Consultation 3: Specialist Unit - Caunton Dean Hole Primary School
Consultation 3 - Specialist Unit at Caunton Dean Hole Primary
CONSULTATION ON PROPOSAL TO OPEN SATELLITE PROVISION FOR 12 PRIMARY-AGED SEND PUPILS BY STUBBIN WOOD SCHOOL
To establish a specialist unit for 12 primary-aged students (Key Stage 1 and 2). To be established on the site of Caunton Dean Hole C of E Primary School.
Responses to the proposal can be made by completing this short form. Please take the time to read the information below before making your response.
Stubbin Wood School & Nursery is a special school in Derbyshire on the border with Nottinghamshire, and is rated Good by Ofsted. The school offers 185 places with provision of an additional 17 SEN units at the inclusive nursery of 60 students. The Nursery is located 10 minutes drive from the main school site. A further satellite provision, opened in January 2023 and commissioned by Nottinghamshire County Council, caters for a further 24 primary-aged pupils as an integrated pathway, working closely with a co-located mainstream Primary.
The school is the largest special school in Derbyshire with a reputation for excellent, responsive care to support the needs of its students and there is a high demand for places.
This proposal is to create a specialist primary provision on the site of Caunton Dean Hole C of E Primary School, running education concurrently with the primary school. Pupils attending the specialist satellite provision will likely be school-based refusers where there is a link to unmet mental health or high-functioning autism needs. This project will be implemented in line with best practice approaches as determined by research undertaken by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. The curriculum will align with the specialist provision of Stubbin Wood School. It is the intention of the provision that pupils will attend for part of the day, with the aim that they may integrate into the Caunton Dean Hole community for part of their timetable. The 12 places will be split into 2 key stage groups, and it is anticipated that pupils may transition from this provision to the secondary satellite provision in Mansfield. Pupils attending the site will benefit from access to the facilities of both Caunton Dean Hole School and Stubbin Wood School.
Stubbin Wood School does not anticipate any detrimental effect on those students already its main site, or existing satellite provisions. Stubbin Wood School is currently at capacity and the creation of a new satellite facility, will serve a new group of pupils where there is high demand in Nottinghamshire for special needs provision.
The 12 places created by this proposal would be in addition to existing provision and would increase the net capacity of the school to 281 pupils across its main site, nursery and satellite provisions (excluding other pending consultations). There will be no changes to our existing main school, primary satellite or nursery sites. The satellite site will be a full part of Stubbin Wood. Pupils will be taught by Stubbin Wood staff and will be taught the Stubbin Wood curriculum.
The consultation will run until midnight on 24th December 2023, and we are keen to hear thoughts from all of those involved in the school, the wider local community and our local neighbours.
We are holding consultation events at both Stubbin Wood School and Caunton Dean Hole C of E Primary School on Tuesday 19th December at 16:00pm for parents, governors and external parties. If you are a parent or governor, you may join the event in-person by arriving at the advertised time. If, however, you would rather join the event via Microsoft Teams, please register for and a link to the meeting will be emailed out to you.
If you are an external organisation wishing to either join the event in person or via Microsoft Teams, please register for your invite/Teams link.
A mixture of mainstream and SEND children will not work.
I do not work in the education sector and therefore do not have much knowledge/understanding of the needs and behaviours of the children it is proposed will join the specialist unit.
Unsure what the children’s learning abilities are going to be.
With that in mind how will attending Dean Hole change their needs?
It will also be extremely difficult for teachers to teach to such a wide spread of ability as well as the challenge of mixed year groups.
Primary schools within TEAM already support a range of students with SEND as part of their everyday provision, including those with EHCP plans, to ensure that all do well. The SEND Code of Practice states that all teachers are teachers of learners with SEND, and in line with the Teacher Standards which requires all Teachers to” be able to use and evaluate distinctive teaching approaches to engage and support (all pupils)” we support (through the Trust SENDCO, staff with SEND expertise on the Trust’s Central and Executive Team as well as staff from Stubbin Wood School) staff to meet the needs of all students within their care. The satellite provision is being set up to cater for students struggling from emotional-based school avoidance linked to unmet mental health or high-functioning autism needs. Following the best practice approaches outlined by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families to support those who are struggling from emotional-based school avoidance, and using the expertise within the school and Trust linked to Autism it is our intention to work individually with students and families to ensure that these students needs are finally met and that they are therefore able to confidently access an environment which places nurture and care at the heart of its provision which is what Caunton Dean Hole does. With the appropriate support and strategies in place, the expectation is that these students will be able to access learning alongside their mainstream peers.
Students within the unit will access the learning at the level which is most matched to their needs, due to the mixed year group classes at Caunton Dean this will not increase the range of coverage which the Caunton Teachers have to teach to, as they already plan to deliver learning across a number of different age groups – this provision will meet the needs of the students from the unit – many of whom may benefit from accessing earlier Key stage National Curriculum content initially to support them to close gaps in knowledge and avoid misconceptions. The staff within the unit will work closely with Caunton Dean Hole church of England Primary School staff to ensure that delivery for the students from the unit, remains manageable and workload is not adversely impacted upon.
I am keen to ensure that my child's education is not disrupted. As my child is very able, I would like reassurance that she will not be simply left to her own devices because she is capable and that there will be sufficient teacher capacity to stretch her going forwards.
How will the behaviour of SEN children impact on children in the mainstream side of school? And how will the teachers/leadership team manage this?
I feel it's very likely the high proportion of SEN children being integrated into the environment will be extremely disruptive for the existing pupils and the responsibility will fall on the existing pupils to deal with it.
However, much TEAM say that there will be no disruption to learning for current pupils at Dean Hole this won't be the case. The new pupils have been identified as children with additional needs so presumably that's why they are not attending a mainstream school. How will attending Dean Hole change their needs, it won't and therefore there will be disruption to learning.
We envisage that with the appropriate support the students within the unit will be able to access the main school provision calmly and confidently. However, should situations occur in line with the unpredictable nature of life, the staff in the unit will ensure that class provision is not disrupted, and that the Teacher is able to maintain quality first teaching input to meet the needs of all students including those who are gifted and talented.
How are you going to monitor the impact on mainstream children?
The staff within the unit, along with the Principal of Stubbin Wood School will collaborate closely with the staff and Headteacher at Caunton Dean Hole to monitor the implementation of this project on a daily if needed/weekly basis, so that any positive/negative outcomes as a result can be quickly addressed with successes being shared with stakeholders and areas for concern addressed promptly.
From the consultation meetings it was very clear TEAM had a great deal of passion about SEN provision but only a passing head nod to non-SEN children .I think this will then snowball with non-sen families staying away and the requirement to remain viable will increase the number of SEN children being shipped in from around the county until the school caters exclusively for SEN children,
How will you be supporting children who are working at the standard - during a previous meeting there was lots of discussion regarding supporting SEN children and Gifted and Talented children - but what about those children just working at the standard? How will you ensure that they continue to meet the standard?
Whilst Stubbin Wood School has extensive SEND expertise, the Trust has a whole also has a vast array of knowledge and expertise in supporting students within a mainstream Primary Academy who are working towards or working at the expected standard as well as those who are working at greater depth. The Trust currently consists of two Primary Schools and 1 Specialist School. In addition to this the Trust’s Central Team brings a wealth of experience from both the mainstream and Specialist sector, this is also reflected through the Trust Champions which work across the schools and ensure that standards are high and that expectations of the standard within the National Curriculum is met through regular moderation tasks. As such as a Trust we are well equipped to support any type of school whom we work with.
I am concerned that the school will be turned into a SEN school, which will then put parents off from applying.
The school will become very unattractive to Families that do not have SEN requirements.
Fear of the school becoming a SEN school and mainstream children will be forced to go elsewhere.
Regardless of intent having over 60-70 percent SEN students on site will make them the priority and non-SEN students will likely be left aside.
The unit is being set up to cater for no more than twelve students, and whilst there are some students already within the school with additional SEND needs, the percentage of SEND students will remain below the percentage of students without additional SEND needs. Research shows that quality first teaching is the biggest factor in outcomes for students, and what works for students with additional needs in terms of quality first teaching works for students without.
I think the school should be closed and the current pupils be supported in finding places in neighbouring mainstream schools. The school could then be reopened as a special school.
As a mixed Trust with both Primary and Specialist Provision we value the role both play within the wider Education system, and acknowledge that there is not enough Specialist Provision, however we know from experience that for many students with additional needs, being able to stay within a mainstream setting with the right support is the best possible outcomes as this helps to keep students close to their communities, and as such we think it is important to find creative solutions to bring the two provisions together in a manner which best meets the needs of the students it is designed for.
Who will be leading the school?
Will the 12 SEN children brought into the school be across all years / ages?
How will the school run?
More information about how the SEN children will be taught, staffing levels and to what extent they will be in the classroom with the other children.
The plan to add one additional teacher to support 12 children that will be split over 2 classes when integrated seems unmanageable and the existing staff resource will be diverted from working with the existing students to working with the new students.
Will the 12 new pupils be fully integrated into the two classes? How will my child’s current day to day school / learning experience be impacted? What will happen to the children who are attending the mainstream side of school?
The unit will be run by the Principal of Stubbin Wood School, who will work closely with the Headteacher of Caunton Dean Hole with regards to the access arrangements into the main school. To ensure standards within the unit are maintained the Director of Education and Achievement from TEAM Education Trust will monitor the quality of curriculum and teaching and learning within the unit.
The intention is that the children in the unit will be across all year groups. On opening there will be a graduated entry of the 12 students over the first year as appropriate and needed in line with discussions and agreements between TEAM, Nottinghamshire County Council, Caunton Dean Hole Church of England School and Stubbin Wood School and Nursery.
Students would spend half of their time working alongside a qualified teacher and a member of their family to engage in on-site learning focused on the development of wellbeing using the ‘Nurtured Heart Approach’ and Growth Mindset, as well as developing trust and improved communication, executive functioning and self-regulation skills including emotional resilience. The students will then spend the other half of their day being supported by a Teaching Assistant within the small class groups at Caunton Dean Hole Church of England School. KS1 students would work with a family member and a qualified Teacher in the morning undertaking joint onsite learning in line with the Anna Freud approach, followed by a family lunch prior to the family member leaving and a Teaching Assistant supporting the students to access Foundation Subject learning withing the Caunton Dean Hole Church of England KS1 class in the afternoon.
KS2 students would work within the Caunton Dean Hole Church of England KS2 class in the morning to access English and Maths provision, before undertaking project work linked to Foundation subjects in the afternoon within the satellite provision alongside a family member.
Long term the aim is that the students will be integrated into the two classes for their full morning/afternoon sessions across the week, however this will be supported through careful transition planning and TAs from the unit.
The plan for the unit would see the students within the unit access the main school classes for either the morning/afternoon sessions across the week where they will receive lessons in line with their peers delivered by Caunton Dean Hole Teachers with support and adaptation as necessary provided by the TA from the unit. There will be no change for students who are currently in Caunton Dean Hole in terms of the curriculum they will access or the learning opportunities they will experience. The TA from the unit will work closely with Caunton Dean Hole staff and will support children from the unit and the school during these sessions.
Will there be the facilities and resources available to be a small rural school for mainstream children with a SEN unit attached (only 2 classes currently) and not have an impact on the existing pupils.
Will there be additional facilities to accommodate needs for all?
What extra resources will be made available for the existing teachers? How many extra teachers / TA’s SEN qualified?
This proposal has only been put out to consultation following careful consideration from TEAM Education Trust, Caunton Dean Hole Church of England Primary School Headteacher and Governors and the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham. All parties agree that there are the facilities already available within the school to run this provision, and that Stubbin Wood School and Nursery will ensure the unit is appropriately resourced to prevent any negative impact upon existing pupils. The unit will be staffed by 1 Teacher and 2 TAs with the model involving direct work with parents/cares for part of the day. All staff employed for the unit with have SEN expertise and will have gone through an interview process for the positions. The unit would also look to create a sensory space which can be used to support students in the unit and within the main school as needed as well as break out spaces to support students to self-regulate if needed.
The school has already lost its connection with the local community.
The building will remain open but no longer be a provision for the local community (if it becomes exclusively a SEND school). I have no solution for this as the alternative appears to be closure.
The curriculum for students at Stubbin Wood has a clear focus around community engagement and we would look to follow through with this focus for students within the unit. As such we would look to set up links with the community and engage in community events as much as possible.
Communication - I have read that this is an area for improvement from your Stubbin Wood most recent Ofsted - have you learnt from this? It doesn't seem like it!
(Communication) This also applies to the staff - none of them has said anything but we can sense when morale is affected and want them to be happy and fulfilled at work.
Uncertainty caused by change.
Throughout the consultation process linked to this project we have provided a range of opportunities for questions to be asked and information clarified. All queries raised linked to the proposal will be answered and shared in a table on the Stubbin Wood School and Nursery Admissions Page. In addition, a general Q&A session was provided as part of the stakeholder consultation event held at Caunton Dean Hole Church of England School. As this proposal progresses, and we know the outcome of the Advisory Board’s decision linked to this proposal and the linked Voluntary Academisation we will ensure centrally from TEAM Education Trust that there is a strong communication and change management plan in place working with Caunton Dean Hole Church of England School, to support all stakeholders to feel as well informed and prepared as possible for the changes that will come.
Please can there be some clarification on how support services will be involved with the students at all of the satellite sites?
I have none if given the required support from all agencies
The satellite sites will work with the support service professionals linked to the local authority in which it is based, however the Principal of Stubbin Wood will also be responsible for raising with the CEO any additional needs which fall outside of the local authority offer for any students at Stubbin Wood so that solutions can be sought. Nottinghamshire County Council have already given their support for this project along with the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham and therefore there is a clear mandate in place to ensure that the appropriate support is received from all agencies to ensure these students are well supported.
Being isolated and on Nottinghamshire holidays would mean staff may feel cut off from main site as well as missing out on trust wide events.
The satellite provision at Caunton Dean is not the first provision we have opened in Nottinghamshire – and we will continue to work with staff on these sites to ensure they feel part of the school and Trust family and fully immersed in the events offered across the Trust and School through careful calendar planning year on year. To ensure staff do not feel isolated and cut off the Principal of Stubbin Wood in conversation with the CEO will ensure that there is always a contact available irrespective of different school holidays so that there is always site support available.
The consultation ran for 4 weeks from 27th November to midnight on the 24th December 2023.