Admissions

All admissions to Highfields are made by referral to Stockport MBC’s Secondary Panel for Inclusion (SPI). These referrals are usually made by schools and, on occasion, by professionals involved with a young person’s care – we are unable to take direct referrals from parents/carers.

These referrals fall into two categories:

  • PARE – Pupil At Risk of Exclusion – These students are still on-roll of their referring / ‘home’ school. These students are candidates for reintegration to their previous school or a managed move to a new school. This should be happening in the short to medium term, particularly at KS3 and early Year 10.
  • PEx – Permanently Excluded – These student are no longer on-roll of their referring school. Despite their status, these students remain candidates for reintegration to their previous school or a managed move to a new school / alternative setting / post-16 setting. This should be happening in the medium to long term, particularly at KS3 and early Year 10.

An outline of the placements we offer can be downloaded here:

Highfields Placements Booklet 2020-2021

Further information about the referral process can be downloaded here:

SPI Referral-Form

Please note all students referred by schools should have a history of at least one cycle of the SEND Assess-Plan-Do-Review (APDR) Cycle. Colleagues making referrals from schools should also familiarise themselves with our curriculum offer and our therapeutic offer, so that it is understood by all parties what a placement will involve in terms of content.

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Students attending Highfields typically present with a combination of the following 25 SEMH characteristics:

S) Social Difficulties

S1) The young person fundamentally struggles to cope with a large school setting in terms of the number of personalities, both staff and peers.

S2) The young person fundamentally struggles with how a large school setting operates – movement between lessons, group sizes, usual delivery method of lessons, relatively unsupervised social times.

S3) The young person has repeatedly presented with periods of non-attendance – due to negative peer influences outside of school and/or conflict within school.

S4) The young person’s previous school report increasing isolation from the typical life of the school – such as reliance on a teaching assistant, overuse of internal inclusion centres etc.

S5) The young person is observed to regularly present with low self-esteem in social situations – may avoid social situations, may act in an intimidating way in social situations as a defensive mechanism.

S6) The young person has a long history of conflict with peers – verbal arguments, physical confrontation.

S7) The young person has a long history of conflict with staff – unable to recognise and trust authority figures.

S8) The young person has repeatedly acted in a damaging way to a school environment, with little insight into how this impacts the school / other people.

S9) The young person presents with social-communication difficulties – such as a struggle to distinguish between social situations in terms of acceptable language, switching between passive and aggressive communications styles.

S10) The young person presents with attention difficulties – especially so in group situations such as mainstream classes.

S11) The young person has limited understanding / recognition of ‘the norm’ in terms of school boundaries.

S12) The young person has limited understanding / recognition of risk in terms of their actions – how they effect others, how they effect themselves.

S13) The young person is causing concerns over their social life outside of school – struggles to leave the house, involved in anti-social behaviour, repeatedly ‘missing from home’.

S14) The young person has a disrupted educational history due to several school changes – usually related to exclusion or a break down in relations with the school acting in a way that is causing substantial, persistent disruption to school life.

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E) Emotional Difficulties

E1) The young person has significantly lower resilience than age-equivalent peers – in particular, in relation to the dynamics and challenges of mainstream school life.

E2) The young person demonstrates limited insight / awareness into own emotional state.

E3) The young person is prone to outbursts of emotion.

E4) The young person has limited self-help skills in terms of managing difficult emotions.

E5) The young person has a negative / skewed self-image.

E6) The young person struggles to accurately read emotions in other people.

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MH) Mental Health Concerns

MH1) The young person is being supported by Healthy Young Minds.

MH2) The young person presents with anxiety and low mood over extended periods of time.

MH3) The young person appears listless / disengaged and has little motivation.

MH4) The young person has adopted harmful coping strategies for dealing with times of difficulty – aggressive / hostile ‘acting out behaviours’, truanting, drug use, self-harm.

MH5) There is evidence / documentation to show the young person has had traumatic experiences in the past which shape current feelings about certain situations – there is some evidence of difficult experiences with adults (family break-up, bereavement, abuse) which negatively shape current interactions.

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All students admitted to Highfields undertake a range of assessment and will be observed by professionals with a high level of expertise in Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties – with a referral to Healthy Young Minds and other agencies being pursued when deemed appropriate to do so. Good weekly communication between the schools, parents/carers and Centre will help facilitate this.

Parents/carers can telephone or visit the Centre at any time to discuss the problems their child may be experiencing.