- Admissions Policy
- Anti Bullying Policy
- Attendance Policy
- AUP Pupils
- Behaviour for Learning Policy
- Charging Policy
- Child Protection & Safeguarding Policy
- Complaints Policy
- Cyberbullying Policy
- Disability Policy
- Drug Awareness Policy
- Freedom Of Information Policy
- Gifted & Talented Policy
- Learning & Teaching Policy
- Health & Safety Policy
- PSHE Policy
- Race Equality Policy
- Special Educational Needs Policy
- Supporting Students With Medical Conditions Policy
- Relationships & Sex Education Policy
Poltair School (St Austell Education Trust) is a foundation secondary school and the Governing Body are the Admission Authority for the school. The school will participate fully in the Local Authority’s Fair Access Protocol and the Local Authority’s Co-ordinated Admissions Schemes for starting secondary school and applying for a place during the school year. Details of these schemes are available on the Council’s website (www.cornwall.gov.uk/admissions) or on request from the Local Authority. Closing dates and other details about the application process will be stated in those schemes.
Applying for a place
All applications for places in Year 7 or during the school year must be made direct to the applicant’s home authority on the appropriate Common Application Form (CAF). The CAF and supporting information will be available electronically on the Local Authority’s website or in paper form on request from the Local Authority. There is no supplementary information form required by the Governing Body.
The school recognises the clear link between the attendance and attainment of students. The aim of this policy is therefore to encourage the highest possible levels of attendance for individuals, groups and the student body as a whole.
In order to achieve this, all members of the school community have an important contribution to make.
The Policy aims to:
- Improve the overall percentage attendance of students at Poltair.
- Raise the profile of attendance and make it a priority for staff, students, parents and governors.
- Ensure the provision of appropriate guidance and support for parents, students and staff.
- Develop and monitor clear procedure for maintaining accurate registers and for registering students during each lesson using lesson monitor
- Develop a systematic approach to gathering, analysing and acting upon attendance data in order to target attendance related issues.
- Develop a framework within which all staff can work to provide a consistent approach to raising levels of attendance throughout the school.
- Ensure that the school has an effective partnership with the Education Welfare Service and other relevant agencies.
Links to Other Policies:
This Policy is linked to the Teaching and Learning Policy, the school’s Anti-bullying strategies and the Behaviour Management Policy.
Encouraging good attendance for all:
- The accompanying Guidelines provide detail of strategies for raising levels of attendance. All staff should ensure that these are followed.
- Roles and responsibilities for each member of staff are clearly indicated in the Guidelines.
- An appropriate curriculum, including the use of alternative provision for some students, is essential and will be kept under constant review.
- The need for high quality teaching and learning throughout the school if we are to encourage good attendance is recognised.
- Students are provided with appropriate support so that problems do not drive them away from school. The school’s approach to bullying is of particular significance here. Where problems outside school are identified as having an impact on a student’s attendance, an appropriate level of multi-agency support will be developed.
- Students with Special Educational Needs are identified and given appropriate support.
- Effective partnership with parents through regular contact and support is provided. Parents are kept informed of their child’s attendance through first day contact, through letters of praise and concern and through individual interviews when appropriate.
- Parents are actively discouraged from taking students away from school during term-time for holiday or other purposes.
- A comprehensive system of rewards for good attendance is used.
- Attendance is given a high profile within the school including through assemblies, tutor programme and the school newsletter, Spotlight.
- Appropriate displays during Parents’ Evenings and other events further help to raise the profile of attendance.
- Governors are encouraged to play an active role in raising levels of attendance, and are kept informed of attendance issues through governors linked to behaviour and attendance.
- Punctuality is highlighted as an important issue through the use of appropriate sanctions.
Identifying and Tackling Poor Attendance:
- Attendance levels for individuals, form groups, year groups and the whole school are carefully monitored and action taken to address poor attendance at each of these levels.
- Attendance levels of other groups of students, such as boys and girls, those from an ethnic minority background, students in receipt of the pupil premium and those with Special Educational Needs are carefully monitored and action is taken to address significant differences.
- The school seeks to address patterns of non-attendance, for example at particular times in the week or from particular subjects.
- Long-term absentees are offered and provided with appropriate support to enable them to make a positive return to school.
- Early identification of potential poor attendees is part of the school’s primary liaison work during transition.
- Attendance Improvement Meetings at Poltair –provide targeted strategies for students with poor attendance, students with deteriorating attendance and potential poor attendees.
- Attendance panels, involving Heads of House, members of the school’s Senior Leadership Team, governors and the Education Welfare Officer, are used to encourage and support parents.
- Other support strategies for parents, including advice clinics on attendance issues, are provided.
- Effective partnership with the Education Welfare Officer is central to improving attendance and close communication between the EWO and the school is carefully maintained.
A range of strategies designed to tackle poor attendance is only a part of the school’s approach to this issue. Whole-school issues such as providing effective pastoral support and effective teaching and learning are recognised as having a direct impact upon attendance.
Guidelines for Implementation of the Whole-School Attendance Policy
1 Roles and Responsibilities
1.1 Class Teachers
- Ensure that all students within lessons are able to access the learning through a range of teaching and learning strategies in line with the school’s Teaching and Learning Policy.
- Ensure that underachieving students within each class are identified and raised as concerns through progress review meetings with subject line managers.
- Ensure that the electronic register is completed accurately in each lesson.If, in rare circumstances, the electronic register cannot be taken during the lesson, this must be done as soon as possible and by the end of the session at the latest.
- Identify, within each lesson, any students who clearly should be present in the lesson but are not. Inform email@example.com if students are not present.
- Monitor carefully the attendance of individuals within a class and alert their subject leader and appropriate Heads of House where patterns of non-attendance are detected.
- When a student is known to have truanted from your lesson, follow this up by making sure they have caught up the missed work as part of behaviour reparation.
- Ensure that appropriate work is set and marked for long-term absentees on agreed reintegration plans so that the return to school is made as easy as possible.
- Ensure that those who return from long-term absence are provided with appropriate support to enable them to access the learning within the lesson.
- Actively discourage any adverse comments about the absence from other students within the class. Welcome back students from long term absence in a professional manner avoiding reference to the absence in front of other students.
1.2 The Form Tutor
- Ensure that registers for morning sessions are accurately completed and maintained. A warning bell signals at 8.33am every morning and so registers must be taken at 8:35 and students who arrive after 8.35 must be marked late. A C2 detention will be issued for this. Register is closed at 9am.
- Take action to “chase” absence notes from returning students. Where absence notes are not provided within a week of the absence in spite of your actions, alert the Behaviour and Attendance Secretary and inform her of the action you have already taken.
- Collect and scrutinise absence notes and alert HoH if professional judgement suggests that these are forged. Tackle any instances of inappropriate absence with the student and alert the Behaviour and Attendance Secretary so that parental contact can be made
- Keep registers up to date with reasons for absence when received. This can be done by adding a comment to SIMS.
- Share fortnightly, the attendance of each individual student. This should be recorded in the Student Planner.
- Encourage good attendance through constant reinforcement of individual and class targets and through encouraging students to want to be the best attending form in the year group.
- Monitor attendance within the form and use short-term attendance reports and targets where you feel there is deterioration.
- Keep the Tutor Monitoring Log updated with actions taken to support and challenge attendance. This is a key communication tool between the Form Tutor and Head of House.
1.3 Heads of House
- Monitor carefully the attendance of students within the House group, taking note of any patterns amongst students from particular groups, particular times of the week or particular subject areas. Inform SLT of identified patterns.
- Carry out Attendance Improvement Meetings (AIMs) where a student’s attendance is not improving. Set targets for the student in accordance with agreed guidance.
- Make referrals to the Education Welfare Officer when poor attendance is persistent and not improving
- Liaise with the Education Welfare Officer to ensure that students with poor attendance are receiving appropriate levels of support.
- Monitor the attendance rates of forms within the House group, taking action alongside form tutors where particular forms are identified as having poor attendance.
- Monitor particularly closely the attendance of those with deteriorating levels of attendance, those with attendance between 80% and 90% and those at risk of disaffection, using short-term targets and attendance reports as necessary
- Foster a positive attitude to school attendance within the House through assemblies and constant reinforcement with students. Encourage a spirit of healthy competition between forms and individuals.
- Liaise with subject teachers to ensure that appropriate work is set for long-term absentees and those excluded from school.
- Work with the Education Welfare Officer to identify ways in which long-term absentees can be reintegrated effectively.
- Implement sanctions where there have been instances of truancy, whether from individual lessons or whole days.
- Keep form tutors informed of action taken in relation to particular students.
1.4 Assistant Headteacher i/c Attendance and Behaviour
- Liaise with Heads of House to identify students who require intervention from the Education Welfare Officer
- Organise and take part in Education Planning Meetings (EPMs) as required.
- Provide line management for the Heads of House and Education Welfare Officer ensuring that there is good communication between both parties.
- Oversee, monitor and evaluate attendance
- Using attendance data, analyse this for patterns of poor attendance amongst particular year groups or other groups of students and take action to address any anomalies.
- Oversee the efficient running of lesson monitor system and take action where registers are not being completed accurately.
- Organise parent support events on attendance.
- Take a lead in promoting the need for good attendance through assemblies tutor programme and work with staff and students.
- Decide upon new admissions and decide upon any initial action to be taken to encourage good attendance.
- With the rest of SLT, actively discourage parents from taking students out of school during term-time.
- With the Head of House, the Attendance and EWO identify Year 6 students for targeted support on attendance at transition from primary school.
1.5 Behaviour and Attendance Secretary
- Operate personal first day calls as a follow up to texting parents of students with unsatisfactory attendance or where truancy is suspected.
- Use attendance data to identify patterns and trends of attendance. For other year groups, working with the Head of House to identify students for support and close monitoring.
- Investigate instances of suspected whole-day or lesson truancy and take appropriate action, including making initial contact with parents and informing the Head of House.
- Work closely with parents of targeted students to provide support and pressure to get students to return to school.
- Contact parents where absences have remained unexplained despite the intervention of the form tutor.
- Liaise with Heads of House and use attendance data to identify students for referral to the EWO.
- Administer lesson monitor, noting where registers have not been completed or have not been completed accurately and taking appropriate action.
- Ensure that the school’s official registers are in line with legal requirements and that any anomalies are reported to SLT.
1.6 Education Welfare Officer (EWO)
- Analyse fortnightly data to identify students who are persistent absentees or in danger of becoming a persistent absentee.
- Identify and manage a workable case load of students
- Work with targeted students to improve attendance through parental contact, attendance reports, short-term targets and rewards. Particular attention will be paid to students with attendance below 85%
- Work with Heads of House to involve outside agencies with individuals and groups of students.
- Administer the attendance rewards systems, liaising closely with Heads of House.
- Take part in targeted tutor work directed at groups of poor attendees.
- Take the lead on Education Planning Meetings
- Keep in contact with long-term absentees and liaise with Head of House to ensure that effective reintegration strategies are used, identifying “catch up” needs.
- Prepare cases for prosecution.
What happens when a student’s attendance is below national standards?
- When a student’s attendance falls below 95%, we will write to parents and carers to make them aware of this fact.
- Should a student’s attendance continue to fall, the student, parents/carers and Head of House will meet for an Attendance Improvement Meeting (AIM) to discuss how the school and best support the student in raising their attendance. Targets will be set for a four week period. If the student meets their targets, they will be rewarded.
- Following the AIM meeting, should a student’s attendance still continue to fall, parents/carers will be invited to a formal Education Planning Meeting (EPM). Again, support will be offered and targets will be set.
- Should attendance remain below 85%, the school will make a referral to the local authority to begin legal proceedings.
I understand that I must use the school ICT systems in a responsible way and ensure that there is no risk to my safety or to the safety and security of the ICT systems provided by the school and other users.
For my own personal safety:
- I understand that the school will monitor my use of the ICT systems, email and other digital communications.
- I will not disclose my username or password to anyone else or try to use any other person's username and password.
- will not disclose or share personal information about myself or others when on-line.
- If I arrange to meet people off-line that I have communicated with on-line, I will do so in a public place and always take an adult with me.
- I will immediately report any unpleasant or inappropriate material or messages or anything that makes me feel uncomfortable when I see it on-line.
I understand that everyone has equal rights to use technology as a resource and:
- I understand that the school ICT systems are primarily intended for educational use and that I will not use the systems for personal or recreational use unless I have permission to do so.
- I will not use the school ICT systems for on-line gaming, on-line gambling or internet shopping.
I will act as I expect others to act toward me:
- I will respect others' work and property and will not access, copy, remove or otherwise alter any other user's files, without the owner's knowledge and permission.
- I will be polite and responsible when I communicate with others, I will not use strong, aggressive or inappropriate language and I appreciate that others may have different opinions.
- I will not take or distribute images of anyone without their permission.
I recognise that the school has a responsibility to maintain the security and integrity of the technology it offers me and to ensure the smooth running of the school:
- I will only use my personal ICT devices (e.g. USB memory sticks and cameras) in school if I have permission. I understand that, if I do use my own devices in school, I will follow the rules set out in this agreement, in the same way as if I was using school equipment.
- I understand the risks and will not try to upload, download or access any materials which are illegal or inappropriate or may cause harm or distress to others, nor will I try to use any programs or software that might allow me to bypass the filtering/security systems in place to prevent access to such materials.
- I will immediately report any damage or faults involving equipment or software, however this may have happened.
- I will not open any attachments to emails, unless I know and trust the person or organisation that has sent the email, due to the risk of the attachment containing viruses or other harmful programs.
- I will not install or attempt to install programs of any type on a machine, or store programs on a computer, nor will I try to alter computer settings.
- I will not use chat or social networking sites whilst in school.
When using the internet for research or recreation, I recognise that:
- I should ensure that I have permission to use the original work of others in my own work.
- Where work is protected by copyright, I will not try to download copies (including music and videos).
- When using the internet to find information, I should take care to check that the information I access is accurate. I understand that the work of others may not be truthful and may be a deliberate attempt to mislead me.
I understand that I am responsible for my actions, both in and out of school:
- I understand that the school has the right to take action against me if I am involved in incidents of inappropriate behaviour, that are covered in this agreement, when I am out of school and where they involve my membership of the school community (e.g. cyber-bullying, use of images or personal information).
- I understand that if I fail to comply with this Acceptable Use Policy Agreement, I will be subject to disciplinary action. This may include loss of access to the school network and/or internet, detentions, suspensions, contact with parents and in the event of illegal activities involvement of the police.
At Poltair School, we seek to manage Behaviour through the provision of high quality teaching that motivates, engages and challenges students fully. Our philosophy is to encourage a high level of motivation and self-discipline in students. We expect all members of the school community to take personal responsibility for establishing and maintaining a positive and inclusive learning community where mutual respect and wellbeing are promoted at all times within an environment that is emotionally healthy.
There are four principles underlying the provisions on charging in the Education Reform Act:
- That education in schools should be free.
- That activities offered wholly or mainly during normal school teaching time should be available to all pupils regardless of their parents' ability or willingness to help meet the cost.
- That there is no statutory requirement to charge for any form of education, but that LAs and schools have the discretion to charge for optional activities provided wholly or mainly out of school hours.
- That LAs and schools have the right to invite voluntary contributions for the benefit of the school, or in support of any activity organised by the school, whether during or outside school hours.
The Governing Body of Poltair School reserves the right under the Education Reform Act to make a charge in the following circumstances for activities organised by the school:
- To levy the appropriate charge to parents for all board and lodging requirements on residential visits
- To levy charges in full for activities wholly or mainly outside school hours where appropriate
- To levy charges or invite parents to supply ingredients, materials and equipment if parents have indicated in advance that they wish to own the finished product
- To levy charges to parents for damage to equipment or property caused by their child
- To levy charges to parents for instrumental/singing tuition provided by external agencies and peripatetic teachers
- To levy charges for the full cost of any examination re-sits and examination entries which are not prescribed in regulations issued by the Secretary of State
Parents may be asked to make voluntary contributions for any visit or journey organised by Poltair School wholly or mainly during school hours. Whilst ensuring that no pupil is excluded from a trip because the parents are unwilling or unable to pay a voluntary contribution, Poltair School reserves the right to determine whether the level of voluntary contributions is sufficient to enable the activity to take place.
Recovery of Unpaid Charges
Sums payable by parents for wasted exam fees, optional extras to which they have agreed, or for board and lodging are recoverable as civil debts. Payment of all voluntary contributions or other permissible charges may be requested in advance.
The Headteacher will consider remission of payment for all or part of charges, providing the parents are in receipt of income support or other qualifying benefits. Parents may apply in confidence to the Headteacher for remission of charges. A separate scheme exists for the remission of charges for Music Tuition in certain circumstances.
Purpose of Policy
The purpose of the Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy is to provide a secure framework for the workforce in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of those pupils who attend our school. The policy aims to ensure that:
- All our pupils are safe and protected from harm;
- Other elements of provision and policies are in place to enable pupils to feel safe and adopt safe practices
- Staff, pupils, governors, visitors, volunteers and parents are aware of the expected behaviours and the school’s legal responsibilities in relation to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all our pupils.
This policy develops procedures and good practice within our school, to ensure that each person and agency can demonstrate that there is an understanding of the duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people including those who are vulnerable. It provides evidence of how this will be implemented within our school and within multi-agency working arrangements.
This policy has been developed in accordance with the principles established by the Children Act 1989, the Education Act 2002 and the Children Act 2004 and in line with government publications and local guidance.
The Governing Body takes seriously its responsibility under section 175 of the Education Act 2002 to safeguard1and promote the welfare of children; and to work together with other agencies to ensure adequate arrangements within our school to identify, assess, and support those children who are suffering harm. Where a child is suffering significant harm, or is likely to do so, action will be taken to protect that child. Action will also be taken to promote the welfare of a child in need of additional support, even if they are not suffering harm or are (sic) at immediate risk.2
Improving outcomes for all children and young people underpins all of the development and work within this school.
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and as such our school aims to create the safest environment within which every student has the opportunity to achieve. Our school recognises the contribution it can make in ensuring that all registered students or others who use our school feel that they will be listened to and appropriate action taken. We will do this by working in partnership with other agencies and seeking to establish effective working relationships with parents, carers and other colleagues to develop and provide activities and opportunities throughout our curriculum that will help to equip our children with the skills they need. This will include materials and learning experiences that will encourage our children to develop essential life skills and protective behaviours.
Governing Body Responsibilities
Our Governing Body has a legal responsibility to make sure that the school has an effective safeguarding policy and procedures in place and monitors that the school complies with them. The Governing Body has appointed a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) who has lead responsibility for dealing with all safeguarding issues in our school. The school will ensure that there will always be cover for the role of DSL. Such cover will be provided by someone as well trained as the DSL and such person will be similarly empowered to challenge where necessary3.
Our Governing Body recognises that for this policy to be effective, it is essential that staff have an understanding of what safeguarding is, know that ‘safeguarding is everybody’s responsibility’, know how to access safeguarding information, know of any possible contribution that they may be required to make to safeguard children, young people and vulnerable adults and how to access further advice, support or services.
Designated Safeguarding Lead’s (DSL) Responsibilities
We follow the procedures set out in the South West Child Protection Procedures (www.swcpp.org.uk) and take account of both national guidance issued by the Department of Education4 and local guidance. Our Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is a member of the leadership team and has the authority, time, training, resources and support to fulfil this role effectively.
All child protection concerns MUST be reported to the appropriate authority and our Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is responsible for:
- advising other workers on the LSCB threshold /continuum of need guidance;
- contacting, by telephone, the Multi Agency Referral Unit (MARU) 0300 123 1116 as a matter of urgency, in order to discuss the child protection concerns of possible abuse or neglect that the designated person has in connection with the child, being prepared to provide the child’s details and follow advice and guidance provided by the person handling the call and as in the guidance referred to above5;
- providing a written record of any formal referral by fax/post/e-mail to the MARU using the multi-agency referral form within 1 day;
- ensuring that, where a formal referral has not been agreed other sources of support for the child will be considered. Action will be taken to promote the welfare of a child in need of additional support, even if they are not suffering harm or are at immediate risk- such actions include instigating a Common Assessment Framework (CAF) process and/or referring to other Early Help provision and services including the Together for Families programme;
- ensuring that written records of concerns about a child are kept even if there is no need to make an immediate referral; (See Poltair School’s ‘Cause for Concern’ Protocols for staff- Appendix A)
- ensuring that all such records are kept confidentially and securely and are separate from pupil records, with a front sheet listing dates and brief entries to provide a chronology;
- ensuring that an indication of further ‘child protection related’ record keeping is marked on the pupil’s records;
- acting as a focal point for staff to discuss concerns and liaising with other agencies and professionals;
- attending child protection conferences (or delegating this requirement to another appropriately informed member of staff), family support meetings, core groups, or other multi-agency planning meetings; contributing to the Framework for Assessment process, and providing a report for the conference which has been shared with parents;
- ensuring that Cornwall Council’s Directorate for Education, Health and Social Care is notified immediately when any pupil subject of a Child Protection Plan is absent without explanation;
- ensuring that all school staff are aware of this policy and know how to recognise and refer any concerns;
- completing, with the Headteacher, an annual safeguarding audit to the Governing Body which details any changes to the policy and procedures; training undertaken by the DSL and by all staff and governors; relevant curricular issues, number and type of incidents/cases, and the number of children referred to Cornwall Council’s Directorate for Education, Health and Social Care and subject of a Child Protection Plan (anonymised). If this self-assessment highlights any areas for improvement, this will be detailed in an action plan which will be signed off and monitored by the Named Governor for Safeguarding to ensure these improvements are implemented.
- completing, with the Headteacher/Principal, a return to the Local Authority and the CIoSSCB, who have an auditing role in ensuring the school is meeting its safeguarding requirements under Section175/157 of the Education Act 2002;
- keeping themselves up to date with knowledge to enable them to fulfil their role, including attending relevant training as recommended by the CIoSSCB;
- supporting the Headteacher in implementing all recommendations applicable to schools and education services arising from Serious Case Reviews and
- providing advice and guidance to colleagues, attending inter-agency meetings (or supporting other staff to do so) and contributing to assessments.
Whole School & Staff Responsibilities
Our school recognises that Safeguarding is not just about protecting children from deliberate harm. It relates to aspects of school life including: pupils’ health and safety; the use of reasonable force; meeting the needs of pupils with medical conditions; providing first aid; educational visits; intimate care; internet or e-safety; appropriate arrangements to ensure school security, taking into account the local context. Additionally, we recognise that Safeguarding can involve a range of potential issues such as: bullying, including cyberbullying (by text message, on social networking sites, and so on), peer on peer and prejudice-based bullying; racist and homophobic or transphobic abuse; extremist behaviour; child sexual exploitation; sexting; substance misuse; issues which may be specific to a local area or population, for example gang activity and youth violence and other particular issues affecting children including domestic violence, sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation, radicalisation and forced marriage6.
All our staff maintain an attitude of ‘it can happen here’ and are aware of the signs and indicators of abuse.
All members of staff have a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn.
Our staff induction process includes information on our arrangements and systems for child protection, the staff behaviour policy, code of conduct and details of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL).
All members of staff are provided with opportunities to receive appropriate training which is regularly updated, in order to develop their understanding of the signs and indicators of abuse and of the school’s child protection procedures.
In conjunction with this policy, all members of staff are provided with, and are required to read, Department for Education statutory guidance as outlined in Part 1 of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education 2014’.
All members of staff, volunteers and governors know how to respond to a student who discloses abuse, and the procedure to be followed in appropriately sharing a concern of possible abuse or a disclosure of abuse.
Staff are made aware of protocols in place to deal with any on-site intruders. (See Intruder Protocol- Appendix C)
All parents/carers are made aware of the school’s responsibilities in regard to child protection procedures through publication of the school’s Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy.
When services are delivered by a third party or agency, education or otherwise, on the school site, we will obtain written notification from any agency, or third-party organisation we use that the organisation has carried out required checks on an individual who will be working at the school or college. This will include, as necessary, a barred list check, prior to the organisation having appointed that individual. We will check that the person presenting themselves for work is the same person on whom the checks have been made7.
Our lettings and visitors’ policies will seek to ensure the suitability of adults working with and in the presence of children at any time. Community users organising activities for children are aware of and understand the need for compliance with the school’s child protection guidelines and procedures.
Our school operates safer recruitment procedures including making sure that:
- statutory duties to undertake required checks on staff who work with children are complied with in line with the Disclosure and Barring Service requirements in relation to Regulated Activity; teachers’ Prohibition Orders and the Child Care Act 2006 and Childcare (Disqualification) Requirements 2009
- statutory guidance relating to volunteers is followed
- recruitment panel members are properly trained.
We hold a Single Central Record (SCR) which demonstrates we have carried out the range of checks required by law on our staff8,9,10,11.
Our school complies with the requirements of Keeping Children Safe in Education 2014.
Our school complies with the requirements of the Childcare Act 2006 and the Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009.
Should we dismiss or remove a member of staff or a volunteer because they have harmed a child, or poses a risk of harm to a child or would have done so if they had not left, we will report this to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
Our safeguarding policies and procedures will be reviewed and updated annually.
If a child makes an allegation or disclosure of abuse against an adult or other child or young person, staff will:
- stay calm and listen carefully;
- reassure the child that s/he has done the right thing in telling you;
- not investigate or ask leading questions;
- let the child know that s/he will need to tell the DSL;
- not promise to keep what they have been told a secret; inform the DSL as soon as possible; and
- make a written record of the allegation, disclosure or incident which will be signed, and dated using the school’s safeguarding record procedure
Confidentiality & Information Sharing
- We recognise that all matters relating to child protection are confidential;
- the Headteacher or DSL will disclose personal information about a pupil to other members of staff on a need to know basis only;
- all staff must be aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children;
- all staff must be aware that they cannot promise a child to keep secrets which might compromise the child’s safety or well-being, or that of another; and
- we will always undertake to share our intention to refer a child to Cornwall Council’s Directorate for Education, Health and Social Care with their parents/carers, unless to do so could put the child at greater risk of harm, or impede a criminal investigation. If in doubt, we will consult with the Multi-Agency Referral Unit (MARU).
Managing Allegations Against Staff
We are aware of the possibility of allegations being made against members of staff or volunteers that are working with or may come into contact with children and young people whilst in our school. Such allegations are usually that some kind of abuse has taken place. They can be made by children and young people or other concerned adults.
- If an allegation is made, the member of staff receiving the allegation will immediately inform the Headteacher or the most senior teacher if the Headteacher is not present;
- The Headteacher or senior teacher on all such occasions will follow the procedures in the South West Child Protection Procedures, (www.swcpp.org.uk/) and will inform the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) - 01872 254549; (See protocol document Appendix B)
- If the allegation made concerns the Headteacher, the person receiving the allegation will immediately inform the most senior teacher available who will inform the Chair of Governors who will consult the LADO as above, without notifying the Headteacher first;
- Whosoever contacts the LADO (at 2 or 3 above) will discuss the nature of the allegations in order for appropriate action to be taken. This may constitute an initial evaluation meeting or strategy discussion depending on the allegation being made.
The Headteacher will also consider and carry out the following:
- Consider the safeguarding arrangements of the child or young person to ensure they are not in contact with the alleged abuser;
- contact the parents or carers of the child/young person if advised to do so by the LADO;
- consider the rights of the staff member for a fair and equal process of investigation;
- ensure that the appropriate disciplinary procedure is followed, including whether suspending a member of staff from work until the outcome of any investigation is deemed necessary;
- act on any decision made in any strategy meeting; and
- advise the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) where a member of staff has been disciplined or dismissed as a result of the allegations founded, or would have been if they have resigned.
We recognise that children cannot be expected to raise concerns in an environment where staff fail to do so.We advise our staff of our Whistleblowing Policy and of how it can be implemented. Staff are aware of their duty to raise concerns about the attitude and actions of colleagues where these are inappropriate or unsuitable. If necessary the member of staff, will speak to the delegated ‘Whistleblowing’ Governor who is John Marshall.
- Our staff will be advised on the boundaries of appropriate behaviour – such matters form part of our staff induction and staff have access to support and guidance when required or requested
- We recognise that staff working in the school, who have become involved in the case of a child who has suffered harm, or appears likely to suffer harm, may find the situation stressful and upsetting.
- We support such staff by providing an opportunity to discuss their anxieties with the DSL, or another teacher and/or a trade union representative as appropriate.
- Our designated officers have access to support and appropriate workshops, courses or meetings as organised or recommended by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Safeguarding Children Board (CIoSSCB), Safeguarding Children Standards Unit (SCSU) or Local Authority (LA).
Use of Reasonable Force & Physical Restraint
Our policy on physical restraint is compliant with the LA’s ‘Physical Restraint in Schools’ Guidance(http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/Default.aspx?page=7580) along with guidance from the Department for Education (DfE). (Poltair ‘Physical Restraint Policy’- Appendix D)
- We have a procedure in place for recording each significant incident in which a member of staff uses force on a pupil, and for the reporting of these incidents to the pupil’s parents as soon as practicable after the incident.
- A member of staff who has used appropriate physical restraint will have a reasonable defence to any legal action against them, if:
- The purpose of the physical intervention was to avert an immediate danger of injury to any person;
- or an immediate danger to the property of any person (“person” includes the pupil);
- or to prevent the committing of a criminal offence;
- or where a young person’s conduct leads to behaviour that prejudices good order and discipline; and
- no more force was used than was reasonably necessary in the circumstances
Wherever possible such events are recorded and signed by a witness. Staff that are likely to need to use physical intervention are appropriately trained. We understand that physical intervention of a nature that causes injury or distress to a child may be considered under child protection or disciplinary procedures.
We recognise that the school plays a significant part in the prevention of harm to our pupils by providing them with effective lines of communication with trusted adults, supportive friends and an ethos of protection. Our school will support all pupils by:
- Establishing and maintaining an ethos, understood by all staff, which enables children to feel secure and encourages them to talk, knowing that they will be listened to.
- Promoting a caring, safe and positive environment within the school and ensuring that all children know that there is an adult in the school whom they can approach if they are worried or in difficulty.
- Providing across the curriculum, including within PSHE, opportunities which equip children with the skills they need to stay safe from harm and to know to whom they should turn for help.
- Encouraging the development of self-esteem and resilience in every aspect of school life including through the curriculum.
- Liaising and working together with all other support services and those agencies involved in the safeguarding of children.
- Ensuring that a named teacher is designated for Children in Care, (CIC) and that a list of CIC is regularly reviewed and updated. The Education Welfare Officer (EWO) for the school is made aware of all CIC in the school.
- Providing continuing support to a pupil who leaves the school and about whom there have been child protection concerns, by ensuring that such concerns and school records are forwarded under confidential cover to the Headteacher/Principal at the pupil’s new school as a matter of urgency.
- Recognising that children come from a variety of different cultural backgrounds, the school has developed policies to ensure that we embrace diversity in religion and faith, race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation.
- We will include our Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy in our school website and will post copies of our policy throughout the school. We are also able to arrange for our policy to be made available to parents whose first language is not English, on request. #
- All members of staff and volunteers will have access to appropriate whole school safeguarding training which is regularly updated. We will also, as part of our induction, issue information in relation to our Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy and any other policy and information related to safeguarding and promoting our children/young people’s welfare to all newly appointed staff and volunteers.
- Our DSL and DSL Cover officers will undertake further safeguarding training in addition to the whole school training. This will be undertaken at least every two years and will update their awareness and understanding of the impact of the wide agenda of safeguarding issues. It will support both the DSL and DSL Cover officers to be able to better undertake their role and support the school in ensuring our safeguarding arrangements are robust and achieving better outcomes for the pupils in our school. This includes taking part in multi-agency training.
- Our Governing Body will have access to safeguarding training. Our named Governor for Safeguarding will have access to additional training at least every two years to support the Headteacher in managing allegations against staff and volunteers who work with children and young people and to support the annual review of this policy, in order to keep it updated in line with local and national guidance/legislation.
- At least one member of a recruitment panel will have undertaken safer recruitment training12.
We will monitor unauthorised absence, particularly where children go missing on repeated occasions. We will report such absences without delay to the appropriate agencies.
Helping Children to Keep Themselves Safe
Our children are taught to understand and manage risk through our personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) lessons and through all aspects of school life. Children are taught how to conduct themselves and how to behave in a responsible manner. Children are reminded regularly about e-safety and tackling bullying procedures.
Our school continually promotes an ethos of respect for others and pupils are encouraged to speak to a member of staff in confidence about any worries they may have.
The Governing Body of our school is responsible for ensuring the annual review of this policy and for additional policies that are relevant to safeguarding and child protection.
Safeguarding Guidance & Contacts
- ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’, March 2013
- ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, 2014
- Supplementary advice to ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ October 2014 re Childcare Act 2006 and Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009
- ‘What To Do If You Are Worried A Child Is Being Abused’, 2006
- The South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures14
- Child Protection and Online Protection Agency www.ceop.org.uk
Legislation & Guidance Relating to this Policy
- School Standards and Framework Act 1998
- Children Act 1989,
- Children Act 2004
- Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2013
- Education Act 1996,
- Education Act 2002 (Section 157/175)
- Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2014
- Supplementary guidance to Keeping Children Safe in Education 2014
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2010
- The School Staffing (England) Regulations 2009 (as amended)
- The Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulations 2010(as amended)
- The Education (Non-Maintained Special Schools) (England) Regulations 2011
- The Education (Pupil Referral Units) (Application of Enactment)(England) Regulations 2007 (as amended)
- Childcare Act 2006
- Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009
- Safeguarding (as defined in the Joint Inspector’s Safeguarding report) is taken to mean “All agencies working with children, young people and their families take all reasonable measures to ensure that the risk of harm to children’s welfare are minimised” and “where there are concerns about children and young people’s welfare, all agencies take all appropriate actions to address those concerns, working to agreed local policies and procedures in full partnership with other agencies”.
- DfE Keeping Children Safe in Education 2014
- DfE Keeping Children Safe in Education 2014
- DfE Keeping Children Safe in Education 2014
- It is recognised that whilst the Designated lead is responsible for liaison with agencies, DfE Keeping Children Safe in Education 2014 states that ‘any member of staff may make a referral if they believe a child is at risk or requires support’
- Ofsted Briefing for Section 5 Inspectors on Safeguarding Children, Ofsted 2014
- DfE Keeping Children Safe in Education 2014
- As required by: School Staffing (England) Regulations (2009); Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulations 2010; DfE Keeping Children Safe in Education 2014;
- DfE Keeping Children Safe in Education 2014 – schools must use the Employer Access Online service to check that a candidate to be employed as a teacher is not subject of a prohibition order.
- Teacher Prohibition Order requirements – Keeping Children Safe in Education 2014
- Childcare Act 2006 and Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009
- School Staffing (England) Regulations 2009
- DfE Policies and other documents that governing bodies/proprietors are required to have by law - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/statutory-policies-for-schools
- Adopted 1st January 2008. www.swcpp.org.uk
Appendix C Intruder Protocols
If you encounter an intruder on site:
- Please notify On Call and copy in ST, CW, MH, SHR, TBR and WM. In your email please attempt to give the following information as succinctly as possible:
- The location that the intruder has been seen in
- If known, who the intruder is or a brief description of the intruder
- Do not allow pupils to leave your lesson.
If you are On Call and there is an intruder on site:
- Please respond immediately to the member of staff reporting that there is an intruder.
- All available members of SLT and WM will also aim to visit this area as promptly as possible
- Once there is a clear visual on the intruder, the member of SLT present will notify the police.
- Any member of staff attending the situation should, if appropriate, actively try to persuade the intruder to leave the school site.
- Unless there is a direct threat to another pupil, please ensure that you do not put yourself in a position of risk i.e. do not apprehend the intruder or attempt to physically restrain them.
Appendix D The Use of Force to Control or Restrain Children & Young People
This policy is based on guidance outlined in DFE (July 2011) Use Of Reasonable Force. The circular refers to the Education and Inspections Act 2006 which clarifies the position regarding the use of physical force by teachers and other staff working in schools, to control or restrain pupils. Staff should also refer to the whole school behaviour and discipline policy.
Staff should refer to the Local Authority policy ‘Guidelines for the Use of Physical Restraint in Schools and Social Care Settings’ for more detailed advice. This is available from Assistant Headteacher, Sam Harrison.
At Poltair School we believe that the use of reasonable force is only necessary to prevent a pupil from:
- Committing a criminal offence
- Injuring themselves or others
- Causing damage to property, including their own
- Engaging in any behaviour prejudicial to maintaining good order and discipline at the school or among any of its pupils, in the classroom during a teaching session or elsewhere, such intervention would only occur if normal positive behaviour management had not worked.
Headteachers and Managers need to clarify which adults are empowered to use restraint. They can nominate here, specific members of non-teaching staff to apply physical restraint or assume that ‘staff’ referred to in this policy applies to all employed adults on site. All teachers are empowered to restrain.
The staff at Poltair School who are trained in Team teach as at 1st June 2015 are:
- Sam Harrison (Assistant Headteacher)
- Carl Foster (Head of Year)
- Gemma Owens (Head of Year)
The use of restraint should always be a last resort. If practical, before intervention a calm warning or instruction to stop should be given and every effort should be made to achieve a satisfactory outcome without physical intervention. In all circumstances help must be sent for, even when immediate intervention is necessary.
Restraint can take a variety of forms, many of which are outlined in both the DFE (July 2011) Use Of Reasonable Force and in the Local Authority guidelines referred to above.
Staff should always avoid touching / holding a pupil in a way that might be considered inappropriate. Force, where used, should always be reasonable.
There is no definition of 'reasonable force’; it should always be proportional to the circumstances of the incident. It should be used only to control or restrain and never with the intent to cause pain or harm. It must, therefore, be the minimum needed to achieve the desired result.
In any action, due regard has to be taken to the age, understanding and sex of the child / young person.
Regular changeovers of staff should, where possible, occur during a protracted holding episode and the child / young person must continue to be given opportunities to become calm. De-escalation strategies should be attempted.
Team Teach techniques seek to avoid injury to the child / young person, but it is possible that bruising or scratching may occur accidentally, and these are not to be seen necessarily as a failure of professional technique, but a regrettable and infrequent side effect of ensuring that the child / young person remains safe.
Any adjustments to professional technique are examined in the recording and reporting phase of the procedures in light of any issues arising out of a crisis episode.
The school accepts and understands that, in accordance with the law, corporal punishment is forbidden.
Where restraint has been necessary, the incident must be reported to the Headteacher and logged.
A report should be written and filed using the Local Authority forms which can be obtained from: Sam Harrison- Assistant Headteacher
In the event of an injury occurring, the appropriate H/S61 or HSW5 must be completed and the accident reporting procedures must be followed. Parents / carers of the children / young people involved will always be advised of an incident and it may be necessary for it to be followed up by other disciplinary action or pastoral support.
All parents / carers must be made aware of this policy. All new members of staff, part time staff and supply staff will be expected to read this policy.
A policy on restrictive physical intervention (positive handling) should be an integral but discrete element of the school individual behaviour management policy.
1.1 The school welcomes feedback on the services it provides.. Should anyone be unhappy with an aspect of the school, it is important that the school learns about this. Some issues should not be dealt with by the school. These include:
- Complaints about the curriculum under Section 23 of the 1988 Education Reform Act.
- Complaints about admission to the School.
- Complaints about failure to assess a child's Special Educational Needs.
1.2 Set procedures have to be followed for each of the above. In dealing with all other complaints received, the School has the primary responsibility in law for dealing with them.
1.3 This means that it must ensure that complaints are investigated thoroughly and fairly and that complainants are given a response within a reasonable time-scale. Reference to this is made clear in the School Prospectus.
1.4 Children also have legitimate rights to make complaints, but much will depend on the age, maturity and understanding of the child. Therefore, the School will consider each complaint on its merits.
1.5 All complaints will be dealt with as speedily as possible. Many enquiries and concerns from parents can be dealt with satisfactorily by the child's class-teacher, the Headteacher or other members of staff, without the need to resort to a formal procedure. The School values informal meetings and discussions.
1.6 If it is not possible to resolve a concern by face-to-face discussions with the member of staff concerned, then the procedure set out below represents good practice for the school in how it deals with formal complaints.
1.7 Governors have an important role to play in considering complaints. However, it is important for parents to understand that individual governors should not investigate complaints outside the procedure, which has been adopted by the School Governing Body.
1.8 If the complaint is about a matter, which is subject to a specific procedure, as mentioned earlier in this document, then this must be followed. If it is a general matter, the Headteacher may be able to respond immediately, e.g. if it is about an explanation of School Policy.
1.9 For most other complaints, which are likely to relate to specific actions or events, there is likely to be a need for further investigation in order to clarify the facts. The Headteacher or nominee will normally undertake this.
1.10 The following guidelines represent good practice for the investigation when the complaint is about the conduct of a member of staff:
- If, at any time during the investigation, there is a prima facie case for disciplinary action, the School's Disciplinary Procedure must be followed and no further action taken under the Complaints Procedure. This also applies where Child Protection procedures are being followed.
- It may be advisable to meet with the complainant, before the investigation, in order to clarify the precise nature of the complaint and to discuss ways in which the matter might be resolved.
- If a formal investigation is required, then the School will adhere to the following principles:
- If a member of staff is the subject of a complaint, he/she will be given a copy and Advised to contact their Trade Union or Professional Association for advice.
- The member of staff will be advised that a 'friend' or Trades Union representative at any subsequent interview or hearing may accompany him/her.
1.11 Other procedures impact on the Complaints Procedure and therefore must be considered in conjunction with it. These are:
- The Staff Disciplinary Procedure
- It is important to stress that any complaint, which results in disciplinary investigation, cannot be responded to finally until the investigation has run its course.
- The Investigation will be conducted in accordance with the LA Model Disciplinary Procedure for teaching or non-teaching staff.
- The complainant will then be informed of the outcome of the disciplinary investigation and may receive an apology, if appropriate. Details of any disciplinary action would be released to the complainant. The complainant will have no right of appeal against action taken under the disciplinary procedure.
- The Staff Grievance ProcedureThis procedure enables staff to complain about the actions of other members of staff, the Headteacher or the Governors. This involves a quite separate process from the complaints procedure.
- Guidance on Child Protection IssuesThe LA, and other agencies that are responsible for children, has a duty under the Children's Act of 1989 to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. As part of this, detailed Child Protection procedures have been developed which outlines the steps which must be taken in cases of alleged abuse. It is essential that these procedures are followed and that the designated teacher at the School is informed immediately on receipt of an allegation of abuse. They will then liaise with the Headteacher and/or the Chair of Governors, as appropriate and the Chief Education Officer. The guidelines on investigation will then be followed, involving the Social Services and Police as necessary.
The Role of the LA
- The LA has limited powers to investigate internal School matters. The role of this body in dealing with complaints against the School is therefore, normally an advisory one.
- All complaints received by the LA will be passed to the Headteacher of the School for a response. When the complaint concerns the Headteacher, the complaint must be passed on to the Chair of Governors.
- There may well be occasions when the Headteacher, or School Governing Body, would like the LA to investigate a complaint on behalf of the School. This will apply in cases where Child Protection issues arise and Social Services must be involved or when there is a serious complaint against the Headteacher. In such cases the LA will write to the complainant, informing him/her of the way in which the investigation will be undertaken and will report back to the Headteacher or Governing Body as appropriate. Even when the LA is not asked to investigate such complaints, the Headteacher/Governors are advised to inform them as soon as such an allegation.
- If the complaint is of a serious nature and it is not possible to reach a resolution with the Governing Body, an investigation will need to take place. The Chief Education Officer will determine the terms of reference for this and the Governing Body will be informed of these.
1.13 All complaints that are received will be recorded in the School and, if they are in writing, acknowledged within two working days.
Stage 1 - Informal Resolution
2.1 A meeting will be arranged with the Headteacher but will not automatically include any member of staff named in the complaint. The School Governors will not be involved at this stage although, if the Headteacher is the subject of a complaint, the complainant may have written directly to the Chair of Governors. There is no suggested time-scale for resolution at Step 1, given the importance of dialogue through informal discussion.
2.2 However, if the discussion seems unlikely to resolve matters, or if the complaint needs to be taken forward against a member of staff, then we proceed to Step 2.
Stage 2 - Formal Written Complaints
3.1 Where it has not been possible to resolve a complaint by way of informal discussion, and/or where the complaint involves a member of staff, the complaint should be set out in writing outlining the precise nature of the complaint, specifying dates, times, etc.
3.2 If the complaint involves an allegation of a potentially serious criminal nature, the Headteacher will immediately inform the Chief Education Officer so that it can be recorded and the School advised about further action.
3.3 The member of staff, who is the subject of the complaint, would normally be advised of the situation immediately, although if the complaint involves a Child Protection issue, the Child Protection Investigation arrangements will come into force involving the Social Services and Police.
3.4 The complaint will be treated as an allegation only, during the investigation stage. The Headteacher will invite all parties, (including witnesses), to provide written Statements as part of the investigation.
3.5 When the Headteacher is the subject of a complaint, the complaint will be copied to the Chair of Governors and, if the Chair then considers it appropriate, the Chief Education Officer.
3.6 Should the matter not be resolved within Step 2, the complainant may consider proceeding to Step 3 below. The onus is on the complainant to make this decision, within the time-scale of two weeks, although the Headteacher may feel that this is the best course of action depending on the circumstances.
3.7 Investigations at Stage 2 should normally be completed within two weeks of receipt of the complaint, unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as in the case of a Child Protection Investigation, or where the Staff Disciplinary Procedure is involved. As good practice a formal response will be sent within two weeks of the completion of the investigation, giving a target of four weeks for the completion of Step 2.
Stage 3 - The Governing Body
4.1 In all cases where the Headteacher is unable to resolve a complaint, to the satisfaction of the complainant, the matter will need to be considered by the Governors.
4.2 The Governors will then decide how best to consider the complaint. Individual Governors have no powers to investigate a complaint outside the complaints process. Therefore, at least two Governors shall be given the task of checking over the facts of the case and, if necessary, meet with the complainant in order to reach an appropriate solution.
4.3 Any further investigation will be undertaken in accordance with the principals outlined in Step 2 above although, given that an investigation will already have taken place and evidence gathered it may not need to be as thorough.
4.4 Following the investigation there will normally be two options available:
- The investigating Governors may be able to take the appropriate action necessary to resolve the complaint, (if they have been so delegated). If no action is proposed, they will report so to the Governing Body.
- The Governors may decide to review judgements made so far and report to the complainant that all investigative measures have been exhausted.
The decision of the Governors Committee will be communicated in writing to the complainant within two working days of the meeting.
4.5 An investigation will take place when the complaint is about an action of the Headteacher. This investigation should normally be completed within three weeks of the receipt of a Stage 3 complaint and will be conducted by the Chair of Governors.
Stage 4 - Refferal To The Local Authority
5.1 Complainants can request an investigation by the LA where they feel that the complaint has not been investigated fairly by the Governing Body. Although this request will be exercised rarely, it should be remembered that the LA retains the responsibility of ensuring that the Governors have acted properly in the exercise of their functions. Complaints received will be recorded and the Chief Education Officer will inform the Chair of Governors that a complaint has been received.
Stage 5 - Appeals To The Secretary Of State Or The Ombudsman
6.1 Finally, complainants have a right of appeal to the Secretary of State for Education under Section 496 or 497 of the 1996 Education Act. In such cases, the Department of Education and Employment (DCSF) will examine the complaint and adjudicate. The DCSF has the power to require the LA to take certain actions, including the issuing of instructions to the School Governing Body. It should be pointed out that the members of staff also have the same right of appeal under Sections 496 and 497.
6.2 If a complainant feels that there has been maladministration in the manner in which a complaint has been dealt with, this can be referred to the Local Government Ombudsman.
6.3 Please note that the Ombudsman can look into complaints about how something has been done, but they cannot question what has been done simply because the complainant does not agree.
1.1 Poltair School is committed to promoting equality for all. This statement represents the response of the Governing Body to its duties to promote equality for people with a disability.
1.2 The Governing Body recognises that the school must take positive action to prohibit all forms of illegal discrimination. This obligation is towards staff, students and others associated with the school (e.g. parents; users of the premises; visitors). The Governing Body aims not to treat people with a disability using the school's services less favourably than all others as far as is reasonably practicable.
1.3 In preparing and developing the Scheme the governors will have regard to any national guidance and any guidance from the local authority.
Definition Of Disabaility
2.1 The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) defines a person with a disability as someone who has 'a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities'
- 'physical impairment' includes sensory impairments;
- 'mental impairment' includes learning difficulties and an impairment resulting from or consisting of a mental illness;
- 'substantial' means 'more than minor or trivial'
- 'long term' is defined as 12 months or more.
2.2 The definition includes a wide range of impairments, including hidden impairments such as dyslexia, autism, speech and language impairments and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). These are all likely to amount to a disability, but only if the effect on the person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities is substantial and long-term as defined above.
2.3 The Disability Discrimination Act also covers those with:
- severe disfigurements;
- impairments controlled or corrected by the use of medication;
- an aid or otherwise;
- progressive symptomatic conditions;
- a history of impairment; and
- children under the age of 6 with impairments which, in an older person, would result in that person being covered.
2.4 Since December 2005 persons with HIV, cancer and multiple sclerosis are also covered at the point of diagnosis.
But excluded are those with:
- an addiction to or dependency on: nicotine; tobacco; or other non-prescribed drugs or substances;
- seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever); and
- certain mental illnesses with anti-social consequences.
The Governing Body's Duty
3.1 The Governing Body will discharge its responsibilities towards staff, students and those using the school's services by ensuring that people with a disability are not treated less favourably in the following aspects as relevant:
- accessibility to the premises and facilities;
- accessibility to the curriculum;
- accessibility of associated educational services;
- training of staff and students;
3.2 The school's policy is to:
- promote equality of opportunity;
- eliminate unlawful discrimination;
- eliminate disability-related harassment;
- promote positive attitudes towards people with a disability;
- encourage people with a disability to participate in public life; and
- take steps to take into account people's disabilities, even where that involves more favourable treatment.
4.1 The Governing Body's Accessibility Plan follows the local authority's guidelines and aims, as far as is reasonably practicable, to:
- enable staff with a disability to have access to premises and facilities that they need for their contracted duties;
- ensure that the needs of visitors with a disability are taken into account;
- increase the extent to which students with a disability can participate in the school curriculum;
- improve the physical environment of the school in order to enable students with a disability to take advantage of education and associated services;
- improve the delivery to students with a disability, within a reasonable time and in ways which are determined after taking into account their disabilities and any preferences expressed by them or their parents, of information which is provided in writing for students who are not disabled.
5.1 The school will ensure that discrimination is prohibited in:
- the selection and appointment and promotion arrangements for staff;
- staff conditions of service;
- staff training;
- the arrangements for determining student admissions;
- the terms on which admission is offered;
- refusing or deliberately omitting to accept an admission application;
- provision of education or associated services (including educational visits and extra-curricular activities)
- victimisation and harassment;
- failing to take steps to ensure that students with a disability are not placed at a substantial disadvantage in
- comparison with all other students in the arrangements for determining admission to school and in relation to the provision of education and associated services. However, alterations to buildings and the provision of auxiliary aids and services are not required under this law.
6.1 The school values the full range of its students and seeks to ensure that its practices are fully inclusive. Every effort will be made to ensure that 'reasonable adjustments' are made to accommodate students with a disability, while bearing in mind the interests of other students. The school is required to make, under the terms of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Discrimination Act (SENDDA) 2001:
- improvements in access to the curriculum for students with a disability;
- physical improvements to increase access to education and associated services (e.g. extra-curricular activities);
- improvements in the provision of information in a range of formats for students with a disability.
6.2 There is an additional requirement for schools to explore whether or not students with behaviour issues may or may not have an underlying disability leading to this. For example, the following may be underlying reasons for poor behaviour:
- mental illness, mental health problems, learning difficulties, dyslexia, diabetes, epilepsy.
(NB Behaviour difficulties arising from social and/or domestic circumstances are not covered by the Act. Other school policies cover these areas.)
6.3 The School will take into account all these requirements when considering the inclusion and treatment of students with a disability in the school.
Education And Associated Services
7.1 For students these will be deemed to include:
- preparation for entry to the school;
- the curriculum;
- teaching and learning;
- classroom organisation;
- access to school facilities
- activities that supplement the curriculum e.g. a drama group visiting the school;
- school sports;
- school policies;
- breaks and lunchtimes;
- serving school meals;
- interaction with peers;
- assessment and examination arrangements;
- discipline and sanctions;
- exclusion procedures;
- school clubs and activities;
- educational visits;
- arrangements for working with other agencies;
- preparation for the next phase of education;
- administration of medicines;
- First Aid.
8.1 In the preparation of this scheme, local stakeholder groups have been consulted. We are committed to the continuing involvement of people with a disability in the development of this statement. We will continue to take into account the views of:
- local organisations for people with a disability
- members of staff with a disability
- the parents/carers of students on roll with a disability
- union and association representatives
- student voice
9.1 The school aims, within the constraints of resources available, to ensure that no member of staff with disabilities is less favourably treated in the school's procedures and practices in respect of:
10.1 The school aims, within the constraints of resources available, to enable each student to fulfil his/her potential, within an educational programme that has development of the whole person at its core.
10.2 The school aims to fulfil the requirements of the legislation to make 'reasonable adjustments' for students with disabilities, to enable them to have access as far as is reasonably practicable to the school premises, facilities, curriculum and associated services.
10.3 The school will examine each disability case to determine the best adjustments that can be made to accommodate the needs of students with a disability.
10.4 Students with a disability are identified through the completion of student detail forms by parents/carers prior to admission. In addition, the Learning Managers and the SENCO gather relevant information on students with a disability through regular liaison visits to feeder schools prior to transfer. Relevant information is made available to all staff via the Record of Need, which is regularly updated. As appropriate, Individual Education Plans are completed, usually by the SENCO and her team. Progress is monitored to assess whether or not further adjustments/new measures are necessary.
11.1 The school recognises that through the provisions of SENDDA it is not required to provide 'auxiliary aids' (i.e. special equipment or additional personal support), nor make 'physical alterations to the buildings, (such as provide lifts).
11.2 However, to meet its obligations, the school will ensure that the needs of staff and students with a disability are fully considered in any strategic planning for the development of the school campus.
11.3 When determining the priorities for the use of the annual Capital Grant, the school will take into account the need to make the school campus more accessible for staff and students with disability.
11.4 The school will budget annually for reasonable minor adjustments to the environment to enable a member of staff and/or a student with a disability to have access to the full teaching and learning of the school.
11.5 The school will bear in mind health and safety requirements and the interests of other students in all the above considerations.
Discrimination In Admissions
12.1 The Governing Body will ensure that students with a disability are not discriminated against:
- through the criteria they determine for admission to the school, including criteria used where the school is
- oversubscribed; and
- by refusing, or deliberately not accepting, an application from a person with a disability for admission to the school.
Action on Transfer into the School
12.2 At transfer to the school, additional liaison time is allocated for students with a disability and their families to ensure that the student's educational needs and this school's requirements are fully understood by staff at the feeder school, parents, and student, and to ensure that the transfer process is effective.
Teaching And Learning
13.1 The development needs of staff with a disability will be discussed with the member of staff on a regular basis.
13.2 Where necessary, support staff time will be allocated, relevant to the needs of the member of staff with a disability.
13.3 Wherever possible the timetable will be adjusted to reflect the needs of members of staff with a disability.
13.4 Within the constraints of financial resources the school aims to make adjustments to the premises to enable the member of staff to teach effectively.
14.1 The school values each member of staff for their contribution to the school and will seek to ensure that as far as is reasonably practicable no member of staff is disadvantaged by reason of his/her disability.
14.2 The Governing Body will take positive action against any employee's harassment of another employee. All employees have a duty not to harass other employees on the ground of their disability (or any other grounds recognised by the law), and to report instances of harassment to the Head (or in the case of harassment by the Head, to the Chair of the Governing Body).
15.1 In all teaching and learning activities a full range of teaching and learning styles will be employed to ensure that no student is excluded from learning.
15.2 Teaching staff will be given, as relevant, advice from appropriate external agencies regarding the learning needs of students with a disability, (such as the Sensory Impairment Services).
16.1 The school will ensure as far as reasonably practicable that students and staff with disabilities are given access to off-site activities organised by the school.
Liason With Parents
17.1 The governors will report to parents annually on:
- the Accessibility Plan;
- how the Governing Body/responsible body helps students with disability gain access to the curriculum; and
- what the Governing Body/responsible body does to ensure fair treatment for students with a disability.
17.2 The school will continue to ensure close liaison with families of all students with disability through the provision of designated staff members with allocated time and appropriate communication skills.
17.3 Whenever appropriate, information to home will be provided in different formats to take account of disability.
17.4 The school, at least annually, will remind parents/carers of the school's Complaints Procedure.
18.1 As far as is reasonable and practicable, appropriate training for staff and students will be included in an annual programme. In the case of students there will be units in appropriate areas of the national curriculum and in the PSHE programme.
19.1 Annual training will be given to senior staff to ensure understanding of the DDA and SENDDA and how actions at school level may be undertaken to ensure inclusion of members of staff and students wth disability.
19.2 All staff (teaching and support staff) must attend training regarding duties to members of staff and/or students with a disability under the DDA and SENDDA, and to attend up-dating sessions when deemed necessary by the Head.
19.3 All teaching staff have at least annual training regarding improved practice in differentiation for all students including those with disability.
19.4 Regular staff training will be undertaken regarding the needs for learning of particular students with a disability.
19.5 Support staff working with members of staff and/or students with a disability will be given relevant training.
Governing Body Committee:
20.1 The Governing Body has established a Staffing Committee which will:
- oversee the implementation of all the school's policies and practices in this area, including Disability Inclusion;
- consider what reasonable adjustments are being made and could be made;
- make recommendations to the Head with a view to improving access to teaching and learning;
- consider the school's systems and procedures for making staff, parents and students aware of the policies;
- consider the school's Accessibility Plan; and
- review the Plan annually
20.2 To oversee the implementation of the policy and Scheme;
20.3 To report progress as required to the Governing Body:
- the Head will report to the Governing Body on members of staff who have a disability, and the steps
- taken to ensure that they are not treated less favourably;
- the Head will report on staff training issues relevant to the scheme
- the Head will report to the Governing Body on relevant student activities and ensure that reasonable
- adjustments have been identified and implemented;
- the Head will ensure that the School's Accessibility Plan has been reviewed periodically and updated
- annually, or as necessary, and report progress to the Governing Body;
- the Head will ensure that regular liaison with parents of students with a disability takes place. Reports
- on these meetings and any correspondence with parents and students regarding their disabilities will be contained in the Head's reports to the Governing Body.
20.4 All staff have a duty to ensure, as far as is practicable, adherence to the intentions and purpose of this scheme, and to bring any potential shortcomings or difficulties to the attention of a member of the Senior Leadership Team.
Monitoring, Inspection and Review
21.1The governors will ensure that the working of the Scheme and Accessibility Plan is monitored. The Head is required to report on progress at the termly Personnel Committee meeting.
21.2 The Governing Body will report to the local authority as required. The governors recognise that these duties are monitored by OFSTED for England through their inspection.
1.1 For the purposes of this document the term "drugs" will be used to describe substances which interfere with a student's ability to learn (by changing their emotional state, body functioning or behaviour) are potentially harmful, or are capable of misuse, including some whose possession and use are illegal.
1.2 Drugs education at Poltair is part of a comprehensive Health Education course which is delivered to pupils in all years through their Personal Social and Health Education lessons. As in all PSHE lessons, teaching should be balanced and non-judgmental and should occur within a mutually respectful classroom environment.
Aims Of The Drugs Education Course
2.1 To provide a clear programme of drugs education for Poltair students which will:
- promote an ethos which will enhance young people's sense of self worth;
- promote our student's skills in making decisions;
- enhance young people's social skills;
- present factual and balanced information about drugs, including legal issues, upon which students can base informed decisions;
- present information about the drug support services offered in Cornwall;
- seek to minimise risks and to deter students from taking potentially dangerous risks, by increasing understanding about implications and possible consequences of use and misuse;
- widen understanding about related health and social issues e.g., sex and sexuality, crime, HIV and AIDS;
- inform students that resisting drug taking is a positive option.
2.2 These aims are fulfilled through aspects of the students experiences in the taught curriculum, (particularly in PSHE and Science). Opportunities to re-inforce learning will occur in other parts of the teaching programme and in the informal curriculum. The school actively co-operates with other agencies such as Community Police, Social Services, LEA and Health and Drug Agencies to deliver its commitment to Drugs Education where relevant. Visitors to the school will be informed of the values held within this policy.
3.1 We should deliver a programme of study which will enable students to:
- recognise personal responsibility for decisions about substance use;
- know the basic facts about drugs including their effects and relevant legislation;
- develop appropriate social skills for coping with situations in which drug use occurs;
- understand that Britain is a drug using society and recognise the different patterns of use and their effects, e.g., transmission of HIV infection through shared needles and the detrimental effect on the foetus of all types of drug use;
- recognise that individuals are responsible for choices they make about drug use;
- be able to analyse safe levels of intake e.g., tobacco use is never safe, limited use of alcohol may be;
- discuss the role of the media in influencing attitudes towards drugs, particularly smoking and alcohol;
- to be able to communicate effectively and confidently with those who administer medication.
Moral And Values Framework
4.1 Poltair School regards drug taking as a serious matter and will make this clear to parents and students.
4.2 Poltair recognises that society has double standards with regard to drugs and drug use. It will attempt to avoid perpetuating these double standards (as this may encourage some students to disregard the advice, information and actions of the school).
4.3 Poltair will educate its students, using non-judgmental approaches, to understand the psychological, social, physical and legal issues arising from substance use, to have the knowledge and skills to resist drug taking and/or to minimise the risk of potential use.
4.4 Self-awareness and self-esteem are part of this Drugs Education programme.
5.1 The PSHE co-ordinator is responsible for the planning and delivery of this course. It should be taught by a team of teachers who wish to participate and have received training. The team may be supported by outside agencies. These visiting speakers will be used where it is clear they support the aims of the course and where their specialist input is of benefit to the pupils. Support is provided where appropriate by Special Educational Needs and Audiology.
List Of Drugs Which Poltair Is Concerned To Educate About
- Anabolic Steriods
- Magic Mushrooms
- The Nitrates
(Others may be added when considered appropriate).
Links With Other Subjects
6.1 The PSHE course is responsible for the delivery of the greater part of an individual pupils drugs education but it also occurs in other subject areas:
- Religious Education
- Physical Education
1.1This Scheme has been produced to meet the Governors' duty and is based on the document 'The gender equality duty and schools - Guidance for public authorities in England', dated March 2007 produced by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) developed to supplement the Gender Equality Duty Code of Practice in England and Wales. The Code of Practice will be used as the school's primary source of guidance, supplemented by March 2007 EOC guidance document.
1.2 The governing body understands that schools have a crucial role to play in ensuring that girls and boys benefit from equality of opportunity in all areas of life and that action to challenge stereotyping is a key component of the whole school curriculum. This crucial role, in particular, (as relevant to any particular school) relates to schools' curricular provision for careers, work-related learning, citizenship, and personal, social and health education.
1.3 The school will continue to develop further a framework that tackles the many factors that affect pupil attainment, including gender, ethnicity and social class.
1.4 The school will fulfil its key role in shaping the values and attitudes of children and young people and will take a lead in challenging gender-based harassment, bullying and violence.
1.5 In addition to promoting gender equality in terms of outcomes for pupils, the school will also maintain gender equality for its workforce.
Promoting Gender Equality
2.1 The governors believe that the school has already taken positive steps to address gender inequality and barriers that prevent pupils from achieving and making the most of their opportunities and the school will continue to work towards a widespread recognition that the differences between boys' and girls' experiences, attitudes and achievements in school are understood so that policies and practices can break down these barriers.
2.2 The school will continue to make a co-ordinated effort to tackle inequality and ensure that all pupils are able to fully achieve their potential. Governors believe that the entire school population will benefit by action on gender equality as provided for in this Scheme so that this may act as a catalyst towards a society where all its members can make the best of their life chances.
2.3 The governing body is aware that the Every Child Matters framework seeks to ensure that every child is supported and enabled to achieve and this means having regard to their physical and mental well being, and providing children and young people with opportunities to make positive contributions to their local communities. The framework is structured around five outcomes:
- Be healthy
- Stay safe
- Enjoy and achieve
- Make a positive contribution
- Achieve economic well-being
2.4 All of these outcomes have significantly different dimensions for girls and for boys. The school will continually examine these differences so that it can deliver better on the outcomes and the school's gender equality objectives.
Gender Assessment Tools/Action Plan
3.1 It is the governing bodys' understanding that a 'Gender Impact Assessment' is a tool that will enables policy makers to identify any differential effect on women and men, girls and boys of existing policies and practices, and any possible differential effect of proposed policies and practices. It provides policy makers with a means of ensuring that policies and practices do not have unintended discriminatory impacts, and also enables policy makers to identify policies and practices that support the promotion of gender equality.
3.2 Whilst there is a considerable amount of detail to be taken into account in achieving continual improvement in gender equality in schools, the governing body believes that in broad terms the school's aims can be categorised under the main headings of procurement, curricular and extra curricular provision, and personnel/employment/pay policies - these are dealt with in greater detail in the following paragraphs.
3.3 As far as procurement is concerned, when the school procures goods and services from external suppliers it will take its gender duty into account. Specifically it will ask:
- Could this procurement affect our duty to eliminate discrimination and harassment and promote equality of opportunity between girls and boys and men and women?
- If so, do we need to include any gender equality requirements within the contract and if yes, what requirements are necessary?
- The school will do its utmost to ensure that contract conditions will require contractors to comply with the SDA and EqPA and to secure similar compliance by any sub-contractors.
3.4 The school has a wide variety of policies that deal with curricular and extra curricular provision. Many of these policies have gender dimensions. Some examples of such school policies/practices are:
- Every Child Matters objectives
- National Healthy School Status
- Careers/work experience
3.5 The school reviews all such policies on a rolling programme basis and when these polices are reviewed, the reviews will incorporate a gender equality impact assessment of each individual policy, with the aim that there will be impact assessments on all such policies by not later than 3 years with effect from 30 April 2007.
3.6 The governing body will also take into account its gender equality responsibilities and aims when carrying out its responsibilities for setting targets for pupil achievement and making sure the curriculum is balanced and broadly based.
3.7 The school has a variety of personnel/employment/pay policies. The governing body believes that these policies (the great majority of which are based on model policies produced by Cornwall County Council) take into account various provisions of employment law, good practice, equal opportunity and gender equality principles.
3.8 As far as employment of staff is concerned, the governing body, as a matter of principle, recruits/appoints staff in a manner that it believes meets all legal requirements, i.e. all appointments are made in a totally gender equal and non-discriminatory manner, with the aim of recruiting and retaining the best possible staff.
3.9 The school reviews all such 'personnel' policies on a rolling programme basis and when these polices are reviewed, the reviews will incorporate a gender equality impact assessment of each individual policy, with the aim that there will be impact assessments on all such policies by not later than 3 years with effect from 30 April 2007.
3.10 The governing body understands that schools will need to report annually on the actions that they have taken or intend to take to meet the gender equality duty. These reports will not be lengthy documents - the legislation requires only a "summary report". These annual reports will give the governing body an opportunity to monitor progress towards gender equality objectives and to review the actions set out in the school's action plan to ensure that the Scheme continues to be the best way of meeting the school's gender equality objectives.
3.11 In preparing Action Plans the school will:
- Gather and use information that is relevant to promoting gender equality and eliminating discrimination
- Consult stakeholders in the preparation of its scheme (including setting the objectives)
- Assess the impact or likely impact of existing and proposed policies and practices on gender equality
3.12 To meet legal requirements the school will review this gender equality scheme at least every three years and publish a revised scheme, i.e. the first review will be undertaken by not later than 30 April 2010. The review process will be an opportunity for the governors to evaluate progress made towards the achievement of their gender equality objectives and to decide, in consultation with stakeholders, on priorities for the next three years.
3.13 The school will give consideration to the possibility of embedding this scheme within another strategic document, such as the School Development Plan.
The Governing Body of this school are responsible for ensuring that we comply with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), Some aspects, such as charging are at the discretion of the governing body.
Poltair School is committed to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and to the principles of accountability and the genera right of access to information, subject to legal exemptions. This policy outlines our response to the Act and a framework for managing requests.
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) [or "the Act"] came fully into force on January 1 2005. Under the Act, any person has a legal right to ask for access to information held by the school. They are entitled to be told whether the school holds the Information, and to receive a copy, subject to certain exemptions.
The information which the school routinely makes available to the public is included in the Publication Scheme. Requests for other information should be dealt with in accordance with the statutory guidance, While the Act assumes openness, it recognises that certain information is sensitive. There are exemptions to protect this information.
The Act is fully retrospective, so any past records which the school holds are covered by the Act. The DfE has issued a Retention Schedule produced by the Records Management Society of Great Britain, to guide schools on how long they should keep school records, It is an offence to wilfully conceal, damage or destroy information in order to avoid responding to an enquiry, so it is important that no records that are the subject of an enquiry are amended or destroyed.
Requests under FoI can be addressed to anyone in the school; so all staff need to be aware of the process for dealing with requests. Requests must be made in writing, (including email), and should include the enquirer's name and correspondence address, and state what information they require. They do not have to mention the Act, nor do they have to say why they want the information. There is a duty to respond to alI requests, telling the enquirer whether or not the information is held, and supplying any information that is held, except where exemptions apply. There is no need to collect data in specific response to a FOI enquiry. There is a time limit of 20 days excluding school holidays for responding to the request.
The FoI Act joins the Data Protection Act and the Environmental Information Regulations as legislation under which anyone is entitled to request information from the school.
Requests for personal data are still covered by the Data Protection Act ("the DPA"). Individuals can request to see what information the school holds about them. This is known as a Subject Access Request, and must be dealt with accordingly. Requests for - such as air, water, land, the information about anything relating to the environment natural world or the built environment and any factor or measure affecting these — are covered by the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR). They also cover issues relating to Health and Safety. For example queries about chemicals used in the school or on school land, phone masts, car parks etc. would all be covered by the EIR. Requests under EIR are dealt with in the same way as those under FOIA, but unlike FOIA requests, they do not need to be written and can be verbal. The ability of data controllers to charge for providing information also varies between the schemes so requestors/applicants must always be prepared to modify a request if it is too large for a school to reasonably comply with.
If any element of a request to the school includes personal or environmental information, these elements must be dealt with under DPA or EIR, Any other information Is a request under FOIA, and must be dealt with accordingly.
Obligations & Duties
The school recognises its duty to:
- provide advice and assistance to anyone requesting information. We will respond to written requests for information which will then be handled under the Act,
- tell enquirers whether or not we hold the information they are requesting unless exempted from this duty (the duty to confirm or deny), and provide access to the information we hold in accordance with the procedures laid down in Appendix 1.
Poltair School has adopted the Model Publication Scheme for Schools approved by the Information Commissioner.
The Publication Scheme and the materials it covers will be readily available from the Admin Manager's office in school. This will be published on our website.
Dealing With Requests
We will respond to all requests in accordance with the procedures laid down in Appendix 1
We will ensure that all staff are aware of the procedures.
Certain information is subject to either absolute or qualified exemptions. The exemptions are listed in Appendix 2 but their application can be complex and legal advice may be needed at times.
When we wish to apply a qualified exemption to a request, we will invoke the public interest test procedures to determine if public interest in applying the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
We will maintain a register of requests where we have refused to supply information, and the reasons for the refusal. The register will be retained for at least 5 years.
Public Interest Test
Unless it is in the public interest to withhold information, it has to be released. We will apply the public Interest Test before any qualified exemptions ere applied. For information on applying the Public Interest Test see Appendix 3.
We reserve the right to refuse to supply information where the cost of doing so exceeds the statutory maximum, currently £450. If the school feels able to comply with a request that exceeds the statutory maximum, charges will be applied as per Section 13 in the dca guidance, http://webarchive.nationalarvices.gov.uk/+/http://www.dca.gov.uk/foi/practitioner/feesguidance.htm
The Governing body has delegated the day-to-day responsibility for compliance with the FOIA to the Head Teacher. The Admin Manager coordinates enquiries and is a point of reference for advice and training.
Any comments or complaints will be dealt with through the school's normal complaints procedure.
If on investigation the school's original decision is upheld, then the school has a duty to inform the complainant of their right to appeal to the Information Commissioner's office.
Appeals should be made in writing to the Information Commissioner's office. They can be contacted at:
- Complaints Resolution
- Information Commissioner's Office
- Wycliffe House
- Water Lane
- Cheshire . SK9 5AF
Appendix 1 Procedure for Dealing with Requests
1. To handle a request for information the governing body or delegated person will need to ask themselves a series of questions. These are set out below and shown on pages 12 - 13 as process maps
Is it a FOI request for information?
2. A request for information may be covered by one, or all, of three information rights: Data Protection enquiries (or subject access requests) are ones where the enquirer asks to see what personal Information the school holds about the enquirer. If the enquiry is a Data protection request, follow your existing school DPA guidance.
Environmental Information Regulations enquiries are ones which relate to air, water, land, natural sites, built environment, flora and fauna, and health, and any decisions and activities affecting any of these. These could therefore include enquiries about recycling, phone masts, school playing fields, car parking etc. If the enquiry is about environmental Information, follow the guidance on the IC's website or the DEFRA website. FOI enquiries are concerned with all other information and the reasoning behind decisions and policies. The request does not have to mention the FOI Act. All requests for information that are not data protection or environmental information requests are covered by the FOI Act.
Is this a valid FOI request for information?
3. An FOI request should:
- be in writing, including email or FAX',
- state the enquirer's name and correspondence address (email addresses are allowed);
- describe the information requested - there must be enough information to be able to Identify and locate the information; and not be covered by one of the other pieces of legislation.
In cases where the enquiry s ambiguous assist the enquirer to describe more clearly the information requested. Where possible, establish direct contact. The aim is to clarify the nature of the information requested and not to determine the aims or motivation of the enquirer. If you notify the enquirer that you need further Information to enable you to answer, you do not have to deal with the request until the further information is received. The response time limit starts from the date this s received.
4. Verbal enquiries are not covered by the FOI Act, Such enquiries can be dealt with where the enquiry 's relatively straightforward and can be dealt with satisfactorily. However, for more complex enquiries, and to avoid disputes over what was asked for, you should ask the enquirer to put the request in writing or email, when the request will become subject to FOI.
Does the school hold the information?
5. "Holding" information means information relating to the business of the school :
- That the school has created, or
- That the school has received from another body or person, or
- held by another body on the school's behalf.
6. Information means both hard copy and digital information, including email.
7. If the school does not hold the information, you do not have to create or acquire it just to answer the enquiry, although a reasonable search should be made before denying that you have got information the school might be expected to hold.
Has the information requested already been made public?
8. If the information requested is already in the public domain, for instance through your Publication Scheme or on your website, direct the enquirer to the Information and explain how to access it.
Is the request vexatious or manifestly unreasonable (If an EIR) or repeated?
9. The Act states that there is no obligation to comply with vexatious requests. This is taken to mean a request which is designed to cause inconvenience, harassment or expense rather than to obtain information, and would require a substantial diversion of resources or would otherwise undermine the work of the school. This however does not provide an excuse for bad records management.
Can the school transfer a request to another body?
10. If the information is held by another public authority, such as your Local authority, first check with them they hold it, then transfer the request to them. You must notify the enquirer that you do not hold the information and to whom you have transferred the request. You should answer any parts of the enquiry in respect of information your school does hold.
Could a third party's interests be affected by disclosure?
11. It is not intended to include otherwise valid requests in which the applicant may make complaints or vent frustrations. In addition, you do not have to comply with repeated identical or substantially similar requests from the same applicant unless a "reasonable" interval has elapsed between requests.
12. Consultation of third parties may be required if their interests could be affected by release of the information requested, and any such consultation may influence the decision. You do not need to consult where you are not going to disclose the information because you will be applying an exemption.
13. Consultation will be necessary where:
- disclosure of Information may affect the legal rights of a third party, such as the right to have certain information treated In confidence or rights under Article 8 Of the European Convention on Human Rights;
- the views of the third party may assist you to determine if information is exempt from disclosure, or
- the views of the third party may assist you to determine the public interest.
Does an exemption apply?
14. The presumption of the legislation is that you will disclose information unless the Act provides a specific reason to withhold it. There are more than 20 exemptions. They are set out in Appendix 2 and are mainly intended to protect sensitive or confidential information.
15. Only where you have real concerns about disclosing the information should you look to see whether an exemption might apply, Even then, where the potential exemption is a qualified exemption, you need to consider the public interest test to identify If the public interest in applying the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing Therefore, unless it is in the public interest to Withhold the information, it has to be released. Appendix 3 contains guidance on conducting a public interest test.
What if the request is for personal information?
16. Personal information requested by the subject of that information is exempt under the FOI Act as such information is covered by the Data Protection Act. Individuals must, therefore, continue to make a 'subject access request' under the Data Protection Act if they wish to access such information.
What if the details contain personal information?
17. Personal information requested by third parties is also exempt under the FOI Act where release of that information would breach the Data Protection Act. If a request is made for a document (e.g. Governing Body minutes) which contains personal information whose release to a third party would breach the Data Protection Act, the document may be issued by blanking out the relevant personal information as set out in the redaction procedure.
The procedure for redaction is:
- mask the passages which are not to be disclosed and then photocopy the redacted copy so nothing shows through
How much can we charge?
18. The Act allows governing bodies to charge for providing information, for further information, see Appendix 4
19. The first step is to determine if the threshold (currently £450) would be exceeded. Staff costs should be calculated at £25 per hour. You can take account of the costs of determining if the information is held, locating and retrieving the information, and extracting the information from other documents. You cannot take into account the costs involved in determining whether information is exempt.
20. If a request would cost less than the appropriate limit, (currently £450) the school can only charge for the cost Of informing the applicant whether the information is he'd, and communicating the information to the applicant (e.g. photocopying, printing and postage costs).
If a request would cost more than the appropriate limit, (£450) the school can turn the request down, answer and charge a fee, or answer and waive the fee.
If it decides to charge a fee, and does not have other powers to do so, it can charge on the basis of the costs outlined in Appendix 4.
21. Schools will however wish to consider whether calculating the cost of the fee outweighs the cost of providing the information. In practice we recommend that schools respond to straightforward enquiries free of charge and charge where the costs are Significant.
22. If you are going to charge you must send the enquirer a fees notice and do not have to comply with the request until the fee has been paid. Appendix 4 gives more information on charging.
Is there a time limit for replying to the enquirer?
23. Compliance with a request must be prompt and certainly within the legally prescribed limit of 20 working days, excluding school holidays. Failure to comply could result in a complaint to the Information Commissioner. The response time starts from the time the request is received. Where you have asked the enquirer for more information to enable you to answer, the 20 days start time begins when this further information has been received.
If information is exempt; explain in the covering letter that the relevant exemptions are marked in the attachments and in the case of non-absolute exemptions, how the public interest test has been considered.
On no account must you use the computer to rewrite the document or email and simply delete the exempted passages so that the resulting document appears as though they did not exist,
The one circumstance where this would be permissible would be where the on/y redacted parts are personal information such as people's names and the covering letter explains this. An order to this effect is to be made under section 10(4) of the Act and should take effect from 1 January 2005.
24. If a qualified exemption applies and you need more time to consider the public interest test, you should reply within the 20 days stating that an exemption applies but include an estimate of the date by which a decision on the public interest test will be made. This should be within a "reasonable" time - in practice, it is recommended by the Department that normally this should be within 10 working days.
25. Where you have notified the enquirer that a charge is to be made, the time period stops until payment is received and then continues again once payment has been received,
What action is required to refuse a request?
26. If the information Is not to be provided, the person dealing with the request must immediately contact the person in the school with delegated responsibility for FOI to ensure that the case has been properly considered and the reasons for refusal are sound, If it is decided to refuse a request, you need to send a refusals notice, which must contain
- the fact that the responsible person cannot provide the information asked for;
- which exemption(s) you are claiming apply;
- why the exemption(s) apply to this enquiry (if it is not self-evident);
- reasons for refusal if based on cost of compliance (see Appendix 4)
- in the case of non-absolute exemptions, how you have applied the public interest test, specifying the public interest factors taken into account before reaching the decision (see Appendix 3)
- reasons for refusal on vexatious or repeated grounds
- the Internal complaints procedure.
27. For monitoring purposes and in case of an appeal against a decision not to release the information or an investigation by the Information Commissioner, the responsible person must keep e record of all enquiries where all or part of the requested Information is withheld and exemptions are claimed, The record must include the reasons for the decision to withhold the information, Records should be retained for 5 years. There are no requirements to keep records where you have supplied the information requested.
What do I do if someone complains?
28. Any written (including email) expression of dissatisfaction - even if it does not specifically seek a review — should be handled through the school's existing complaints procedure which should be fair and impartial. The procedure should be clear and non-bureaucratic. Wherever practicable the review should be handled by someone not Involved in the Original decision.
The Governing Body should set and publish a target time for determining complaints and information on the success rate in meeting the target. The school should maintain records of all complaints and their outcome.
29. When the original request has been reviewed and the outcome is that the information should be disclosed this should be done as soon as practicable. When the outcome is that procedures within the school have not been properly followed, the school should review procedures to prevent any recurrence. When the outcome upholds the school's original decision or action, the applicant should be informed of their right to appeal to the Information Commissioner. The appeal should be made in writing to:
- FOI Compliance Team (complaints)
- Wycliffe House,
- Water Lane,
- SK9 5AF
Appendix 2 Exemptions
1. Although decisions on disclosure should be made on a presumption of openness, the FOI Act recognises the need to preserve confidentiality and protect sensitive material in some circumstances.
2. You cannot withhold information in response to a valid request UNLESS one of the following applies:
- an exemption to disclosure, or
- the information sought is not held, or
- the request is considered vexatious or repeated or
- the cost of compliance exceeds the threshold (see Appendix 4)
The duty to confirm or deny
3. A person applying for information has the right to be told if the information requested is held by the school, and if that is the case to have the information sent (subject to any of the exemptions). This obligation is known as the school's "duty to confirm or deny" that it holds the information. However, the school does not have to confirm or deny if:
- the exemption is an absolute exemption (see paragraph 6), or
- in the case of qualified exemptions (see paragraph 8), confirming or denying would itself disclose exempted information
4. A series of exemptions are set out in the Act which allow the withholding of information in relation to an enquiry. Some are very specialised in their application (such as national security) and would not usually be relevant to schools. There are more than 20 exemptions but schools are likely to use only a few of them.
5. There are two general categories of exemptions:
- Absolute: where there is no requirement to confirm or deny that the information is held, disclose the information or consider the public Interest; and Qualified: where, even if an exemption applies, there is a duty to consider the public Interest in disclosing information.
What are the Absolute Exemptions?
6. There are 8 absolute exemptions listed in the Act. Even where an absolute exemption applies:
- it does not mean that you can't disclose in all cases; it means that disclosure is not required by the Act. A decision could be taken ignore the exemption and release the information taking Into account all the facts of the case
- there is still a legal obligation to provide advice and assistance to the enquirer
7. The absolute exemptions in the Act are set out below. Those which might be relevant to schools are marked with an *:
7.1 Information accessible to the enquirer by other means* (Section 21)
- If information is reasonably accessible to the applicant by a route other than the Act, it is exempt information. This is the case even if the enquirer would have to pay for the information under that alternative route. This exemption includes cases where you are required to give information under other legislation, or where the information is available via the publication Scheme.
7.2 Information dealing with security matters (Section 23)
- (see also qualified exemption under Section 24 on national security) This applies to information directly or indirectly supplied by, or relating to, bodies dealing with security matters such as GCHQ, MIS, M16, Special Forces and the National Criminal Intelligence Service.
7.3 Court records (Section 32) -
- (see also the qualified exemption under Section 30 concerning investigations and proceedings conducted by public authorities) This applies to information related to proceedings in a court or tribunal or sewed on a public authority for the purposes of proceedings.
7.4 Parliamentary Privilege (Section 34)
- This exempts information if it is required for the purpose of avoiding an infringement of the Parliamentary privilege. Parliamentary privilege is an immunity whereby MPs cannot be prosecuted for sedition or sued for libel or slander over anything said during proceedings in the House.
7.5 Prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs (Section 36)
- See also the qualified exemption part of Section 36 This relates to the maintenance of the collective responsibility of Ministers.
7.6 Personal information* (Section 40)
- See also the qualified exemption part of Section 40. Where enquirers ask to see information about themselves, this is exempt under the Act because it is covered by the Data Protection Act, Consult your existing school Data Protection guidance.
7.7 Information provided in confidence* (Section 41)
- This relates to information obtained from a person if its disclosure would constitute a breach of confidence actionable In law by that, or another, person.
7.8 Prohibitions on disclosure* (Section 44)
- Information is exempt where its disclosure is prohibited under any other legislation by order of a court or where it would constitute contempt of court or where it is incompatible with any EC obligation.
What are the Qualified Exemptions?
8. With qualified exemptions, even if it is decided that an exemption applies, there is a duty to consider the public interest in confirming or denying that the information exists and in disclosing information. Guidance on carrying out the public Interest test is at Annex C. The qualified exemptions in the Act are set out below. Those which might be relevant to schools are marked with an *
8.1 Information intended for future publication* (Section 22)
- If at the time the request was made, information is held with a view to publication, then it is exempt from disclosure if it is reasonable that it should not be disclosed until the intended date of publication. This could apply for instance to statistics published at set intervals, for example annually or where information is incomplete and It would be inappropriate to publish prematurely. Remember, you still have a legal duty to provide reasonable advice and assistance.
8.2 National security (Section 24) (see also absolute exemption 23)
- Information is exempt for the purposes of safeguarding national security.
8.3 Defence (Section 26)
- Information is exempt if its disclosure would prejudice the defence of the UK.
8.4 International relations (Section 27)
- Information is exempt if its disclosure would or would be likely to, prejudice relations between the UK and any other state, international organisation.
8.5 Relations within UK (Section 28)
- Information is exempt if its disclosure would or would be likely to, prejudice relations between any administration in the UK i.e. the Government, Scottish Administration, Northern Ireland Assembly, or National Assembly of Wales.
8.6 The economy (Section 29)
- Note the following:
- the intended publication does not have to be by the school, it can be by another person or body on behalf of the school
- the date of publication does not have to be known, It could be at some future date (although it is recommended that some idea of a likely date is given)
- the duty to confirm or deny does not apply if to do so would involve the disclosure of any of the relevant information
8.7 Investigations and proceedings conducted by public authorities* (Section 30)
- Information is exempt if it has at any time been held by the school for the purposes of criminal investigations or proceedings, such as determining whether a person should be charged with an offence or whether a charged person is guilty, or investigations which may lead to a decision to institute criminal proceedings. The duty to confirm or deny does not apply to such Information.
8.8 Law enforcement* (Section 31)
- Information which is not exempt under Section 30 Investigations and Proceedings, may be exempt under this exemption in the event that disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the following among others:
- the prevention or detection or crime
- the apprehension or prosecution of offenders
- the administration of justice
- the exercise of functions such as ascertaining if a person has broken the law, is responsible for improper conduct, whether circumstances justify regulatory action, ascertaining a person's fitness or competence in relation to their profession, ascertaining the cause of an accident or protecting or recovering charities or its properties
- any civil proceedings brought by or on behalf Of the school which arise out of an investigation carried out for any of the purposes mentioned above. The duty to confirm
- or deny does not arise where prejudice would result to any of these matters.
8.9 Audit Functions (Section 33)
- Information is exempt if its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the exercise of an authority's functions in relation to the audit of the accounts of other public authorities. It does not apply to internal audit reports.
8.10 Formulation of government policy (Section 35)
- Information held is exempt information if it relates to the formulation or development of government policy, ministerial communications, advice by Law Officers (eg Attorney General) and the operation of any Ministerial private office
8.11 Prejudice to the conduct of public affairs (Section 36)
- (excluding matters covered by the absolute exemption part of Section 36) Information likely to prejudice the maintenance of the convention of the collective responsibility of Ministers or likely to inhibit the free and frank provision of advice or exchange of views.
8.12 Communications with the Queen* (Section 37)
- Information is exempt if it relates to communications with the Queen, the Royal Family or Royal Household or if it relates to the award of honours. The duty to confirm or deny does not arise where this exemption applies.
8.13 Health and safety* (Section 38)
- Information is exempt if its disclosure would or would be likely to endanger the safety or physical or mental health of any individual. The duty to confirm or deny does not arise where prejudice would result.
8.14 Environmental information* (Section 39)
- Information is exempt under FOI where it is covered by the Environmental Information Regulations. Environmental information can cover information relating to; air, water, land, natural sites, built environment, flora and fauna, and health. It also covers all information relating to decisions or activities affecting any of these.
8.15 Personal information* (Section 40)
- See also the absolute exemption part of Section 40. Where an individual seeks information about themselves, Data Protection Act powers and duties apply.
Where the Information concerns a third party, it is exempt if its disclosure would contravene the Data Protection Act, or the data protection principles; or if the person to whom the information relates would not have a right of access to It because it falls under one of the exemptions to the Data Protection Act. The duty to confirm or deny does not arise in relation to this information if doing so would be incompatible with any of the above.
8.16 Legal professional privilege* (Section 42)
- Legal professional privilege covers any advice given by legal advisers, solicitors and barristers especially with regard to potential litigation - this would not cover general advice such as advising on this guide. Generally such information will be privileged. A school wishing to disclose the information will need to seek consent from the provider of the advice. This exemption covers all such information where a claim to legal professional privilege can be maintained in legal proceedings. The duty to confirm or deny does not arise where to do so would involve the disclosure of such information.
8.17 Commercial interests* (Section 43)
- Information is exempt if it constitutes a trade secret or would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of any person or body (Including the school).
Protective Markings and Applying Exemptions
9. When considering if an exemption to disclosure should apply, bear in mind that the presence of a protective marking (Restricted, Confidential or Secret, with or without descriptors such as Staff, Management, Commercial etc) does not constitute an exemption and is not in itself sufficient grounds on which to prevent disclosure. Each case must be considered on its merits.
10. Where Information has previously been withheld, it must not be assumed that any subsequent requests for the same information will also be refused. Sensitivity of information decreases with age and the impact of any disclosure will be different depending on when the request is received. Therefore, for each request, it will be necessary to consider the harm that could result at the time of the request and, while taking into account any previous exemption applications, each case should be considered separately.
11. In all cases, before writing to the enquirer, the person given responsibility for FOI by the school governing body will need to ensure that the case has been properly considered, and that the reasons for refusal, or public Interest test refusal, are sound.
Appendix 3 Applying the Public Interest Test
1. Having established that a qualified exemption(s) definitely applies to a particular case, you must then carry out a public interest test to identify if the public interest in applying the exemption outweighs the public interest In disclosing it, Therefore, unless it is in the public interest to withhold the information, it has to be released. Although precedent and a developed case law will play a part, Individual circumstances vary and each case will need to be considered on its own merits.
Carrying out the test
2. It is worth noting that what is in the public interest is not necessarily the same as that which may be of interest to the public. It may be irrelevant that a matter may be the subject of public curiosity. In most cases it will be relatively straightforward to decide where the balance of the public interest in disclosure lies. However, there will inevitably be cases where the decision is a difficult one. Applying such a test depends to a high degree on objective judgement and a basic knowledge of the subject matter and its wider impact in the school and possibly wider. Factors that might be taken into account when weighing the public interest include:
For Disclosure against Disclosure
- Is disclosure likely to increase access to information held by the school?
- Is disclosure likely to distort public reporting or be misleading because it is Incomplete?
- Is disclosure likely to give the reasons for a decision or allow individuals to understand decisions affecting their lives or assist them in challenging those decisions?
- Is premature disclosure likely to prejudice fair scrutiny, or release sensitive issues still on the internal agenda or evolving?
- Is disclosure likely to improve the accountability and transparency of the school in the use of public funds and help to show that it obtains value for money?
- Is disclosure likely to Cause unnecessary public alarm or confusion?
- Is disclosure likely to contribute to public debate and assist the understanding of existing or proposed policy?
- Is disclosure likely to seriously jeopardise the school's legal or contractual position?
- Is disclosure likely to Increase public participation in decision-making?
- IS disclosure likely to infringe other legislation e.g. Data Protection Act?
- Is disclosure likely to increase public participation in political processes in general?
- Is disclosure likely to create a controversial precedent on the re ease Of Information or impair your ability to obtain information in the future?
- Is disclosure likely to bring to light information affecting public safety?
- Is disclosure likely to adversely affect the school's proper functioning and discourage openness in expressing opinions?
- Is disclosure likely to reduce further enquiries on the topic?
If a large amount of Information on the topic has already been made available, would further disclosure shed any more light or serve any useful purpose?
3. Note also that:
- potential or actual embarrassment to, or loss of confidence In, the school, staff or governors is NOT a valid factor
- the fact that the information is technical, complex to understand and may be misunderstood may not of itself be a reason to withhold information
- the potential harm of releasing information will reduce over time and should be considered at the time the request is made rather than by reference to when the relevant decision was originally taken
- the balance of the public interest in disclosure cannot always be decided on the basis of whether the disclosure of particular information would cause harm, but on certain higher order considerations such as the need to preserve confidentiality of internal discussions
- a decision not to release information may be perverse i.e. would a decision to withhold information because It is not in the public interest to release it, itself result In harm to public safety, the environment or a third party?
4. You will need to record the answers to these questions and the reasons for those answers. Deciding on the public interest is not simply a matter of adding up the number of relevant factors on each side. You need to decide how important each factor is 'n the circumstances and go on to make an overall assessment.
5. Where the balance of the public interest lies in disclosure, the enquiry should be dealt with and the information required should be made available. Where the factors are equally-balanced, the decision should usually favour disclosure (but see 3rd bullet point above).
Public Interest Test
6. After carrying out the public interest test if it is decided that the exemption should apply, proceed to reply to the request. There will be occasions when it has been decided that a qualified exemption applies but consideration of the public interest test may take longer. In such a case, you must contact the enquirer within 20 working days stating that a particular exemption applies, but including an estimate of the date by which a decision on the public interest test will be made. This should be within a "reasonable" time - in practice, it is recommended this decision is made and communicated within the 20 days but where rot possible it is suggested that no more than 10 working days beyond the 20 days should be allowed.
Appendix 4 Charging
Important: Different charges apply for requests under the Data Protection Act and these are in turn quite different from charging under the DPA and EIR
May I charge a fee?
FOI does not require charges to be made but schools have discretion to charge applicants a fee in accordance with the Fees Regulations (fees Regulations on the DCA website www.dca.gov.uk/foi/secleg.htm)
What steps should we take in considering whether to charge?
Step 1. Is the information exempt for the purposes of the Fol Act?
- If information is exempt, then fees do not apply. You may not know if information is exempt until it has been located and checked. However, there are many instances, for example information in your publication scheme, when it is automatically exempt. If you wish to charge for information in your publication scheme, this should be made clear in the scheme itself. The school would need to contact the enquirer to -inform them that the information is exempt, and how to obtain it,
Step 2. Do you wish to calculate whether the cost of the request would exceed the appropriate limit (currently £450)?
- In many cases, it will be obvious that the request would cost less than the appropriate limit, so there would be little point in making the calculation.
Step 3. Calculate the appropriate limit
- Staff costs are calculated at £25 per hour. When calculating whether the limit is exceeded, schools can take account of the costs of determining whether the information is held, locating and retrieving the information, and extracting the information from other documents. They cannot take account of the costs involved with considering whether information is exempt under the Act.
Step 4. Requests costing less than the limit
- If a request would cost less than the limit, schools can only charge for the cost of informing the applicant whether the information is held, and communicating the information to the applicant (e.g. photocopying, printing and postage costs)
Step 5. Requests exceeding the limit
- If a request would cost more than the limit, the school can turn the request down, answer and charge a fee, or answer and waive the fee. If you choose to comply with a request where the estimated cost exceeds the threshold you should calculate the charge as outlined in Step 3, plus the costs of informing the applicant whether the information is held, and communicating the information to them (eg. printing and postage costs)
Step 6. For all requests, schools should have regard to the following two points:
- The duty to provide advice and assistance to applicants. If planning to turn down a request for cost reasons, or charge a high fee, you should contact the applicant in advance to discuss whether they would prefer the scope of the request to be modified so that, for example, it would cost less than the appropriate limit.
May I aggregate the costs where there are multiple requests?
Where two or more requests are made to the school by different people who appear to be acting together or as part of a campaign the estimated cost of complying with any of the requests is to be taken to be the estimated total cost of complying with them all provided that:
- the two or more requests referred to in that section are for information which Is on the same subject matter or is otherwise related;
- the last of the requests is received by the school before the twentieth working day following the date of receipt of the first of the requests; and
- it appears to the school that the requests have been made in an attempt to ensure that the prescribed costs of complying separately with each request would not exceed the appropriate limit.
If you get multiple requests for the same information, It good practice to include the information in your publication scheme.
How do I inform the applicant of the fee?
- Where you intend to charge a fee for complying with a request for information then the school must give the person requesting the information notice in writing (the "fees notice") stating that a fee of the amount specified in the notice is to be charged for complying.
- Where a fees notice has been given to the person making the request, you do not need to comply with the request unless the fee is paid within three months of the notice being received.
Appendix 5 Standard Letters
1. To inform the enquirer the school does not hold the requested information.
Thank you for your request for information received on ...
We have conducted a thorough search of our records and unfortunately we are unable to locate the information you requested. This may be because the school has never held this information or that the information -s older than the statutory requirements for retention and has been legally destroyed in accordance with our retention schedules.
If you have any comments relating to how your request has been handed by our school, please contact (Name and address of contact for complaints procedure)
2. To inform the enquirer you are transferring the request to another public body
Thank you for your request for information, received on xxx. To the best of our knowledge the requested information is not held within the school, However, we believe that (Name and address of Organisation» may hold the information you require,
If you have any comments relating to how your request has been handled by our school, please contact (Name and address of contact for complaints procedure)
3. To seek clarification of a request
Thank you for your request for information received on ... . From the Information described, we have been unable to identify the information you require,
Could you please give us more information relating to: include specific information you require, try to ensure that terms that may be unfamiliar to the requestor are explained
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires that we deal with requests such as this within 20 working days. We are not required to include any time whilst waiting for clarification of a request. We will endeavour to proceed with your request as soon as you supply the information required. If we have not received a reply within three months we will treat this request as cancelled.
If you have any comments relating to how your request has been handled by our school, please contact (name and address of contact for complaints
4. To inform the enquirer that the Information they want is already publicly available
Thank you for your request for information, received on...
The information which you requested is already available to the public via our school publication scheme, which is available from the school office or on our website (website address).
If you have any comments relating to how your request has been handled by our school please contact (Name and address of contact for complaints procedure)
5. To inform an enquirer of any charges to be made for complying with their request
Thank you for your request for information received on . It is estimated that the time to find this information will be hours. The cost of this search will exceed the statutory ceiling of £450.00 for free searching time allowed under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (The Freedom Of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004),
To proceed with your request we will require a fee Of -(supply details of local address and payment details). We will continue with the search on receipt of payment, however if we have not received a reply within three months We Will cancel the request.
Altering the request by narrowing it down may mean that the fee may be lessened or not charged at all. Please contact us again you can narrow down your request, for instance we may be able to provide you with information on
If you have any comments relating to how your request has been handled by our school, please contact (Name and address of contact for complaints procedure).
1.1 Poltair School is dedicated to raising aspirations and recognising the potential of all pupils in our community.
2.1 At Poltair School, we recognise that pupils are individuals with their own gifts and talents, strengths and weaknesses, and unique learning needs. This range includes pupils who are more able intellectually than others and those who are particularly talented in certain specific areas of ability.
2.2 We believe that every pupil has the right to be included in a broad, balanced and a relevant curriculum. Also, that every pupil is entitled to have the opportunity to be involved in an education appropriate to their needs, which challenges, motivates and rewards them, enabling them to fulfil their individual potential.
3.1 To create an achievement culture at Poltair School which celebrates both effort and achievement in a wide range of areas.
3.2 To identify pupils achieving at a level beyond their peers, and to make appropriate provision which stretches them in areas of strength and develops them in areas of relative weakness.
3.3 To identify pupils with the potential to perform at a level beyond their peers, and to make appropriate provision which stretches them in areas of strength and develops them in areas of relative weakness.
3.4 To develop schemes of work in all curriculum areas to ensure that we implement a wide variety of learning opportunities with differentiated activities, through extension within the curriculum and through enrichment/study support beyond it.
3.5 To support and make more effective the transition of more able children from primary schools.
3.6 To increase the number of pupils scoring Level 7+ at KS3 and 3+ GCSE's or equivalent at A*/A (as appropriate)
How We Define Gifted And Talented Pupils At Poltair
4.1 A 'gifted' pupil at Poltair School has the capability to excel in one or more of the academic subjects such English or History.
4.2 A 'talented' pupil at Poltair School is exceptional in areas requiring visio-spacial skills or practical skills, such as PE, Drama or Art.
5.1 Identification of Gifted and Talented pupils at Poltair School will be an on-going process aided by assessment (both formative and summative), and by provision.
5.2 We will identify our Gifted and Talented pupils by a variety means:
- Quantitative data - including CAT scores, SAT scores, results of in-class/teacher assessment, information from previous schools.
- Qualitative information - staff assessment and nomination, pupil, peer and parent/carer nomination, scrutiny of pupils' work.
- Rate of progress including value-added data and reference to prior attainment/achievement.
5.3 The identified cohort will reflect the school's social and economic composition, gender and ethnicity.
6.1 Each department has its own 'subject specific checklist' which states the characteristics and abilities of gifted and/or talented pupils in their curriculum area.
6.2 In addition each department will write its own policy on how it will provide for Gifted and Talented pupils.
6.3 At Poltair, we aim to provide effective provision in a variety of ways:
6.4 Within the Classroom
- varied and flexible pupil grouping
- withdrawal of very able children for higher level work within small groups
- enabling pupils to be involved in assessment for learning to evaluate their own work
- setting clear and challenging targets
- differentiated/extension activities which has challenging resources and higher order questions
- differentiated homework
6.5 Enrichment and Study Support
- a wide range of extra-curricular activities and challenges
- Opportunities for artistic, musical, dramatic and sporting development
- Enrichment opportunities within and beyond the core subjects
- Visits, experts, master-classes
- Summer Schools
- Appropriate pastoral care and counselling, including learning mentors
- Early entry into exams
- Providing pupils with faster pace learning by moving them out of their peer group with older pupils
Roles And Responsibilities
- Have a special responsibility for ensuring that all pupil needs are met and that no minority needs are overlooked.
- They set the strategy within which policy is shaped and ensure that its implementation is monitored and evaluated.
7.2 Head teacher and Senior Managers
- Will show commitment and support for gifted and talented learnersv
- Overall policy setting
- The depth and breadth of the curriculum
- Whole-school assessment and monitoring systems
- Leading/facilitating staff in their provision for the more able
7.3 Gifted and Talented Lead Teacher
- Monitoring and implementation of the agreed policy
- Audit, Plan and review the policy
- Compiling and maintaining an up-to date register of the more able
- Coordinating the provision for children on the register
- Developing expertise in this area
- Sharing expertise with other staff
- Supporting and monitoring curriculum planning which ensures differentiated provision
- Purchasing and organizing resources to facilitate the teaching and managing the budget
7.4 Section Heads
- To develop Departmental Policy, within the framework of the whole school policy, for inclusion in Departmental Handbooks and Schemes of Work
- To establish a standardised system and criteria for identifying more able pupils and ensure that they are adhered to by all members of the Department
- To liaise with YTM and GLT over the list of more able and ensure that they are kept informed of changes/amendments
- To monitor the achievement/attainment of more able pupils to check they are on target
- To ensure that Departmental Schemes of work and Lesson Plans show differentiation to cater for the varying levels of ability within each class and promote a variety of teaching and learning styles
- Collecting examples of exceptional work
- Monitoring the provision of the more able in their subject
- To allow departmental time to discuss new ideas, share materials, develop teaching strategies and extension activities and develop links with other curriculum areas
7.5 Year Team Managers
- To develop Pastoral Policy, within the framework of the whole-school policy.
- To liaise with Section Heads and GLT over the list of more able pupils and ensure that Tutors are kept informed of changes/amendments
- To monitor the achievement/attainment of more able students, in conjunction with Tutors to check that they are on target in all identified areas in the curriculum
- To liaise with parents, in conjunction with Tutors over any concerns about underachievement
7.6 Class Teacher
- Identifying more able in their class
- Setting appropriate targets for the more able in their class
- Ensuring appropriate provision through differentiated planning
- Using appropriate resources to challenge the more able
- Monitoring the performance of the more able
7.7 Parents and Carers
- Involve parents in discussions about homework, study support and provision
Monitoring And Evaluation
8.1 This policy and its effectiveness will be reviewed by the Head teacher, the Gifted and Talented Lead Teacher, Line Manager for Gifted and Talented and the Governing Body.
1. Our Vision
Our vision is to provide a stimulating and challenging environment where all students are supported and encouraged to achieve to the best of their abilities. It is our belief that teaching should inspire and enthuse students allowing them to effectively engage in their own learning. It should develop knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes needed for students to thrive throughout life, including literacy, numeracy and employability skills.
Learning should be personalised, taking in to account a wide range of information about students to ensure that all, irrespective of their ability, make good progress, achieve and actively participate in their learning. At every opportunity, parents and carers should be engaged and involved in their children’s learning and progress.
As part of the school’s drive in ‘Getting to Great’ only teaching that is classified as good is good enough. Our ambition is to ensure that students’ learning experiences are consistently good with an increasing proportion that is outstanding. This is created through active, challenging and engaging learning activities within the classroom and enrichment opportunities outside of the classroom.
Aims of the Policy
At Poltair School we seek to provide the following learning experiences:
- A stimulating environment which is equally nurturing and challenging for both students and staff
- Develop knowledge, skills and leadership necessary to enable students to achieve their full potential and to lead fulfilling and independent lives
- Provide a range of learning experiences which will encourage confidence, self-worth and resilience
- Ensure that students leave with the necessary skills to prepare them for further education, employment or training
- Innovate, refine and share best practice in learning and teaching, encourage and promote collaborative learning between staff and students
- Provide bespoke staff CPD to ensure that all teaching is at least good and that much is outstanding
- Optimise the use of technology to inform and enhance learning
- Continue to develop strong relationships with families to maximise the achievement of our students
2. Poltair Learning Experience
In lessons at Poltair School students are given the opportunity to:
- Work individually, in groups and as a class;
- Make decisions and take responsibility for their learning;
- Work co-operatively with peers and teachers;
- Work independently and think for themselves, developing resilience;
- Be creative;
- Solve problems;
- Create extended pieces of writing;
- Engage in extended tasks;
- Experience different styles of learning;
- Engage in peer and self-assessment;
- Make progress that is at least good;
Long Term (Annual Planning)
Curriculum leaders are responsible for the implementation of long term plans. Long term plans are shared with all faculty staff and line managers. They reflect both the National Curriculum and adopted examination specifications in a subject area.
Medium term plans
Schemes of Work (SOW) are differentiated in order to meet the needs of all students; they indicate challenge for more able, SEND differentiation, literacy, numeracy and ICT opportunities. Currently SOWs are being reviewed to take into account ‘assessment without levels’ – Please see assessment policy’. All faculty staff are responsible for ensuring that all SOW are robust and meet the needs of all students. Curriculum leaders and line mangers are responsible for monitoring the quality of Schemes of work (SOWs). Reviews are completed annually to ensure SOWs meet the needs of students and reflect changes to specifications.
Short term planning
Lesson plan proformas are available in the teacher shared area; however, the 5 minute lesson plan is currently used by some staff. Blooms Taxonomy is used in setting learning objectives that create challenge and provide a structure for developing higher order thinking activities. See Appendix 1. It is the expectation that all individual lessons have a short term plan.
Assessment information should be used by all teachers to plan differentiated learning activities, this is evident in teacher planning documents (teacher planner / folders). If Teaching Assistant support is assigned to a lesson / group of students then they should also be involved in the planning to meet the needs of students. Teaching assistants should have a sound understanding of their role within the lesson. For known absence, teachers complete a lesson plan which provides guidance on the sequence of tasks that all students must complete.
Literacy is central to students’ ability to communicate and succeed, both academically and in wider-life. Literacy underpins the whole school curriculum by developing students’ abilities to speak, listen, read and write for a wide range of purposes and audiences, using language to communicate, to learn, to think, to explore and to organise.
All teachers are teachers of literacy and, as such, teachers should provide a range of opportunities to develop students’ Literacy skills, such as:
- Employing questioning techniques which require students to provide developed and articulate verbal responses
- Use the literacy focus tip to support specific dialogue with students
- Use the cross-curricular approach to marking extended writing which is designed to encourage students to appreciate the importance of written accuracy
- Pre-teach subject specific terminology, and the correct spelling of it, to support student accuracy
- Allow students to explore verbally ideas using terminology and formal tone
- Teacher to always model appropriate and accurate verbal and written communication within classroom
- More able extension tasks that aid development of higher order thinking skills
2.3 Numeracy (see numeracy policy)
Poltair School is committed to raising the standards of numeracy of all of its students, so that they develop the ability to use numeracy skills effectively in all areas of the curriculum and the skills necessary to cope confidently with the demands of further education, employment and adult life.
- Ensure that they are familiar with correct mathematical language, notation, conventions and techniques, relating to their own subject, and encourage students to use these correctly.
- Be aware of appropriate expectations of students and difficulties that might be experienced with numeracy skills.
- Provide information for mathematics teachers on the stage at which specific numeracy skills will be required for particular groups.
- Provide resources for mathematics teachers to enable them to use examples of applications of numeracy relating to other subjects in mathematics lessons.
2.4 Use of Technology
Poltair School is committed to raising standards. In order to achieve this we are always seeking to transform learning. We strongly believe that the use of new communication technology can accelerate learning and achievement by empowering teachers, students and parents. Through the use of resources such as iPads, and other handheld electronic devices, teachers and students have access to a wide range of tools and applications to enhance their learning.
Through the use of Computers, iPads and other handheld technology we aim to:
- Empower students by encouraging creativity, problem-solving and independence in their learning
- Bring students into closer partnership with teachers in the development of learning pathways and learning materials
- Systematically share learning materials with students and parents in order to empower their support for learning anytime, anywhere
3. Classroom Management
It is the teacher’s responsibility to ensure that the learning environment will be created to facilitate high challenge and differentiation.
Within Poltair School lessons typically include:
- Teacher meet and greet: students line up outside the classroom
- Once students have entered the learning space they are expected to stand at their learning place and place their equipment (pen, pencil, ruler, rubber and planner) on their desk. They must remain standing until the teacher has established a positive learning environment. The teacher will then greet the class before inviting them to take their seats.
- Seating plans are created by the teacher, based on ‘grouping for purpose’- seating plans are available during monitoring and evaluation activities
- A register is always be taken within the first 5 minutes of the lesson. Any missing pupils should be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Differentiated learning objectives and success criteria are shared with all students
- Appropriate engaging and challenging activities will be skill and knowledge focused; students can articulate their learning
- Teachers skillfully question students to assess the learning that is taking place (Appendix 2 Questioning strategies)
- Resources are differentiated to suit students’ learning styles and needs. Teachers are aware of students’ needs and the students in their class who belong to groups such as Pupil Premium, More able and SEND
- Modelling – either by teacher or lead learners
- Positive reinforcement and use of rewards (Vivos) to provide encouragement and strengthen self confidence
- Poltair sanctions that reduce confrontations and keep learning and progress at a high pace. It is important that the sanctions are used sequentially and shared privately with students (refer to the behaviour policy)
- Planned use of a mobile phone – that relates to the learning objectives
- Plenaries allow for the teacher to assess the progress and for students to reflect on their learning
- DIT (dedicated improvement time) is used for students to reflect and respond to feedback given – high quality feedback can evidence progress over time (Appendix 3 feedback policy & Appendix 4 exemplar work)
- Extended learning opportunities that allow students to explore, deepen their learning
- Orderly exit, teacher reinforces expectations
4. Responsibilities for Learning and Teaching
All teachers must deliver at least consistently good lessons.
Teachers are responsible for the academic progress of students in their classes. This is achieved by:
- Excellent subject knowledge, sound understanding of examination specifications, including external assessments, and understanding of relevant educational initiatives
- Accurate self-evaluation of their own teaching, and an ongoing commitment to their professional development
- Monitoring student progress to ensure they achieve well against prior achievement and internal / external targets, this can be evidenced in work scrutiny, student voice and data analysis
- Using assessment data to plan lessons, to ensure all students progress in their learning, regardless of their starting point
- Effective use of lesson time to ensure pace and challenge,
- Adopting agreed classroom management routines to ensure consistency, creativity and challenge for all
- Having high expectations of students, their work, contribution, behaviour and manners
- A commitment to the aspirations and vision of the school
- Engage in collaborative Triad work: support and challenge each other, research strategies, take risks in their teaching to promote creativity and challenge
- Leading and being responsible for their own professional development, reflecting on the quality and the impact of development on their teaching and student outcomes
- Timely communication with parents such as rewards, parental information evenings, termly assessment progress trackers
- Creating a positive behaviour for learning climate (see behaviour policy), teachers encourage students to ask questions and take risks in their learning
All teachers are provided with a bespoke teacher planner, there is also a Poltair lesson plan model which staff may use to support their planning.
During a professional development review, teachers may be recommended for Pay Progression as a result of students making outstanding progress.
4.2 Support Staff
All support staff who work directly with students, supporting their learning and progress are responsible ensuring progress is made through the intervention being put in place. This responsibility is shared with the teacher or member of staff working with them. As such they should:#
- Work collaboratively with the teacher in identifying the students who need additional support and/or intervention
- Work pro-actively in supporting the differentiation for the student
- Ensure that they are measuring the impact of the intervention that they are putting in place using Provision Map Writer tool
- Communicate with teachers and parents, where appropriate, on the learning and progress of students in their intervention
- Interventions can be classroom based, one to one or small group extraction work
Continuing Professional Development
Poltair School is committed to fostering a positive ethos of continuous learning. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the means by which we are able to motivate and develop our own staff community. This development takes place at a number of levels: individual, team, whole school and through wider local, national and international networks. It is the responsibility of all staff to take ownership of their CPD.
All staff have regular opportunities to discuss development needs and professional aspirations, this will take place during professional development target setting and reviews, during faculty meetings and during Triad collaborative work.
The focus of CPD will be on improving standards and the quality of learning and teaching. The school will ensure that mechanisms are in place to disseminate good practice in CPD that supports and improves learning and teaching. Amongst others, these opportunities could take the form of: Best Practice Briefings; Use of IRIS technology; online blogging; use of Twitter and Visits to other educational establishments.
Wherever possible, Poltair School will support professional recognition, including accreditation of the CPD undertaken.
There is an expectation that, wherever possible, any CPD undertaken is shared with colleagues across the school to maximise the impact and value for money.
The impact of CPD on Learning and Teaching, across the school, will be assessed and evaluated, reports are shared annually to the Governing Body.
4.3 Teacher Action Plans
Classroom teachers who have been identified as ‘Requires Improvement’ will be supported by the implementation of a Teacher Action Plan (TAP). (Appendix 5)
The 9 week programme is designed to aid planning for progress. For many the quality of short term planning, pace and challenge are key to delivering consistently good lessons. In discussion with their curriculum leader, teachers should identify key foci, every 2 weeks, teachers reflect on their planning and bring along evidence to their line manager to discuss the impact of planning on student progress.
The plan will be reviewed during and after 9 weeks by the Curriculum leader: however it is the responsibility of the teacher to take ownership of their plan in order to demonstrate progress against identified areas taken from the Teacher Standards.
Staff are expected to engage fully with the action plan, for teachers who make inadequate progress or fail to engage receive a letter from the Governing body outlining expectations.
4.4 Curriculum Leaders
Curriculum leaders are responsible for teaching within their curriculum areas, evaluating its quality and students’ progress in line with expectations. They are relentless in improving the quality of teaching within their curriculum area.
This is achieved by:
- Evaluating the teaching of their subject, the planning of lessons and the accuracy of assessment to ensure curriculum coverage,
- Sharing outstanding practice and leading improvement
- Establishing and implementing clear policies and practices for assessing, recording and reporting on pupil progress and setting targets for further improvement;
- Analysing and interpreting data on students’ performance to ensure continuous improvement
- Monitoring and evaluating the quality of teaching as indicated on the school calendar, during each half term leaders are responsible for evaluating: work scrutiny, the quality of short term planning, learning walks and student voice
- Line managing their team effectively, observing regularly and giving clear and constructive feedback as part of the school’s Professional Development policy
- Planning departmental development time to centre on learning and teaching developments, ensuring that collaborative planning is used effectively to raise aspirations and be inspirational
- Creating and evaluating their department’s teaching and learning targets, in line with the School Improvement Plan
- Leading and reviewing the Teacher Action Plans (TAP) for identified ‘Requires Improvement’ teachers within their curriculum area
- Providing a comprehensive training and support programme for NQTs and trainee teachers (SCITT)
- Planning and facilitating Governors’ monitoring visits
4.5 Senior Leadership Team
The Senior Leadership Team sets school priorities and targets for improvement and tracks the progress of these. Monitoring and evaluation takes place through progress check reviews, observations of teaching and learning, including focused learning walks and work scrutiny.
This is achieved by:
- Structured conversations during line management meetings which have significant focus on improving the quality of teaching within the curriculum area (see Appendix 6)
- RAG rating the departmental self-evaluation documents and identifying termly priorities
- Monitoring the quality of planning and teaching within their line management area, holding the curriculum leader to account for swift and timely actions to improve the quality of teaching
- Providing a structured programme of CPD and evaluating the impact on student progress and learning over time
- Implementing the Teacher Action Plans across the school – evaluating the impact of the plans and providing clear next steps in order to significantly reduce ‘Requires Improvement’ teaching
- Implementing a collaborative Triad programme across the school where teachers can explore and improve aspects of their teaching in a supportive yet mutually challenging environment (See Appendix 7)
- Create a vision for learning and teaching within Poltair School, set targets for improvement within the School Improvement Plan and monitor the impact against the agreed milestone
- Liaise with link Governor
4.6 Expectations of Poltair School Students
We want our students to be successful learners and achieve to the best of their capabilities, in Poltair School we endeavour to ensure that all students:
- Feel safe, valued and part of the school community
- Are rewarded for their effort and outstanding behaviour (see behaviour policy)
- Persevere, even when finding the work challenging or difficult
- Have a positive attitude to and enjoy learning
- Take responsibility for their own learning and respect the contribution of their peers
- Are aware of and meet the expectations upon them, they have opportunity to engage in student voice activities with teachers, teaching assistants and governors
- Are imaginative, creative, innovative and enterprising, they have the confidence to ask questions, and take risks
- Work independently and collaboratively
- Understand how they learn and how to move on to the next step of learning
See Appendix 8 for exemplar teaching strategies that can be used to develop challenge and engagement in our lessons
5. Coaching and Outstanding Practitioners
Coaching is a form of collaborative CPD and is used within professional learning and development within Poltair School. Outstanding practitioners have received training in coaching and are currently dispersed throughout Triad groups and also supporting ‘Requires Improvement’ teaching.
- Provide peer to peer support and challenge on aspects of ‘identified requires improvement’ teaching
- Share teaching strategies that engage and challenge students
- Develop an interactive video technology coaching tool ‘IRIS’ that enable teachers to reflect on their teaching strategies and identify areas for development and possible CPD
- Lead on action based research projects
- Engage in collaborative planning to secure consistency and challenge
- Support and lead training for NQTs, SCITT, Non-specialist teachers
6. Collaboration with Parents in Terms of Learning and Teaching
Parents/ carers are encouraged to support their child’s learning by:
- Ensuring regular attendance (at least 95% of the time)
- Encouraging punctuality
- Sharing with teaching staff any problems / issues that their child may encounter at school or home which may affect their behaviour or progress
- Supporting their child by becoming actively involved in any Special Educational Needs processes
- Attending parental information evenings, revision workshop evenings, Raising achievement and progress mentoring meetings and attendance meetings
- Completing parent feedback forms or parent view, so that teachers, leaders and governors improve provision and communication
Teachers inform parents about what and how their children are learning by:
- Making early and proactive communication with parents if there are any concerns
- Contacting parents to inform of notable successes
- Holding parent information evenings to provide information about their child’s attainment;
- Sending information to parents at the start of each term in which the topics that students will be studying are outlined
- Sending annual reports to parents in which we explain the progress made by each child and indicate how the child can improve further.
- Releasing Termly Tracker Reports that outline achievement and progress in all subjects.
- Sharing set homework using ‘show my homework’ link on the Poltair School website
7. The Role of Governors
The Governors work with Senior and Middle leaders to ensure that learning and teaching in Poltair School continues to improve and is at least good. They provide leadership challenge and strategic direction by:
- Evaluating the quality of the school improvement plan, they receive evaluative termly reports and ask challenging questions to leaders to ensure that leaders’ actions are having positive impacts on student outcomes
- Monitoring the implementation of the teaching policy, a learning and teaching subcommittee meet termly to review the impact of the policy on the quality of teaching across Poltair school
- Knowing the overall quality of teaching across the school, they assess the rigour of teacher action plans and challenge leaders in their monitoring of requires improvement teaching
- Identifying a ‘link governor’, who challenges and monitors the quality of teaching and achievement within a curriculum area, they engage in learning walks, student voice and exam analysis reviews. Link governors know the areas of strength and areas for development within their linked curriculum area, they monitor departmental self-evaluations and challenge middle leader judgements
- Actively participating in Poltair’s recruitment processes to ensure high quality appointments
- Seeking the viewpoints from all stakeholders: parents, students and staff
- Challenging the attainment and progress data of all year groups, they hold leaders to account for the performance of all groups of students; including SEND students, Pupil Premium students, More able students and Children in care
- Attending Governor CPD events to ensure they are informed of national and local standards, they adopt a ‘no excuse’ culture
- Ensuring that the budget is providing value for money in terms of learning resources and staffing
The following Health and Safety Policy has been formally adopted by the School's Governing body and should accompany and compliment that of the LA. This policy conforms to the legal framework set out in four key acts of parliament. However, this policy is not definitive and as such should not be taken as an authoritative interpretation of the law:
- The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSW Act) gave employers a legal duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of their employees at work. It also required all staff, including supply staff and contractors working on the School premises, to conduct themselves in a manner in which they pose no risk to their own or any other person's Health and Safety. 'Other persons' includes staff, pupils, and visitors to the School.
- The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992 required employers to assess the risks to employees and to make arrangements for their health and safety by effective:
- monitoring and review.
- The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR) required employers to notify their enforcing authority in the event of an accident at work to any employee resulting in death, major injury or incapacity for normal work for three or more days. N.B. This includes an act of non-consensual physical violence done to a person at work.
- The Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 (a) and The Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996 (b)required employers to inform, and consult with, employees in good time on matters relating to their Health and Safety. Employee representatives, either appointed by recognised trade unions under (a) or elected under (b) may make representations to their employer on matters affecting the health and safety of those they represent.
1.1 PSHE is not an academic subject which students are studying for qualifications but it is hoped that we are providing skills and knowledge which will be relevant to the student's future.
1.2 The delivery of PSHE should be balanced and non-judgemental as well as being challenging.
1.3 It should occur within a mutually respectful classroom environment. To facilitate this, Ground Rules should be negotiated with each class at the beginning of each year and these should be recorded in the student's books, and revisited when relevant.
1.4 Rules need to include the following ideas:
- Positive attitudes towards the opinions of others
- Encouraging each other
- Respect for others
- Respect for confidences (See suggested rules)
2.1 Provide knowledge about the biological, emotional and social aspects of human development and to foster the kind of understanding necessary for leading a healthy and responsible life.
2.2 Develop decision-making skills about behaviour and care about behaviour, which are essential to maintain physical and mental well-being in a changing society.
2.3 To help pupils feel responsible for their own behaviour and care about the effect of their behaviour on others.
2.4 To develop an understanding of inter-personal relationships and the skills to manage relationships with others.
2.5 To develop respect for individual rights and moral values.
2.6 To present balanced and factual information about a range of issues relating to our pupil's lives.
Main Components Of PSHE
3.1 Health education
3.2 Sex and relationships education
3.3 Drugs education
3.4 Environmental education
4.1 The PSHE course is responsible for the delivery of a substantive amount of the School's health education, but this also occurs in other subject areas such as technology, physical education and science. Pupils are encouraged to think about, and take responsibility for, issues relating to their own mental and physical health.
4.2 Sex and Relationships Education and Drugs Education form a considerable part of the Health Education Programme and staff teaching these areas must be well informed of the issues inherent in the delivery of such sensitive areas.
5.1 The Sex Education Policy carefully details the thinking behind the delivery of this curriculum area. It must be remembered however, that there is a wide range of experience and knowledge of this particular subject among our pupils.
5.2 It is naive to believe that under 16 year olds are not sexually active, but perhaps a greater mistake to assume that the majority are. Despite apparent streetwise attitudes and knowledge of vocabulary there is a lack of in-depth understanding.
5.3 The Scheme of Work is a guide for the PSHE teacher, and following it will help to ensure consistency. Where the teacher feels that a particular group should proceed more quickly through this in order to be teaching at a more appropriate level, this is perfectly acceptable, providing that the lesson content suggested fits the policy, and that a record is kept of this.
5.4 The PSHE co-ordinator should take responsibility for the distribution of letters to parents regarding their right to withdrawal of their children from Sex Education lessons. Where a parent exercises this right the PSHE Co-ordinator will contact the parents to ascertain their reasons. This letter will also be sent to parents of new pupils in any year, and the procedure above followed.
6.1 The PSHE team is responsible for the delivery of the Drugs Education Programme. The content, values and attitudes implicit in the course are clearly stated in the Drugs Education Policy and Scheme of Work. These have been reviewed and revised with the help of representatives of the Health Promotion team and Freshfield and are regularly revised and updated.
Substance Incidents Policy
7.1This is the responsibility of the governing body and outlines the school's attitude towards substance use. It can be usefully used to raise student awareness of issues relating to substance misuse in school.
8.1 The environment unit forms part of the Year 8 PSHE programme. It covers care of the environment and its resources, with particular emphasis on pollution, litter, vandalism and conservation. Pupils are encouraged to think about and recognise threats to the environment, and what they as individuals can do to promote and encourage conservation. The course aims to develop pupil's ability to think for themselves and to give careful consideration to their own point of view as well as that of society at large.
9.1 In Poltair, Citizenship is delivered through all subjects with a substantial part of this being covered in PSHE. PSHE teachers deliver an introductory unit in year 7 and PSHE lessons will be used for assessment during Key Stage 3.
10.1While following a programme of study which focuses on content it must be remembered that the skills we hope to encourage are equally important and must be considered in the planning of all lessons.
11.1 A wide variety of teaching methods should be used with each group and it is the responsibility of each PSHE teacher to decide which methods are most appropriate for an individual lesson.
Teaching And Learning
12.1 All lessons should follow the appropriate Scheme of Work and should be structured to meet the needs of the class. Lessons should be challenging and stimulating.
12.2Differentiation is the responsibility of the class teacher, but Co-ordinators are able to support, where necessary, colleagues seeking support with lesson content, teaching materials and activities set.
12.3 Pupils use a PSHE book to work on assignments, evaluate learning, and to record personal information and feelings should they so wish. Pupils must be made aware that this is not assessed work and they should be open and honest in their work.
14.1 A prescribed programme of assessment is to be introduced which will include both formal assessments and self-assessment. It is hoped that a combination of both methods will allow us to accurately evaluate the acquisition of both knowledge and skills. For each area of work followed in each year an assessment is provided. The formal tests are to be marked and results recorded and all assessments are to be retained by the teacher. Should the assessments indicate a need for remedial action, this should be undertaken by the class teacher at the earliest possible opportunity and the co-ordinator should be informed.
14.2 Formal marking of each piece of work is not in keeping with the ethos of PSHE.
15.1 When possible, meetings of the PSHE team or year group teams provide opportunities to reflect on teaching and content, and to share feedback from students.
15.2 Tutors are informed of the content of the PSHE programme in order that they can lead discussion relating to PSHE when appropriate. Any feedback is noted and passed on to the Co-ordinator. This may lead to a year team-based response led by the YTM, or to a response from the PSHE team.
15.3 Opportunity is given to the students to respond freely on PSHE issues. The PSHE team will invite responses from students at end of year lessons by leading a structured discussion which invites criticism about the content, delivery, teaching style, resources etc of the work undertaken in that year. Again feedback is recorded and discussed at the end of year review meeting, with a view to informing and developing the current course. Policies relating to PSHE will also be reviewed here, and students' marks collated. The formalised monitoring of the progression of students is not currently expected within PSHE.
16.1 The PSHE Co-ordinator checks the PSHE team's planners on a regular basis. Where possible the PSHE team will participate in classroom observation to share good practice, and to monitor work in the classroom. Lesson visits are common.
16.2 One to one meetings are frequently held between the Co-ordinator and another member of the PSHE team. These may have a staff development, planning or monitoring role.
17.1 Informal reporting e.g. in response to a comment made by a pupil, is of enormous benefit to individuals, and is a useful tool in the building of self-awareness. Formalised reporting of individual pupils is not undertaken, but statements outlining the nature of the course are included in pupil reports, and the Record of Achievement.
18.1 Visiting speakers are invited in to PSHE lessons where it is clear that they support the aims of the course, and where specialist input in clearly of benefit to our pupils. Speakers can include Community Liaison Officer, members of the Selwood House psychiatric nursing team, Share (Cornwall youth advisory and counselling service), Brook Advisory Service.
Communication With Speakers
19.1 Parents of Y7 pupils receive a letter in the Autumn term that explains their right to withdraw their child from the non-National Curriculum areas of Sex Education, and the willingness of the school to work with parents to deliver an appropriate Sex Education Programme.
19.2 Occasional evenings have also been arranged at Poltair to promote partnership between parents and the school by discussing aspects of the PSHE curriculum, in particular the role of the school in delivering Sex and Drugs Education.
20.1 A wide range of texts, videos and other resources are available for use with specified year groups, to support the programme of study. A comprehensive resource guide is currently being developed. All resources are stored in the PSHE office in the west block and should be returned as soon as possible after use.
Use Of ICT
21.1 There is a wide range of useful web sites that compliment the work covered in PSHE lessons. Individual or group work by pupils can be completed using word processing or publishing facilities.
22.1 Ongoing staff development and training is important in a dynamic subject like PSHE where current thinking and knowledge is constantly changing. We seek to promote staff development also by the sharing of good practice among colleagues and formally timetabled meetings would help to facilitate this process.
23.1 Appraisal is carried out through faculties by line-management. PSHE is recognised as an additional responsibility of faculty members by faculty heads, and should be appraised as such. Where targets for PSHE have been identified as a result of appraisal they may be forwarded to the PSHE Co-ordinator who will support colleagues with such targets.
24.1 The co-ordinator of PSHE is the SEN representative.
25.1 This is not normally set in PSHE lessons, however, tasks may be occasionally set for completion at home.
Use Of Teaching Assistants
26.1Teaching Assistants are deployed as teaching staff consider appropriate. Clear instructions are essential if such support is to be maximised. Many pupils, and particularly those with SEN support, may find discussion based lessons intimidating, or may find difficulties in showing sufficient self-discipline. Additional staff who know the students well are invaluable, will benefit from clear instruction, and ideally should be part of the lesson planning process.
27.1 The school should be informed at the earliest possible opportunity in accordance with procedures laid down in the Staff Handbook. Additionally, lesson plans should be communicated to the Co-ordinator of PSHE. It may, because of the nature of the lesson content, be unrealistic to expect cover staff to deliver some PSHE lesson content, and it is essential that PSHE team colleagues have alternative lesson materials available for use in emergency. A bank of suitable work is being compiled.
1.1 This policy supports the aims of the school in that it seeks to promote the welfare of all pupils and their academic achievement, regardless of their ethnic background.
1.2 This policy seeks to set out how the school will respond to incidents of racism, offering appropriate support to pupils, parents and carers within the school community.
1.3 The policy will also clarify the support given to minority ethnic members of staff.
1.4 The policy aims to meet the requirements of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000.
Statement Concerning Racism
2.1 Racism is defined by Poltair School as: "attitudes and actions directed against a person by virtue of the fact of their colour, culture and/or ethnicity in such way as to hurt another or to engage in stereotyping."
2.2 A racial incident is any incident regarded as such by the victim or anyone else. Under recent legislation it is no longer appropriate for such allegations to be dismissed because the incident is judged by the school not to be racially motivated.
2.3 The school believes that racism is wrong and it will not tolerate racist attitudes among its staff, pupils or those who visit the school. Staff, when they encounter it or when it is brought to their attention, will always challenge racist attitudes and behaviour. The school will not tolerate racist taunting or bullying and in certain cases will contact the police, especially if parents are involved.
Statement About Positive Multi-Cultural And Anti-Racist Education
3.1 The school, through its basic curriculum, seeks to recognise the multi-cultural nature of Britain in the 21st Century. The school regards a multi-cultural society as a positive feature of modern Britain, one that celebrates a rich cultural diversity. As part of the specific PSHE and National Curriculum Citizenship entitlement for all pupils there will be work focusing on living in a multi-cultural society and the need to combat racist attitudes and discrimination.
4.1 The school's Behaviour Management Policy and Anti-bullying Strategy implicitly cover racism and racist attitudes.
4.2 Class tutors will monitor minority ethnic pupils with any incidents being reported to the school's senior management immediately for appropriate action. Where it can be established that an incident had a racist element the school will ensure that it lets all concerned know that it will not tolerate racism and that it will act in accordance with its behaviour management policy.
4.3 In addition, all cases will result in the completion of a diversity discrimination reporting form and send it to the Customer Care Assistant, Room 428, Room 441, Education Department, County Hall, Truro, TR1 3AY.
Monitoring Minority Ethnic Pupils' Achievement
5.1 The school has a small number of diverse minority ethnic pupils and recognises that the group is statistically too small to make judgements about their attainment as a whole. Therefore, the school will track individual minority ethnic pupils using SATs data from KS2 and KS3 assessments to measure progress against that expected for all pupils in the school up to the end of KS3 and information about progress and attainment in GCSE and other accredited courses at KS4. Where concerns about the progress of minority ethnic pupils arise the school will seek the most appropriate intervention in consultation with parents.
5.2 Teachers will be alert to early signs of disaffection or a drop in attainment or progress. When this happens the senior management team will be alerted and an intervention will put in place to ensure that progress is resumed and attainment is at the level expected.
5.3 The school will assess all minority ethnic pupils for their proficiency in English. Where support is needed the school will contact the office of the Inspector for Special Education to seek the appropriate assistance and support.
5.4 The Headteacher will report to the Governing Body on the attainment of minority ethnic pupils putting it into the context of the needs of the individual pupils concerned at least on an annual basis.
Working With Parents
6.1 The school will take positive measures to support the parents of ethnic minority pupils.
- If the behaviour of a minority ethnic pupil changes significantly then the parents will be contacted. The personal tutor will seek to establish if the behaviour change is a result of racism, either in school or in the wider community. If there is evidence that there is racism that is effecting a behaviour change the school will act accordingly as set out in the policy above. Parents will be notified of any action taken by the school.
- Where there is a language barrier for the parents the school will contact the office of the Inspector for Special Education to solicit support.
8.1 Where the behaviour of minority ethnic pupils becomes problematic and may lead to exclusion the following steps will be taken:
- Parents will be invited to the school to discuss the issues and a strategy for inclusion will be produced.
- The Education Welfare Officer will be involved and will be asked advice on issues relating to the ethnic and cultural needs of the particular pupil and how that might impact on behaviour and behaviour management.
- It may be necessary to involve a member of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Team at an early stage to support inclusion. The school will contact the appropriate Educational Psychologist for support as deemed necessary by the Headteacher.
Minority Ethnic Teachers
9.1 The school welcomes applications from all qualified teachers irrespective of race, ethnicity, gender or sexuality for posts advertised by the governors. When teachers from ethnic minorities are appointed they will have the opportunity for minority ethnic mentoring. The Headteacher will seek the details of mentoring available in County as and when necessary by contacting the Education Partnership Manager, Education Department, County Hall, who has responsibility for diversity issues.
9.2 The Headteacher will speak to minority ethnic teachers about the issue of race as part of an annual review.
9.3 Minority ethnic teachers have the right to access the additional support mechanisms provided by Cornwall County Council (CCC) as employers and the school will provide a copy of the County Council's Combating Racism/Race Equality Policy as part of their induction as a teacher. CCC provides a confidential service through the Education Personnel Department for minority ethnic teachers who are experiencing difficulties as a result of racism and racial discrimination.
Reporting, Monitoring And Evaluation
10.1 The Headteacher will monitor the effectiveness of the policy on an annual basis. This will be done in the following ways:
- Monitoring the number of incidents with a racial element
- Monitoring the effect of any PSHE or NC Citizenship module which has had a focus on combating racism
- Talking with the parents of minority ethnic pupils to ensure they are happy with the workings of the school's policy
- Talking with minority ethnic pupils to ask them how they feel the policy is working
- Talking with minority ethnic members of staff on the workings of the policy
10.2 A report to the governors will be made annually on the effectiveness of the policy and amendments made where necessary. All policy changes will be communicated to parents.
10.3 All racially motivated incidents will be recorded and reported to the LA as they occur on Form DIV-1.
11.1 This policy will be reviewed every two years. The Governing Body will undertake the policy review as it recognises that it is its statutory responsibility and not that of the Headteacher or staff to do so
Poltair School recognises that all children, including those with special educational needs, share the right to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum. Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities may be temporary or longer-lasting in effect. The provision for SEND must, therefore, be flexible enough to respond to the notion that any student, at any time, for any length of time, may have some form of learning difficulties social and/or emotional/behaviour difficulties which are a barrier to learning. The curriculum needs to be delivered in a relevant and differentiated manner, ensuring progression and continuity for all students.
To this end the Student Services facility has been reviewed to support the co-ordination of provision for students with a Special Educational Need and/or Disability.
This policy accepts the definition of SEND as set out in the New Code of Practice p.15 and 16:
- xiii. A child or young person has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.
- xiv. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:
- has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
- has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions
1. Aims and Objectives
1.1 The Governing Body and staff do their best to ensure that the necessary provision is made for any student who has special educational needs and that those needs are made known to all who teach him or her.
1.2 The staff and governors of the school are aware of the importance of identifying, and providing for, those students who have special educational needs and disabilities.
1.3 The Headteacher, staff and governors will draw up and report annually to parents on the policy for inclusion and special educational needs. This will be based within the school offer that will be reviewed annually.
1.4 The staff ensures that students with special educational needs join in the activities of the school together with all other students, so far that it is reasonably practical and compatible with the student receiving the special educational provision necessary, the effective education of others in the school and the efficient use of resources.
1.5 Links with primary schools and other outside agencies continue to be developed in order to identify individual needs and to make the transition successful.
2. Designated SEND Team
2.1 The school's Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCo) is Mrs Tammy Brain and assistant SENDCo Mrs Julia Dunn. It is Mrs Brain’s responsibility to co-ordinate the day to day operation of the SEND Policy, with the support of Mrs Dunn.
2.2 The SEND department is made up of Behaviour Support Workers and Specialist Teaching Assistants. Their roles are defined as:
- Behaviour Support Workers: To support students in their behaviour within the learning environment so that they can access the curriculum
- Teaching Assistants: To support students with their knowledge of the specific curriculum area that they are linked to (Maths, English, Humanities, Science, Music, MFL and Design Technology).
- In addition to these roles, we also have a specialist TA for Numeracy and Literacy to support with the development of these cross-curricular skills.
3. Admission and Integration
3.1 The Governors and Staff are committed to a 'whole school approach' to special educational needs through identification of, and provision for, the needs of all of our students and their integration into all spheres of education. This is in line with Cornwall LA's policy.
3.2 The school operates an equal opportunities policy for all students.
[Please refer to our admission policy for further information.]
4. Identification, Monitoring and Assessment
The identification of students with SEND is in line with the Code of Practice and the Cornwall LA recommendations.
4.1 Early identification is part of a whole school approach. Staff make early contact with Student Services Staff (Mrs Brain and Mrs Dunn in particular) if they have any concerns about a student using the referral process. Students who may be experiencing difficulties are under three main areas:
Communication and Interaction
- Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)
- Autistic Spectrum Disorder including Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism.
Cognition and Learning
- Moderate Learning Difficulty (MLD)
- Severe Learning Difficulty (SLD)
- Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty (PMLD)
- Specific learning difficulties( SpLD)
Social, Mental and Emotional Health
- Emotional and/or Social Difficulty
- Mental Health difficulties
Sensory and/or Physical
- Visual Impairment (VI)
- Hearing Impairment (HI)
- Multi-Sensory Impairment (MSI)
- Physical Disability (PD)
4.1b Students are reviewed through data collection points each term by Mrs Tammy Brain and Mrs Julia Dunn in order to ensure an accurate Record of Need for the students’ Educational Needs. Mr Samuel Harrison is responsible for ensuring that students who have additional needs through Social Care etc. are also on the Record of Need and will review this termly, alongside his Pastoral Team.
4.2 Once a student is identified they may be placed onto the School Support List (as recognised through the New Code of Practice).
Monitoring will be completed by:
- A key worker who is assigned where necessary (this is for those students who are either on School Support Plus or who have a statement/EHCP). This is to support effective home/school relationships
- External Agencies who are linked with the student; Mrs Brain, Mrs Dunn, Mr Harrison, Head of Years or Behaviour Support Workers. They will also be monitored by the Tutor.
- For those students with a Statement or EHCP, an Annual Review will also be put in place.
The Record of Need will be updated onto SIMS, this means that staff have an accurate record of who is on the RON in their classes at all times. This is also linked to the class overview.
The updated Record of Need is also be shared with the Senior Leadership Team termly.
4.3 A combination of continuous teacher assessment and standardised tests will be used to further help monitor progress. This will be reviewed by the SENDCo, Assistant SENDCo and Assistant Headteacher for Behaviour, linking with the keyworker responsible for the student. It is also the role of the Tutor to monitor the progress of their tutees (including those on the Record of Need).
4.4 Progress is reviewed in line with the Code of Practice guidelines through formative and summative assessments. Students with statements are reviewed annually in addition to Annual Review Meetings.
5.1 Once a child's needs are identified, support will be provided in a range of ways including:
- Differentiation of teaching methods/materials, strategies for students to overcome their barriers
- In-class support by teacher/teaching assistant
- Withdrawal or enhancement time for individual or small group work
- Individual programmes to help modify behaviour
- Specialist provision for those students with hearing impairment
- Specialist provision for those students with visual impairment
- Specialist programmes for those with complex social, emotional or behavioural needs.
Some of these will be delivered through the ‘Effective Learning Centre’. This is an internal specialist provision that acts as a short term intervention that address specific and significant educational barriers.
Resources allocated to students who are not subjects of statements for special educational needs will be deployed through the pupil profile
6.1 Regular liaison is maintained with the following external agencies:
- Learning Support Service
- Psychological Service
- Social Services
- Service for the Visually Impaired
- Health Service
- School Nurse Service
- Education Welfare Officer
- Police Liaison
- Youth Service
- Child and Family Service
- Careers Service
- Out of School Education Resource Base
- Behaviour Service
- CHES – Alternative Provision
- Acorn Academies
The school maintains links with local primary schools, Further Education Colleges and Training Agencies, through the transition process in order to ensure that any information regarding the students are passed onto the relevant member of staff.
Parents are informed when an external agency becomes involved with their child in writing.
This is recorded onto SIMs and this data is provided at census to the LA.
6.2 The Student Services Team liaises with staff internally in the following ways:
- Curriculum support is enhanced by 'SEND Faculty Representatives', who are responsible for monitoring and evaluating each individual faculty's resources and teaching approaches with regard to students with learning difficulties.
- Mrs Dunn liaises with other members of staff to ensure that exam concessions are put in place, in line with requirements from JCQ, to support students with their educational needs during the exam process.
- The SENDCo attends Curriculum Leaders and Head of Year meetings.
- The use of Pupil Passports to give clear and consistent provision across subject areas.
7. Specialist Provision and Facilities
7.1 The SEND Team has a Student Services Centre to cater for students' learning needs, and operating also as a resource base for staff, students, volunteer helpers and outside agencies.
7.2 As an inclusive school we have toilet and shower facilities for those in wheelchairs, and ramps to give access to all ground floor facilities and a stair lift to give access to first floor facilities most of our buildings. The East Block does not have access to the rooms upstairs; however, computer rooms are available in other parts of the school that students can access.
8. Financial Resources
8.1 The school is allocated finance to cover :
- Ancillary hours (AHP)
- Additional teaching hours (individual teaching for children with specific learning difficulties.)
Finance has been made available to the school to support the students who are the subject of statements and EHCPs under the terms of the 1996 Education Act and SEND Code of Practise 2014.
9. Access to the Curriculum
9.1 The provision of an exciting learning environment is a priority, to arouse students interest and curiosity and to help those who need extra stimulus and encouragement to overcome their learning difficulties.
9.2 A climate of warmth and support is fostered in which self-confidence and self-esteem grows and in which all students feel valued and able to risk making mistakes as they learn without fear of criticism.
9.3 There will be flexible grouping of students so that learning needs may be met in individual, small group or whole class context.
9.4 The curriculum is differentiated to meet the needs of individual students. Teaching styles and flexible groups reflect this approach.
9.5 Schemes of work for students, within classes and year groups reflect whole school approaches to teaching and learning and take account of special educational needs.
9.6 Curriculum tasks and activities are matched to students' differing paces and styles of learning, interests, capabilities and previous experience.
9.7 Curriculum tasks and activities are broken down into a series of small and achievable steps for students who have marked learning difficulties.
9.8 Teaching approaches for children with specific learning difficulties capitalise on their oral strengths and so avoid their difficulties with written communication eg through the appropriate use of tape recorders, computers or other specialist equipment.
9.9 Where appropriate support is given to a small number of students during break times and lunch times to cater for their individual needs.
9.10 Behaviour Support Workers work alongside our students to enable them to access the curriculum, offering advice and guidance to staff on how to support students’ and their behaviour for learning.
9.11 A small group provision that supports students in developing the skills to access the mainstream environment. (Through the ELC)
9.12 For our most vulnerable learners, a small transition group that ensures that these students have significant contact with a small number of staff to support them through the transition from primary school to secondary school.
9.13 In order for students to show their ability, exam concessions are also put in place (if needed) to allow students be assessed fairly on the curriculum that they have been studying.
10. Arrangements for the Treatment of Complaints
The procedure for managing complaints is as follows :
- written contact with the Headteacher or a member of the Leadership Team/Head of Year;
- response is made at the earliest opportunity and following the collection of appropriate information;
- a meeting is arranged with the parents to discuss the complaint.
11. Staff Development
11.1 Training needs related to special educational needs will be identified by the SENDCo in consultation with the staff and will be incorporated into the staff development plan.
12. Working with Parents
12.1 The school will actively seek the involvement of parents in the education of their children. It is recognised that it is particularly important to work with the parents of children with special educational needs. The support and encouragement of parents is often the crucial factor in achieving success.(As highlighted through the New Code of Practice).
12.2 Parents will be kept informed about the problems experienced by their children in accordance with the recommendations outlined in the Code of Practice. Communication between the parent and the school will be maintained.
13. View of the Student
13.1 As stated in the New Code of Practice, the views of the student will be central to planning and implementation of interventions and activities. These will be sought through key worker meetings and annual reviews.
14. The Role of the Governor
14.1 The link Governor’s role is to challenge and support the SENDCo. This role is carried out following the structure below:
- Termly meetings with the SENDCo, with the Governor sharing key information back to the rest of the Governing Body
- The SENDCo ensures that she is available for the meetings, and will prepare key anonymised data for the meeting as requested.
- The Governor challenges the SENDCo on areas of improvement and holds the SENDCo to account, reporting to the rest of the Governing Body and the Headteacher if any concerns arise.
- The SEND Governor minutes and shares the key items with the rest of the Governing Body.
Students' medical needs may be broadly summarised as being of two types:
- Short-term, affecting their participation in school activities which they are on a course of medication.
- Long-term, potentially limiting their access to education and requiring extra care and support
Schools have a responsibility for the health and safety of students in their care. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 makes employers responsible for the health and safety of employees and anyone else on the premises. In the case of students with special medical needs, the responsibility of the employer is to make sure that safety measures cover the needs of all students at the school. This may mean making special arrangements for particular students so that they can access their full and equal entitlement to all aspects of the curriculum. In this case, individual procedures may be required. Poltair School is responsible for making sure that relevant staff know about and are, if necessary, trained to provide any additional support that students with medical conditions (long or short term) may need.
The Children and Families Act 2014 places a duty on schools to make arrangements for children with medical conditions. Students with medical conditions have the same right of admission to school as other children and cannot be refused admission or excluded from school on medical grounds alone. However, teachers and other school staff in charge of students have a common law duty to act 'in loco parentis' and must ensure the safety of all students in their care. To this end, we reserve the right to refuse admittance to a child with an infectious disease, where there may be a risk posed to others or to the health of the child involved. This duty also extends to teachers leading activities taking place off the school site.
The prime responsibility for a child's health lies with the parent/carer, who is responsible for the child's medication and must supply the school with all relevant information needed in order for proficient care to be given to the child. The school takes advice and guidance from a range of sources, including the School Nurse, Health professionals and the child's GP in addition to the information provided by parents/carers in the first instance. This enables us to ensure we assess and manage risk and minimise disruption to the learning of the child and others who may be affected (for example, class mates).
- To support students with medical conditions, so that they have full access to education, including physical education and educational visits
- To ensure that school staff involved in the care of children with medical needs are fully informed and adequately trained by a professional in order to administer support or prescribed medication
- To comply fully with the Equality Act 2010 for students who may have disabilities or special educational needs.
- To write, in association with healthcare professionals, Individual Healthcare Plans where necessary
- To respond sensitively, discreetly and quickly to situations where a child with a medical condition requires support
- To keep, monitor and review appropriate records
Poltair School provides full access to the curriculum for every child wherever possible. We believe that students with medical needs have equal entitlement and must receive necessary care and support so that they can take advantage of this. However, we also recognise that employees have rights in relation to supporting students with medical needs, as follows:
- Choose whether or not they wish to be involved
- Receive appropriate training
- Work to clear guidelines
- Bring to the attention of Senior Leadership any concern or matter relating to the support of students with medical conditions
It is expected that:
- Parents/carers will inform school of any medical condition which affects their child.
- Parents/carers will supply school with appropriately prescribed medication, where the dosage information and regime is clearly printed by a pharmacy on the container
- Parents/carers will ensure that medicines to be given in school are in date and clearly labelled
- Parents/carers will co-operate in training their children to self-administer medicine if this is appropriate, and that staff members will only be involved if this is not possible
- Medical professionals involved in the care of children with medical needs will fully inform staff beforehand of the child's condition, its management and implications for the school life of that individual
- Poltair School will ensure that, where appropriate, children are involved in discussing the management and administration of their medicines and are able to access and administer their medicine if this is part of their Individual Healthcare plan (for example, an inhaler)
- School staff will liaise as necessary with Healthcare professionals and services in order to access the most up-to-date advice about a student's medical needs and will seek support and training in the interests of the student
- Transitional arrangements between schools will be completed in such a way that Poltair School will ensure full disclosure of relevant medical information, Healthcare plans and support needed in good time for the child's receiving school to adequately prepare
- Individual Healthcare plans will be written, monitored and reviewed regularly and will include the views and wishes of the child and parent in addition to the advice of relevant medical professionals.
The Governing Body of Poltair School ensures that an appropriate level of insurance is in place and reflects the level of risk presented by children with medical conditions, including Health and Safety and Employment support.
Children with serious medical conditions will have their photo and brief description of condition, along with any other necessary information, in the staffroom. Children with medical conditions which may require emergency attention, e.g. epilepsy, diabetes, will have an Individual Healthcare Plan and all adults dealing with the child will have their attention drawn to this information. All other medical conditions will be noted from children's SIMs records and this information will be provided to teachers annually.
In an emergency
In a medical emergency, first aiders have been appropriately trained to administer emergency paediatric first aid if necessary and will be asked to attend.
If an ambulance needs to be called, staff will:
- Outline the full condition and how it occurred
- Give details regarding the child's date of birth, address, parents'/carers' names and any known medical conditions.
Children will be accompanied to hospital by a member of staff if this is deemed appropriate. Staff cars should not be used for this purpose. Parents/carers must always be called in a medical emergency, but do not need to be present for a child to be taken to hospital.
Administration of medicines
Only essential medicines will be administered during the school day. These will be only those prescribed by a doctor. Parents/carers must submit a written permission slip before any medicine is administered. Medicines to be given during the school day must be in their original container. Controlled drugs can also be administered, subject to all other conditions as described in the Policy.
Essential medicines will be administered on Educational Visits, subject to the conditions above. A risk assessment may be needed before the visit takes place. Staff supervising the visit will be responsible for safe storage and administration of the medicine during the visit.
Before administering any medicine, staff must check that the medicine belongs to the child, must check that the dosage they are giving is correct, and that written permission has been given. Any child refusing to take medicine in school will not be made to do so, and parents/carers will be informed about the dose being missed. All doses administered will be recorded in a Administration of Medicines book.
All medicines will be stored safely. Medicines needing refrigeration will be stored in the fridge in the First Aid room. Some medicines (inhalers, etc) will be carried with the children, for ease of access during outside activities. All medicines must be clearly labelled.
Controlled drugs or prescribed medicines will be kept in the locked cabinet in the First Aid room. Access to these medicines is restricted to the named persons. Epi-pens are kept in locked cupboards in the First Aid room. In the case of Epi-Pens all First Aid staff have access to the key which is clearly labelled and accessible.
Staff will record any doses of medicines given in the Medicine book. Children self-administrating asthma inhalers do not need to be recorded.
Inhalers are kept by the child and an emergency inhaler is kept in the First Aid room. Children have access to these inhalers at all times, though must inform a member of staff that they are taking a dose. All children with an inhaler must take them on educational visits, however short in duration.
Epi-pen – Any First Aid trained member of staff can administer an epi-pen in an emergency. The pen (cap off) should be pushed against the child's thigh , through clothing if necessary. The pen should be held for a count of 10 seconds before being withdrawn. Ambulances must be called for a child who may require an epi-pen. Cetrizine may be given if slight tingling of the lips occurs following ingestion of possible irritants for nut allergy sufferers. This is a liquid medicine stored with the epi-pen. If symptoms are more severe, the epi-pen should be given immediately. An ambulance must be called immediately. Parents/carers should be contacted after this call has been made.
Should parents/carers be unhappy with any aspect of their child's care at Poltair School, they must discuss their concerns with the school. This will be with the lead First Aider in the first instance, with whom any issues should be managed. If this does not resolve the problem or allay concern, the problem should be brought to a member of the Leadership team, who will, where necessary, bring concerns to the attention of the Headteacher. In the unlikely event of this not resolving the issue, the parents/carers must make a formal complaint using the Poltair School Complaints Procedure.
Aims & Objectives
1.1 We aim to have a developmental programme of relationships and sex education which :
- promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural and mental development of our students and thereby reinforces the school's ethos;
- whilst being aware of the variety of home backgrounds, sets relationships and sex education within the context of family life and of loving and caring relationships, and the idea of mutual responsibility within these relationships;
- meets the needs of all individuals including an awareness of differing religious, cultural and moral backgrounds;
- encourages students to take on the responsibilities which arise from greater freedom during adolescence and prepares them for responsible parenthood within stable family life;
- involves parents and guardians in the issues involved in relationships and sex education to help them support their children in the physical and emotional aspects of growing up;
- creates an atmosphere where children will feel confident to discuss relationships, sexual matters and related emotions in a free and unambiguous manner;
- uses relevant and suitable material and resources, including visiting speakers.
1.2 To deliver a developmental programme which will :
- provide knowledge and understanding of the physical aspects of sexual behaviour and human reproduction in a scientific and factual manner;
- inform students as to what is and what is not legal;
- make young people aware of the sources of information and help that are available to them;
- assist young people to understand the range of sexual attitudes and behaviours in society and consider their own attitudes, rights, relationships and moral values in an atmosphere in which they can ask questions and discuss sexual matters without embarrassment, and to be tolerant (in line with British values) of different view and standpoints.
- develop young people's understanding of their sexual identity and increase their awareness of the existence of stereotyped gender roles;
- help students understand their own emotional and physical development and where to access help / support if needed;
- help students to be aware of the consequences of their action on themselves or their peers or society;
- provide information and present role models which will help students form a moral framework within which to make sensible, responsible and informed decisions;
- help students to develop the self-confidence and communication skills to make healthy relationship choices;
- stress the value of family life and the importance of the responsibilities of parenthood;
- to promote sexual health by including age appropriate education about HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Moral & Values Framework
2.1 Poltair School students will be taught Sex Education within a framework which encourages the following values:
- a respect for self
- a respect for others
- non-exploitation in sexual relationships
- commitment and trust within sexual relationships
- mutuality in sexual relationships
- honesty with self and others
- a development of critical self awareness for themselves and others
- an exploration of the rights, duties, and responsibilities involved in sexual relationships
- compassion, forgiveness, mercy and care when people do not conform to their way of life
- an acknowledgement and understanding of diversity, regarding religion, culture and sexual orientation
- support of fundamental British values
Organisation Of Sex Education
3.1 Sex Education is integrated into a Personal, Social, Health Education Programme delivered throughout the school as part of a Tutor Programme, and is taught in Science lessons as part of the National Curriculum - Human Reproduction. In addition, 'relationships' are taught as part of the Morals and Ethics (R.E.) curriculum and included as part of the core PE well-being curriculum.
3.2 A range of appropriate teaching styles are used in the delivery of the Programme, these will vary according to the subject matter, to the individual teacher's approach and to the composition of the class. All classes are composed of mixed-sex groups.
3.3 All students including those with a physical disability, have equal access to our Sex Education Programme. Where possible a SEN teacher is time-tabled to support the delivery of Sex Education to students with Special Educational Needs.
3.4 Staff teaching Sex Education will ensure that the teaching of the Sex Education Programme and matters to do with it will be sensitively handled, and presented in a balanced way, carefully acknowledging the major ethical, social and spiritual issues involved and indeed linked to British values.
3.5 Lessons are focused on the mutual respect and tolerance of other faiths, beliefs, identities and cultures.
The Role Of Parents
5.1 It is intended that the Sex Education offered by Poltair School should be complementary and supportive to the role of parents. We would like to work with parents to produce the most appropriate programme for our pupils. We therefore welcome enquiries from, and the views of parents concerning the content and presentation of the Sex Education Programme, and we hope that if parents have contributions to make, they will do so without hesitation. They should contact the Tutor Programme Co-ordinator at the school
5.2 Parents will be made aware of this policy by its inclusion on the school website.
5.3 Parents have the right to withdraw their children from Sex Education, and Governors will accept requests to withdraw students from all parts of the Sex Education Programme which are not prescribed by National Curriculum Programmes of Study. Parents of students new to the school will be informed of this right by letter, and appropriate alternative arrangements will be made for students withdrawn from the Sex Education Programme. Where this is the case, parents will be asked to provide work on their own beliefs to be completed in school.
6.1 Contraceptive Advice and Confidentiality - Specific individualised contraceptive advice to those under 16 will not be given although pupils will receive education about types of contraception, and where and from whom they can receive confidential advice and treatment. Staff approached individually by students on sexual matters will use their professional judgement whether or not to act as confidante, and/or offer information and advice. In every case a member of SLT will be informed and every effort made not to encroach on the proper exercise of parental rights and responsibilities. While no teacher at Poltair can give an assurance of total confidentiality, the needs of the student are taken into account when a pupil confides in a member of staff. If in doubt the Head will be consulted.
6.2 Sexuality - Some issues e.g. sexuality will inevitably arise in a well-balanced and open Sex Education Programme. Any such discussion will take place at the level of need, maturity and understanding of the students in an open and constructive manner.
6.3 Relationships - All relationship work with pupils is valuable in helping them develop and understand their attitudes, and to form stable, caring and committed relationships. For most people this reaches its fulfilment in marriage. For others co-habitation, gay/lesbian relationships, and celibacy are examples of alternative lifestyles.
6.4 Sexual Abuse - Where it is suspected that a student has been or is being sexually abused the school is obliged to act in accordance with recent legislation, (the Children's' Act 1994) reporting such suspicions to the designated person in school, who will liaise in accordance with Inter Agency Child Protection Group procedures.
6.5 HIV/AIDS - Should any members of the Poltair community be infected or affected by HIV/AIDS, procedures for their support and the well-being of others will be implemented in accordance with the advice given in "HIV/AIDS Guidelines for Cornish Schools" (1987).