’s policy on administering medication?
Each site has a lockable cabinet which is kept secured within a room which is normally manned or kept locked. When a pupil joins parents are asked to sign a document that would allow their child to take certain types of medication under staff supervision. In the event a pupil requires any medication from home, we request this be handed in and staff will help administer this at the appropriate times.
How do you work with the family to draw up a care plan and ensure that all relevant staff are aware of the plan?
The SEND Coordinator provides medical and SEND information to relevant staff so that they are all fully aware of each pupil’s needs. Termly targets are written and discussed with families and all staff have copies and are aware of each pupil’s targets. The school nurse is involved with supporting looked after young people and those on care plans and will visit to make the required health checks. Care plans are kept up to date and are made available to all staff.
What would the school do in the case of a medical emergency
If there was a medical emergency we would call 999 and a trained first aider would administer first aid where appropriate. A member of staff would accompany the young person in the ambulance. Parents would be informed as soon as practically possible.
How do you ensure that staff are trained/qualified to deal with a child’s particular needs?
There is a training programme in place to support staff: there is a comprehensive induction programme as well as regular Continual Professional Development training. There is a wealth of experience amongst the staff, including staff who have specialist experience/ knowledge and/or training in the specifics of SEN, such as Dyslexia, ASD and more complex needs. In addition to this, the Educational Psychologist will hold solution-focussed strategy meetings which both share good practice and help find effective strategies for pupils who may be causing concern.
Which health or therapy services can children access on school premises?
There is a range of support available to support young people, including the school nursing team, who support the school with Sexual Health Education and any other health issues or concerns, drugs, alcohol and smoking education as well as individual counselling. The Service also works closely with CAMHS supporting pupils and families.
What support is offered during breaks and lunchtimes?
We recognises the challenges that unstructured times can present to young people with challenging behaviour or social and emotional difficulties. There is a range of activities available to young people at break times and lunch times. For those who don’t want to get involved in sport, there is supervised social time with staff and each other. Staff always have their lunch with the young people and spend time with them at breaks
How do you ensure my son/daughter stays safe outside the classroom? (e.g. during PE lessons and school trips)
All activities are risk assessed and staffing ratios are high. Staff are always carefully selected to ensure pupils are fully supported
What are the arrangements for undertaking risk assessments?
The Service undertakes risk assessment in line with National recommendations. An experienced member of staff has the responsibility for conducting and recording all these risk assessments.
Where can parents find details of policies on bullying?
Policies can be found on the website and we will give hard copies to anyone who wants them. Parents and carers are encouraged to come in to school if they have any concerns about their child being bullied.
- What training have the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had? Are any being trained currently?
The Service ensures that when staff are employed, they come with experience and skills which are needed to work with young people with challenging behaviour or SEN.
There is an induction programme which all staff are required to undertake. This training ensures that staff are aware of the correct safeguarding procedures and the management of challenging behaviour.
Throughout the year, the school also has a range of training opportunities to ensure that all staff are kept up to date with their knowledge and understanding of SEN.
A range of professionals are invited in to school to share their expertise as well as well as ‘in-house’ training and the sharing of outstanding practice across the Service.
- How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?
We recognise the importance of helping our young people become rounded individuals with full and productive lives, by offering them opportunities to get involved in extra activities as part of their personalised timetable.
Do you offer school holiday and/or before and after school provision? If yes, please give details.
We provide activities and opportunities for the pupils that develop their interests and talents through enjoyment and raising self- esteem. We have a breakfast club before the start of the school day. We also benefit from regular workshops provided by outside agencies and organisations during the school day and after schools sessions in various areas of the curriculum. A broad range of sporting activities take place at lunchtime and there are opportunities for the learners to be involved in various local sporting projects after school hours. During school holidays the student support team run activity sessions, visits and residential activities.
What lunchtime or after school activities do you offer? Do parents have to pay for these and if so, how much?
We offer sports and games during lunchtime and subject area sessions after school. Students are also taken on various educational and reward trips which develops and extend their interests and skills. All activities are free.
How do you make sure clubs, activities and residential trips are inclusive?
We try and ensure that everyone has a chance to go on trips by making sure that the educational activities are free. Staff will contact parents by phone as well as by letter to ensure that all parents are informed of all activities provided. We always try to provide transport to ensure that pupils do not miss out.
- How will the setting/school/college prepare and support my child/young person to join the setting/school/college or the next stage of education and life?
We understand that moving schools can be a particularly stressful time for young people. There is a comprehensive programme to support this move.
What support is offered for young people leaving the school? (e.g. careers guidance, visits to colleges, apprenticeships, supported employment etc)
Pupils get advice from the 0-19 Service from year 9 (until the age of 25 years old if they have an EHC plan). Pupils at the Service also have the support of the progression team. All tutors are trained in supporting applications and visits to colleges, helping with interview preparation and even supporting with travel to interviews if necessary. Our staff can accompany young people to interviews at College and other progression route interviews and also support in the summer before transferring to their new place of education or training.
Full support is offered through the summer holidays and through the initial phase of enrolling at college or with a training provider. The 0-19 Service offer ongoing support and advice.
Many young people who attend our provision make a successful transition into mainstream or special school. This is carefully planned with experienced staff who work with local schools, set targets and attend meetings. The young person receives regular visits from staff to monitor and support their transition.
What advice/support do you offer young people and their parents about preparing for adulthood?
We have in house expertise from a Careers professional as well as a team of highly trained and experience tutors who offer a range of support from together with outside agencies to ensure that all young people have access to impartial Information Advice and Guidance (IAG).
What handover arrangements will be made at the start and end of the school day? Do you have parking areas for pick up and drop offs?
Some of young people who attend the Service are brought to and from school by a taxi. The drivers will bring the young people into the car park where they will be greeted by staff. At the end of the day, pupils are escorted to their taxis by a member of staff. We encourage parents to call the school in the morning if there are any concerns or important information we need, that may support us in supporting their children. Staff will equally call parents at the end of the day if they would like to hear about their young person’s day.