Admission to Lakeside is determined by Hertfordshire Local Authority, and follows the issue of a an Education Health and Care Plan. Parents are fully involved in all stages of their child’s assessment, and their views, together with the views of all professionals concerned are taken into account and admissions made on the advice written in the child’s statement.
SLD schools are officially designated for pupils with Severe Learning Difficulties, Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties and pupils with severe Autism.
All pupils attending Lakeside require an EHCP. However occasionally pupils may be admitted on an assessment basis pending the completion of the process. Such a placement would be made with the full agreement of the Local Authority and the parents and ensures that the child benefits from education while the procedure is completed.
Lakeside accepts pupils from the age of two. Pupils are admitted on a part time basis until they reach compulsory school age. They are entitled to two days at age two, rising incrementally an extra day each year.
Students remain at the school until a suitable leaving date in the year after their 19th birthday. As the majority of students go on to attend a course at a further education college the usual leaving date is at the end of the summer term, for a September start at college. Any student can leave school once the statutory school leaving age of 18 has been reached if they so wish.
Hertfordshire Local Authority is the placing authority and it is their decision as to whether a child receives a place at Lakeside. Headteachers from the relevant schools sit on the decision-making group – the Provision panels.
In line with the LA transport policy children are admitted to their most local school unless there are any other issues. Parental wishes are considered as well as the views of the schools in areas such as staff expertise, class dynamics and the pressure of numbers.
The local authority has produced a banding system regarding admissions to special schools. This gives clear guidance regarding the skills, abilities and needs of children in each banding with reference to each type of school they may attend. It can be sought from the LA.
Lakeside operates a welcoming visits system whereby parents can ring and make an appointment to view the school and speak to the Head or the Deputy. We are very willing to speak with parents and give advice with regard to the admissions process while always making it clear that we do not make placing decisions.