Referrals and Admissions

All children are expected to be referred by Local Authorities. Our Head Teacher together with the Director of Care will be responsible for managing the referrals process. We have a strong ethos of not permanently excluding pupils as many of them will have already experienced rejection from the mainstream. Our aim is to empower pupils to work through any anti-social behaviour instead of simply excluding them.

Charging and Remissions:

The school does not charge any extra fees.

Admissions Criteria:

  • All pupils will be of statutory school age in Key Stages 2, 3 and 4.
  • All pupils referred will have Special Educational Needs (which in most cases will be formalised with a Statement of SEN). Pupils do not, however, have to be statemented.
  • In most cases the presenting reason for referral will be Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties although the young people referred are likely to present with a range of other difficulties as well, such as speech and language difficulties, mild dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, ADD, Aspergers Syndrome, ASD and ODD.
  • All our pupils are likely to be in Local Authority care and resident in one of Potton Homes Children’s Homes and for whom there is no reasonable prospect of reintegration into mainstream school or services without the support from a specialist education provision such as OLIS.

For full details on our admissions policy and the procedure to be followed after a pupil is referred to us please contact us directly.

Referral Process

It is vital that we gain as much information as possible about every pupil referred to us in order that we can make informed choices about the appropriateness of the referral and what will be required in order to meet their needs and help them with their education. Documentation with each new referral should include:

  • Pupil details such as their full name, address and so forth
  • Contact details of all parties involved with the pupil
  • The pupil’s educational history including SAT results where they are available
  • Statement of Special Educational Needs, if any.
  • For ‘Looked After Pupils’ – their PEP and any relevant supporting information from agencies involved with the pupil.

(This is not an exhaustive list of the referral information that we will require).

Following Referral

The school will process documentation and agree a start date of no later than 10 term-time working days.
Responsibility of referral is handed to a senior staff manager to summarise the pupil’s key issues and to create an individualised and personal learning programme according to that pupil’s needs.

Referral Meeting

The senior staff member will meet with Parents/Carers and other key partners, as quickly as possible and undertake a Pre-Service Needs/Risk Assessment. We will also use this opportunity for parents/carers and pupil to share what they see as particular interests and strengths. Discussion includes:

  • Pupil expectations
  • Parent/Carer expectations
  • School expectations – code of conduct
  • School – home links once placement has begun
  • Statement of Special Educational Needs and how the school proposes to meet it
  • Diagnostic assessments
  • Curriculum and activities
  • Work experience
  • Additional pastoral support

We share with Parents/Carers/Social Workers a range of information and documents and ensure that they are aware of other documents that are available for them to see, should they so wish. Documents shared include:

  • School Prospectus outline information
  • Educational Visits policy, permission slips for excursions and photographs of pupils
  • Data Protection Policy
  • Complaints Policy and Form
  • Home/School Contract (to be signed by the pupil)
  • Vandalism and Damage Policy (to be signed by the pupil and parents/carers)
  • Communication Facilities Policy (IT) for pupils
  • Communication Policy Declaration Form (to be signed by pupil and Parent/Carer)

Plan for Admission

Senior staff member undertakes a Pre-Service Needs and Risk Assessment and convenes an intake meeting with the Headteacher and appropriate members of the teaching/care team.

If the referral is accepted, the plan for admission is agreed. This includes transport arrangements, assessments, writing of Individual Education Plan (IEP) and Individual Behaviour Plan (IBP), all of which will be completed within 15 term-time days following admission.


Takes place on pupil’s arrival at their initial session.

Topics include: team introductions; fire and health and safety; opportunities that the school offers; behaviour expectations; consequences of misbehaviour; respect that is expected and respect that is shown.