Statement of Purpose
Pield Heath is a 38 week non-maintained day/residential special school (most residential placements are on a respite basis). It is registered and approved by the DfE (no. 312/7006) for boys and girls between the ages of 7 – 19 years with moderate/severe learning difficulties with associated communication problems. Some have a complex factor affecting them and some have experienced a major life issue such as family breakdown.
We have 100 places available of which 22 could be for boarding students. At present our provision would not be totally suitable for students with severe mobility problems.
Pield Heath House is one of a group of schools under the Trusteeship of the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
Although Pield Heath is a Catholic school, our students come from a variety of religious and cultural backgrounds. We celebrate all festivals and work with the students, families and placing authorities to ensure we are meeting the cultural, religious and spiritual needs of each pupil.
All aspects of our work at Pield Heath is driven by the five outcomes of Every Child Matters (ECM)
- Being Healthy
- Staying Safe
- ‘Enjoying and Achieving’
- Making a Positive Contribution
- Achieving Economic Well Being
Our Mission Statement
Pield Heath House School owes its existence and special character to the belief that God loves us. The daily life of the school is nurtured by the teachings of Christ who showed us the Fathers Love: to believe; to hope; to forgive; to love.
We are a well organised educational community in which all young people are of equal importance and are valued for the individuals they are, regardless of race, culture or background.
We aim to provide these ideals in our relationships within our community.
We provide an educational community that is holistic as well as formal by involving parents, governors, and the local community.
We give all young people the opportunity for educational development to the highest possible level.
We aim to develop each individual’s talents, abilities, skills and understanding, in order that they may live life to the full.
We seek to do this:
- By creating a well organised educational environment in which each member of the school community is valued as a unique creation of God, regardless of race, culture and background, and opportunity is provided in the curriculum to raise the academic achievement, together with the development of each pupil’s talents, abilities, skills and understanding. We aim to help students with learning difficulties to develop their full potential through our policy of encouraging equal opportunities for all.
- By providing school liturgies, opportunities for personal prayer and reflection and by a religious programme which helps students to understand God’s world in which they live, and develop respectful tolerance towards other religions, races and ways of life.
- By establishing a community where self discipline, respect for others, forgiveness and generosity of spirit are practised.
These aims have equal importance in providing students at Pield Heath with a breadth of curriculum, which fully meets the educational needs of each pupil within a supportive and structured environment with a high staff ratio and professional support
Pield Heath intends to achieve and maintain these stated aims by having a high regard and respect for every human being:
- for each pupil at Pield Heath as a student, regardless of his/her difficulty
- for each member of the staff working at Pield Heath regardless of the nature of their contribution to the work
- for each visitor to Pield Heath regardless of the purpose of their visit. Such regard leads to a sense of responsibility for our relationships, and to an understanding of the need to care for our shared environment.
Referral, Admission & Review Process
Referrals and admissions can occur throughout the year and at any age. Parents may request informal visits or the child/young person’s local authority may make enquiries about possible placements.
Admission to Pield Heath is based on the school being able to meet the needs contained within the child/young person’s Statement of Special Education Needs (SEN) and by assessing any additional needs which may not be explicit in the SEN Statement to ensure that the child/young person’s health and welfare needs can be appropriately met.
A vital element of the admission process is also to ensure that both the needs of the child/young person concerned and the likely effects of his/her admission on the safety and well being of the existing groups of students are taken into account. Children/young people whose special needs are characterised by severely challenging behaviour, assessed or proven to pose a significantly high risk to other students, are not considered for placement. In addition the needs of students whose behaviour is self-injurious, to the extent that prolonged episodes of physical restraint is required to protect them, are unlikely to be met.
Senior staff from Pield Heath will meet the student, their parents/carers and teachers (if possible) as well as reviewing the child/young persons SEN and up to date reports. The child/young person will spend time at the school for assessment during the day, plus where applicable, an overnight stay. It is important that they can contribute their views and wishes in this process.
The Leadership Team, with other key members of staff e.g. Speech and Language Therapist, will make the final decision to offer a place. All students are admitted on an assessment basis for one full term during which time the appropriateness is closely monitored. If the pupil receives respite funded by Social Services, this monitoring can coincide with the SSD Looked After Children Reviews. If it is agreed at this review that the pupil’s needs are being met, then the placement is confirmed. Review meetings continue on a six monthly basis where the pupil’s Placement Plan and progress is monitored. Once a year the Statement of Special Educational Needs/ Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) is also reviewed, usually to coincide with the LAC Review to enable as many professionals as possible to meet with parents, particularly at the time of transition.
A pupil can remain at Pield Heath until the end of the academic year in which they are nineteen, or may leave earlier depending on their local authority policy and arrangements.
Most boarding places now at Pield Heath are respite/short break placements. These are for students already attending school as a day pupil. We do not offer respite to students from other schools.
Facilities and Services
The school stands in 11 acres of green belt land. Uxbridge town centre is very close by, giving easy access for the students. We are also within travelling distance of Central London and close to Heathrow Airport.
In conjunction with a local environment group we have developed a nature centre.
Pield Heath offers a range of other facilities on site including a sensory room, ball pool and games room. Weekly clubs and activity programmes are on offer to all students. They are also helped to access appropriate community based leisure facilities such as shopping, cinema, bowling and, swimming. Some students may attend community based clubs and events. The school grounds also have an all weather 5-a-side football pitch/basketball court/tennis court area, an activity trail area including climbing/balancing equipment, a large ‘conservation’ area, pond, horticultural facilities and Fresh Air Fitness. As well as the usual classroom facilities, the school admin offices, meeting rooms, conference facilities and a large gym area, the complex also houses the residential facility.
We have recently established a learning hub within the site which offers the opportunity for students who may find it difficult to cope with large group settings to work in a smaller environment in order to gain social life and independence skills with a bespoke learning programme.
Class groups are small with a maximum of seven students. Staffing levels are high and each teacher has at least two full time Special Support Assistants working within the class.
Learning is promoted though full time attendance at the school and through an Individual Care Plan and Individual Education Plan. There is a meeting of care and teaching staff where learning objectives are set and reviewed on a termly basis to ensure staff are consistent in their strategies. This facilitates the achievement of individual targets. Annual Review Reports are sent to all parents once a year.
Pield Heath has two full time Speech and Language therapists, an Occupational therapist and a consultant Music therapist supporting student’s educational programmes. Therapists provide ongoing training to all education staff to ensure the needs of all students continue to be met.
Child Protection / Safeguarding
Safeguarding is our highest priority. It underpins all aspects of school and residential activities. At Pield Heath we are committed to promote and safeguard the welfare of each young person. In particular our aim is to provide a safe environment in which children/young people’s individual needs are met, and to protect them from exposure to harm also enabling them to keep themselves safe.
We believe it is vital that everyone involved in the care of children and young people is alert to the possibility of abuse. Our policy and procedures recognise this possibility and aim to promote an environment in which abuse is unlikely to occur. Pield Heath has a comprehensive policy and guidelines that set out the course of action for members of staff, children/young people and parents, volunteers and friends if abuse is alleged, suspected or observed. Pield Heath provides Safeguarding training to all staff during their induction period. The training is delivered by a qualified and experienced independent trainer.
Pield Heath’s training and Safeguarding Policy and Procedures reflect both national and local area guidelines. We encourage our young people and their families to let us know of any concerns or anxieties through our complaints procedure.
There is a residential self contained house for boys and girls. They share the living areas, but bedrooms are carefully separated by gender. The house has single bed rooms; its own kitchen, dining room, computer room with internet access, lounge, mini gym and activity room as well as office, toilet, bathroom and shower facilities. The house also has a garden area. All students are encouraged and supported to personalise their own rooms. The fittings and furnishings in the shared areas of the house reflect the needs of the group as a whole.
Pield Heath House has its own dedicated team of care staff. The number of staff on duty is dependent on the number of children/young people staying in the house and their assessed needs. Some may have additional funding through LA for extra staffing hours where required. The minimum staffing ratio is 1 staff to three youngsters. In the house there are always a minimum of 2 staff on any shift, including waking staff on duty between 22.00 pm and 07.00 am the following morning.
The Care Team currently consists of a Care Manager nad five full-time care staff. At present these are all female, where possible, activities will be facilitated by male members of the school staff. The aim of our team is to provide a high level of physical, environmental and emotional care, in comfortable and stimulating surroundings.
There is a written ‘hand over’ meeting for each shift to pass on information to the next shift.
A member of the Leadership Team is on call throughout the night, and responds to any emergencies by assisting night staff in the house. This ensures further back up, advice and support is available to the front line staff on duty.
The house has a telephone where by students can make and receive calls in private.
The care team fosters a good relationship with parents/carers and welcomes contact at any time, thus enabling a consistent approach to students.
There are a variety of evening activities including a Pield Heath Art Club, cooking and Tai Chi and youth clubs which are SPARKS (West Drayton) Acorn Youth Club.
The care team help the students to take personal responsibility for their clothing and personal hygiene thus encouraging social awareness and promoting their independence.
The emotional welfare of the students at Pield Heath House School is fundamental to the holistic well being of each person. We have supportive, caring and highly trained staff who can offer individual help to the students. The atmosphere and stability of the house contributes greatly to the students’ sense of security, which is of vital importance to their emotional development.
All students are encouraged to take an active part in decision making and in the day to day running of the house. As breakfast and suppers are provided in the house, the students are encouraged to select a menu of their choice, with health guidelines being offered by the care staff. All students follow an internal residential skills programme which can be accredited under the NOCN courses which they are working towards at school.
The Care Team have an active role in the staff structure at Pield Heath, attending hand-over meetings, link meetings, providing reports for annual reviews, planning individual programmes and working alongside teaching and medical staff for the welfare and development of each pupil
Aims and Objectives of our Respite/Short Break & Residential Provision
For our service to be offered within a Christian Ethos – “Act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with our God and each other.” Micah
For each child/young person to develop a sense of self-confidence by;
- Providing opportunities within which the child/young person feels confident and able to express their views on the service.
- Offering encouragement and praise, developing positive self-esteem, emotional well-being and confidence.
For each child/young person to develop their individual potential by;
- Setting targets which are appropriate and further develops existing skills.
- Supporting extended learning including opportunities to develop and extend social networks and participation in the local community.
- Developing their social and life skills by promoting independent choice and decision making.
- Learning table manners and understanding turn-taking.
For each child/young person to feel happy and have a sense of well being by;
- Encouraging and developing friendships.
- Celebrating birthdays and other significant festivals.
- Creating an atmosphere of belonging; staff interest and empathy. Staff listening and responding appropriately.
- Creating a relaxed atmosphere of both routines and unstructured times to enable the children/young people to develop self-responsibility and consider the needs of others.
- Encouraging each child/young person to personalise his/her own room.
For each child/young person to develop socially acceptable behaviour by;
- Being aware of appropriate greetings and developing social interaction skills.
- Encouraging behaviour which would ensure their safety.
- Developing a sense of personal hygiene.
- Gaining an understanding of appropriate clothing in different social situations.
For each child/young person to feel secure in a safe environment by;
- Ensuring each child/young person knows the routine and should this change for any reason, explanations are given beforehand.
- All staff to have training in Health and Safety, Fire Evacuation Procedures, First Aid and Child Protection.
- External doors to be alarmed at all times.
- Providing an adequate level of staff to ensure that children/young people are supervised at all times.
- Be developing in each child/young person a sense of “stranger danger”.
Our desired outcomes for our students who take part in our service will be;
- Child/young person demonstrates that they are able to participate in social situations in an appropriate manner.
- Child/young person develop safe relationships both in and outside of the school context.
- Child/young person demonstrates an awareness of how to keep themselves safe within the school environment and the wider community.
- Child/young person is able to make informed choices or decisions.
- Child/young person feels confident to communicate their needs and aspirations.
- Child/young person demonstrates an awareness and respect of both self and others traditions, beliefs and opinions.
- Child/young person develops appropriate social, life and independence skills to enable them to live life to the full.
Outcomes for Learners
At Pield Heath we are committed to our young people maximising their potential and developing both educationally and socially within a nurturing environment. Pield Heath employs a multi-disciplinary team of Education, Care and Therapy staff to work with the young person, their family and professionals to achieve outcomes.
Our home school links also ensure that families can have consistency at home in areas such as behaviour, independence skills, therapeutic interventions and learning techniques.
Pield Heath aims to find the potential of every young person and maximise the outcomes for him or her. This involves working well with each other and sharing information internally as appropriate, but also working with external stakeholders such as CAMHS, Social Care, Educational Psychologists and others. Therapists work across the waking day to ensure skills are transferable from class to residential to community. There is excellent internal communication to ensure learning is enhanced and information is shared to ensure consistency across the whole school for learners.
Pield Heath has access to its own nurse. Each pupil is registered with their own GP, but will take out temporary residency with the local GP who is the school’s medical officer should they need urgent medical care at school.
Recruitment & Training
Pield Heath operates an Equal Opportunities Policy of recruitment. Applications for staff are invited from both male and female applicants as well as from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds. All applicants for employment are required to complete a full application form detailing their employment history, qualifications and experience and stating they are in good health. (Internal applicants for promotion are also required to complete a new application.) Applicants must also disclose any criminal offences and consent to an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check.
The interview process includes a formal interview and a tour of the school, which provides an informal introduction to our school environment. The interview and selection process for the residential provision includes the applicant visiting the house to meet the students and staff. This gives the opportunity for the applicant to see first hand some aspects of the job and also allows for the staff team, and most importantly, the students to voice their opinion on the suitability of the applicant.
Prior to any appointment Pield Heath must be in receipt of:
- two satisfactory references, one must be from the most recent employer. Referees are specifically asked if they know of any reason why the applicant should not be employed to work with vulnerable children/young people.
- a clear DBS check
- original documentation supporting any qualifications listed in the application
- a recent passport photograph
- proof of identity
Once appointed the new member of staff is on a six month probationary contract. During this period he/she must complete the school’s induction programme. In addition, if an appointment was made on condition that they complete or commence a particular qualification route, this is also monitored. Residential staff will complete a 16 week Induction Programme in line with Common Induction Standards. Throughout the first six months new staffs are supervised by a named mentor and will work with an existing member of staff who acts as an Induction Supervisor and mentor to work through Pield Heath policies and procedures and respond to any work related queries from the new employee.
Pield Heath places great importance on Continuing Professional Development for employees. We recognise the particular value of in-service training. In the residential provision we have qualified assessors and care staff, depending on their position, who have already obtained or are registered for National Vocational Qualifications Levels 2 & 3. Pield Heath also recognises the need for CPD of staff working with students with severe learning disabilities and Autism: specific training courses at different levels in Augmentative Communication (such as Mayer Johnson and Signalong), Team TEACH, Behaviour Management and Child Protection are compulsory training for all staff.
All staff has an annual performance and development review meeting. This process includes setting targets and agreeing training priorities for the coming year.
Each of the care staff receives supervision time and there are also house meetings which take place at least once each half term. Discussion and decisions from all of these meetings are recorded. In addition to these meetings, the care staff also meets with the School/House Link Co-ordinator to discuss in detail particular students and how they can be best helped.
Pield Heath Complaints Policy is set out in separate documents. This is given to all parents and placing authorities and details how to ensure worries or concerns are brought to our attention. It also sets out the procedures for making a formal complaint.
Contact with families/ family services
Contact with families is encouraged. Daily communication between school and families/carers is facilitated through the school communication diaries. The house has a telephone line for parents to ring in to the house. A phone is available for students to develop the skills of using the telephone.
Pield Heath has a family focussed model of delivery that aims to meet the needs of the whole family and maintain positive relationships with all family members. Our Parents Forum provides support and advice on any issues relevant to pupil’s current needs and their future welfare.
Contact arrangements of family members are reviewed regularly as part of the Placement and LAC Review. Families are consulted through the review process and by questionnaire.
Pield Heath comprehensively sets out the policy and procedures for behaviour management, including control and discipline and the use of sanctions and physical interventions in our Promoting Positive Behaviour Policy, the school is currently developing the Thrive Approach towards behaviour. We have two qualified Thrive practitioner son the school staff and Pield Heath is one of three Thrive accredited schools in the London Borough of Hillingdon. (This and all other policies listed at the end of this statement are available on request.)
Pield Heath’s policy is consistent with DfE and DoH legislation and guidance. Proactive / positive strategies used on a day to day basis are designed to ensure that early and preventative measures are in place to reduce the likelihood of any incident of challenging behaviour escalating. An emphasis on positive attention from adults, demonstrating a caring interest and positive reinforcement is used to influence behaviour.
When necessary, Individual Behaviour Support Plans take into account and aim to address environmental factors and communicative functions which may be possible triggers for challenging behaviour. Physical intervention is used as a last resort and only in response to prevent injury to the child/young person and other people or severe damage to property. Any physical intervention used, including restraint, is discussed and recorded in the Support and Intervention Plan. This plan is agreed with parents and placing authorities and reviewed at regular intervals.
Any sanction or physical intervention used is recorded as part of the incident reporting process. The records are monitored by senior managers and they are also available to parents and placing authorities.
All staff attends a two day training course in Behaviour Management delivered by the schools qualified and approved TEAM TEACH Instructors.
Charter of Chldren / Young People’s Rights
- All children/young people with a learning disability have the same human rights and values as any other person.
- All children/young people with a learning disability are individuals with their own individual needs – physical, emotional, social, spiritual, cultural and sexual.
- Each child/young person is to be protected from abuse in all forms – physical, sexual, neglect or emotional.
- Each child/young person and/or their representative has the right to complain. Furthermore, these complaints should be treated with respect, listened to and resolved.
- Each child/young person will be encouraged to be as independent as possible and to exercise choice.
- A child/young person’s choices, views and wishes should be respected.
- Each child/young person is to be treated with dignity and respect and addressed by their own name. They should never be talked about as if they were not there.
- Each child/young person’s privacy should be respected at all times and in all places. The only exception would be when a child/young person is placed in danger by this principle.
- All information about a child/young person should be treated confidentially, kept secure and only shared with people who need to know.
- Every child/young person is entitled to the best care at all times.
- Every child/young person should, as far as possible, be involved in decisions that affect them.
- Parents and those with parental responsibility will be consulted in all aspects of care planning for a child/young person
- Each child/young person should have access to a telephone and be aware of other sources of help and advice e.g. Childline.