There are a number of ways that a young person can be referred to Educational Diversity. Students attend the Pupil Referral Unit provisions at either Pegasus and ATLAS as a result of a permanent exclusion from mainstream provision, an agreed managed move or through a dual registered arrangement with a local school or academy. In addition, we admit young people who are new to area who are referred via the In Year Access Panel from the local authority. We also offer provision for young people who are looked after by the local authority and others who have an Education Health and Care Plan if it is deemed that we can meet their needs appropriately. We work proactively with our students and with our mainstream colleagues to assist a return to mainstream provision at the earliest opportunity.
Another part of our service supports young people with medical or emotional needs who are referred by medical professionals and CAMHS practitioners. This is within our Home, Hospital Education Service based at our Athena site on Whitegate Drive. The young people are referred via the Athena multi agency panel of professionals who give consideration as to whether the young person’s needs can be best met at Athena or whether additional support could be given to retain them within their mainstream setting.
Educational Diversity takes the lead in a Behaviour Partnership with Blackpool High Schools and Academies to take a collective responsibility for young people within the town and to reduce the numbers of students who are at risk of exclusion. The Partnership meets once a month and is chaired by the Deputy Headteacher for Educational Diversity. During these meetings, colleagues work collaboratively to manage the needs of individual students, which may in agreement with parents / carers, result in a managed move for a young person to another school or a placement within the Pupil Referral Unit. The Partnership also provided opportunity to share good practice around inclusion and develops joined up working across Blackpool.
The Induction Process
At Educational Diversity we realise that often young people may have been out of education for some time, therefore we endeavour to induct them at the earliest opportunity. Initially there is a meeting with a member of the senior leadership team and the pupil and their parents or carers to fill in forms, discuss the school’s expectations and to agree on a support plan. The young person then has an induction session, during which time they will complete some baseline assessments such as WRATS and GL Assessments and will be shown around the provision to meet other staff and students. Occasionally, the young person might need to be placed on a reduced timetable and in these cases, a progression plan will be drawn up in agreement with all parties, with regular review meetings and with the intention of increasing to full time provision as soon as possible.