All students attending Heathermount have a Statement of Special Educational Needs identifying autism as their prime area of need. We welcome enquiries from parents and Local Authorities. We offer parents the opportunity to visit the school and meet with the Headteacher. During the visit there is the opportunity to observe staff working with students and time to ask questions about Heathermount.
Requests for admission are made through the Local Authority covering the area where the student lives. All requests for admission are then considered by the school's Admission Panel. This is a multi-disciplinary team involving therapists, psychologists and members of the Senior Leadership Team.
If the panel agrees that a student meets the criteria for admission, with the agreement of the Local Authority, the student will be offered a three day assessment. During the three day assessment, the student will be based in a class with other students of similar abilities.
The rationale for placing children on a three day assessment within a generic class setting is to assess their response to a typical Heathermount day, and to introduce the other students with whom they would be in contact should they be offered a place at the school.
This is then followed by an extended twelve week (one term) assessment which enables all staff to observe, assess and make recommendations for the best way to support the child in their school career.
Throughout the three day assessment period, members of the multi-disciplinary team will work with the student on a one-to-one basis and as part of a small group. This enables assessment of key support areas such as communication and social skills and behavioural support issues. Following the twelve week assessment, a comprehensive report is sent to the Local Authority and to the parents detailing the findings of the school.
Parents are encouraged to be involved in the induction process so that the school can work closely with the family to develop coping strategies which are effective at both school and within the home environment.