Avalon School

Admissions

Avalon School is a secondary Special School for young people in Years 11 - 14 who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). All students who attend Avalon School have complex learning needs and require a specialist setting to help them learn and achieve. 

The EHCP is an assessment document that guides the education system in how best to meet the needs of the individual young person. 

Before an EHCP will have been considered, there will have been a number of steps which will have been put in place by your child's school in consultation with you. 

There are a number of steps that schools can put in place to support your child and it should be noted that remaining in mainstream is beneficial for the vast majority of children and young people. However, for a very small percentage of school aged children (approximately 2%) the experience of the school's organisation, curriculum and the size of a mainstream school and classes does not support their learning and development, and they are unable to thrive in this environment. 

The agreement to consider a special school placement should be part of this process and involve the family, child where possible, health and education professionals. 

For children and young people who are in the process of receiving an EHCP the county council will allocate a reviewing officer. It is often the officer who makes the approach to the school by preparing documents and information on which the school can make their decision about offering a place. The process for the school is outlined below:

 

What happens if we are oversubscribed: 

  • Somerset County Council commission places within Avalon School. The capacity is based on the building size and number of classes within the school, alongside the number of places the Local Authority consider they require.
  • Avalon School is commissioned for 60 places. 
  • If we have already achieved the agreed place numbers and other young people require places, we are able to negotiate with the County Council around this number of places. 
  • The strongest reason to cap the numbers within our school is the ability to keep every child safe, given the constraints of the building or the make-up of the group of students. 
  • The main benefit of being in a special school is the specialist support and intervention, reduced class sizes and increased access to teachers and specialist teaching assistants. If this is compromised then we may defer accepting your child until a time when other children leave and we have capacity to agree the place. 

We assess every request based on:

  • Whether your child would have a friendship group at school - are there other children who learn in the same way?
  • Whether your child would be safe in our school.
  • Whether your child is developing typically in terms of academic attainment.
  • Sometimes it may be that your child could remain in their local mainstream school with their friends but receive support through an Outreach team from one of the special schools. 

Please see Somerset County Council website for more information on the Local Offer:

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities provision (somerset.gov.uk)