Admissions Policy

Admission Principles

Nunnykirk School will conduct assessments as part of their admissions policy. Potential students will be assessed against the aims and objectives of Nunnykirk School.

Information on the school’s website sets out the nature of the school’s offer, the students it will be able to educate and the curriculum it offers.

Process for admissions

Parents, placing authorities, commissioners and other professionals may make a referral directly to the school.

All enquires will be responded to as follows:

  • The person enquiring should provide the basic details about the child and their needs, including current educational placement, why a place is being sought and whether the child has an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP).
  • These details will be passed on to the special educational needs co-ordinator  (SENCO) who will call the person making the enquiry within three working days.
  • If appropriate an appointment will be made for the family to visit Nunnykirk school  in order for them to look around as well as have a more in-depth discussion of the child’s needs.
  • Information about Nunnykirk’s services, practice, policies and procedures will be available to prospective parents/carers during this visit.
  • Following this visit a member of Nunnykirk’s staff may visit the child in his/her current educational setting or at home.
  • If senior management  feel it is suitable, an assessment period may be offered. This assessment may be up to four days and is an opportunity for school staff to assess the child and their suitability for a place at Nunnykirk School. Assessment will include observations by the class teacher ( primary aged students) and/or subject teachers (secondary) in a variety of different lessons including lunch and break times. The SENCO will coordinate observations of students. In addition, where appropriate, standardised assessment(s) by the SENCO will also be conducted during assessment week.
  • Prospective pupils will be placed within the class group that must closely matches their chronological age, unless there are extenuating circumstances in which case a class group which more closely matches in terms of cognitive ability and/or needs may be more appropriate.
  •  Staff involved in the assessment will also look at whether extra staffing or resources are needed to meet the child’s needs, in addition to what is described on the child’s EHCP.
  • After the assessment period, parents/carers and the referrer (if this is not the parent / carer) will receive feedback of the assessment findings and confirmation of whether a place has been offered. A written summary of the findings will be shared within fifteen working days. The Local Authority will also be invited to attend the feedback meetings.
  • If a place is not immediately available the child’s name will be placed on a waiting list for admission. Parents/carers will be kept informed about when a place becomes available for the child.
  • In certain circumstances a child may be offered an extended assessment period or a placement which is reviewed after a set period of time to ensure the child’s needs are being met. This would be in circumstances where the child presents with a complex profile and/or may need an extended time to settle within school, for example, with social, emotional and mental health probelms. This would be at the discretion of the SENCO and Head of School.
Criteria for admissions

Our admission process will determine if we are able to offer an effective education to the student. Our school has the following criteria:

A learning need in line with the school’s primary registration:

  • Specific learning difficulty (SpLD)
  • Verbal autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) to include Asperger’s syndrome, Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder (SCD)
  • Social and Emotional Mental Health (SEMH) needs to include those students who are withdrawn or isolated and require a nurturing environment having often failed in mainstream settings, often due to anxiety or depressive difficulties. 
  • In addition, students may have sensory needs, difficulties with attention (ADHD, ADD), moderate learning difficulties, speech and language difficulties as well as developmental coordination disorder (DCD)

We are unable to meet the needs of students who have severe cognitive impairment or those students who have profound and complex needs.

Nunnykirk is unable to accept children who have emotional and behavioural problems which might seriously inhibit their progress or disrupt others. We are unable to meet the needs of children who have a tendency to abscond, engage in criminal activity , have a history of violence towards themselves and others or who cannot be kept safe within our setting. We are unable to meet the needs of children with oppositional defiant disorder, attachment disorder, conduct disorder or bipolar disorder.

Whilst we welcome all applications we regret that the nature of the building we occupy means that at present we are unable to make provision for applicants with severe physical disability such as one requiring the use of a wheelchair.

It is Nunnykirk’s policy to exercise professional judgement and where we are unable to be assured that we can reasonably meet a student’s needs we will not offer a placement.