Admission Arrangements for Fortis Trust

Fortis Trust is a publicly funded multi-academy trust (MAT), which currently provides education and employment support via Bradfields Academy and Forward2Employment.

All schools within the Trust work in partnership with Local Authorities and parents / carers to assess the suitability of new admissions.

Our admission arrangements for our SEND provisions ensure a fair and transparent process for all. Applications for placements must be made via referrals from your local authority, in line with the guidelines set by the Department for Education and the SEND Code of Practice. The school admissions and appeals codes do not apply to special academies, alternative provision settings or stand-alone 16 to 19 institutions.

Placement at our provisions is through careful review of evidence provided as part of  LA referrals which may include but is not limited to:

  • Full receipt of previous school/provision/college information [Reports / Annual Reviews / Ed. Psych & Medical Reports, OT/SALT reports, etc.].
  • Review of Education, Health, and Care Plans (EHCPs).
  • Completion of ‘New Intake Profile’ by Transition Team ideally completed in conversation with current school/provision/college or parents/carers as appropriate.
  • Classroom, where appropriate.
  • Transition visits / Interview and/or Home Visit with parents/carers, where appropriate.
  • Full review of all documentation to evidence suitability of transfer.
  • Level of funding from referring LA secures continuity of provision.

Each referral will be carefully considered by our admissions team to judge whether the academy or provision is best placed to meet the needs of the child or young person, and if a place would be compatible with the efficient education of others and compatible with the efficient use of resources.

Referral responses are communicated directly to the referring LA within 15 days of receipt of the referral. Parents/Carers wishing to find out the response must contact their LA for detail of the outcome. Should a parent/carer contact Bradfields Academy or Forward2Employment for such detail, they will be directed back to the SEND Team at the relevant LA.

Fortis Trust will have regard for all legislation, including The School Admissions Code of Practice and Appeals Code & The SEN Code of Practice. These documents can be found at:

Admission Criteria

Each of our academies and provisions have specific admissions criteria.  This includes information about the number of children they intend to admit in each relevant age group/year group.

 

 

 

Distance

In cases where oversubscription occurs, priority will be given to applicants living closest to the Fortis Trust provisions.

Characteristics not usually considered include:

  • SEMH difficulties which do not stem from communication difficulties or learning difficulties (social, emotional and mental health not obviously resulting from communication needs or learning difficulties).
  • Violent and Physically Challenging Conduct (which may have resulted in permanent exclusion from prior educational setting).
  • Extreme early traumas resulting in behaviours that challenge or the need for specialist psychological support.
  • Severe and profound learning difficulties.
  • For our SPI provision, a refusal to engage in work placements or disinterest in gaining employment.

Age Range

Fortis Trust caters to children and young people aged 4-24 years.

Transfer Dates

Children and young people will usually be admitted to Bradfields Academy or Forward2Employment at the beginning of an academic term or an academic year. Children or young people who apply for places during the academic year [e.g. if they move to Medway or another adjoining LA from another LA or are looking to transfer from their current provision] will be considered according to the specific academy/provision admissions criteria. Particular note will be taken of access to exam courses and other accreditation routes for those in KS4 & KS5 and supported internship opportunities.

Process for Decision-Making, Referral and Review

Admission of children and young people will be through the standard in-house SEND processes and within the agreed admission arrangements established between the referring LA, the Principal/CEO, Governors and the Directors/Trustees. Parents/Carers are encouraged to make a visit to the academy/provision at one of the identified parent events, these may be in person or via a Facebook Live Event/Virtual tours where available of academy/provision websites. Academies/provisions will not comment on the appropriateness of the provision for the child or young person, should the parent/carer ask during a visit or Facebook Live Event.

The referring LA will provide the current EHCP, Educational Psychologist reports/medical reports, Annual Review paperwork and other relevant documentation (as appropriate). This detail will be reviewed by the Principal/CEO and the Transition Team to identify suitability for consideration of a placement and if a place is available. Staff may visit the home or school/college in order to observe the child or young person in the classroom and liaise with staff who have knowledge of the child or young person, as appropriate.

If the Principal/CEO and the Transition Team decide we cannot meet the child/young person’s needs the authority is advised the reasons for this decision in a form that can be shared with parents/carers. Should the LA opt to ignore the response of the academy/provision and name a Trust provision on a child’s or young person’s EHCP, steps will be taken to challenge the decision. This may include an appeal to the Secretary of State. If it is agreed that a placement is possible, the Principal/CEO will inform the referring LA in writing to outlining the offer, detailing if a transition plan would be needed and the level of funding required. If the placement is not deemed suitable, the referring LA will be informed in writing. In both instances, a response will be given to the referring LA within 15 days of receipt of the referral papers. LA’s in which our provisions are based will be informed of responses to other local LAs in order to support partnership working. If requested, key staff will attend an Annual Review at the young person’s existing school/provision/college.

Referrals will be considered only on the basis of the criteria outlined above, and not on any other circumstances (including their current /prior school/ academy/ college).

An induction programme, appropriate to the individual child/young person, will be drawn up to support transfer. This may include but is not limited to:

  • Visits by key staff between schools/provisions/college
  • Additional visits/part-time/phased placement to support move by child/young person
  • Visits to coincide with mainstream secondary induction programme for Year 6

Over-Subscription

Over subscription criteria is down to LAs and is done on a case by case basis.

 

Equal Opportunities Statement

Fortis Trust is committed to the positive promotion of equal opportunities for all and ensuring equality of access to its activities and services.

Appeals Procedure

Appeals will be considered in accordance with the requirements of the School Admission Appeals Code in that they will, in the first instance, be heard by the First-Tier Tribunal.

Review and Amendments

Fortis Trust will regularly review and update these admission arrangements to ensure compliance with legal requirements and to reflect any changes in our academy/provision admission arrangements. Any amendments will be communicated to parents, carers, and relevant stakeholders.