Statement of Principles and Practice
The statement describes the overall purpose of the school and describes any theoretical or therapeutic model underpinning the practice of the school.
This document needs to be read in conjunction with a number of other important sources of information, including but not limited to:
- School Website
- Admissions Policy
- Well-being Policy
- Special Educational Needs Policy
- Children’s Rights
- Anti-Bullying Policy
- Safeguarding Policy and Child Protection Procedures (including Online Safety)
Stone Bay School is designated as a school for pupils who have a diagnosis of Autism and also have severe and complex learning needs. The school PAN is 103 pupils.
As of September 2023 our school roll is:
102 Day Pupils
(22 girls and 80 boys)
12 Weekly boarders
All pupils are aged from 4 to 19, we are currently able to accommodate 12 residential boarders assuming there is a place available in a suitable class group, although gender may limit availability of suitable residential accommodation.
We aim to provide a caring and empathetic environment to meet the needs of all our pupils and their families.
Flexibility and Consistency in Approach
Pupil’s Care Plans, Health Care Plans, Positive Behaviour Plans, and Provision Plans are developed through liaison between teachers and residential Key workers. This ensures consistency in the implementation of these plans across the education and residential aspects of the school. This consistency in strategies serves to promote positive behaviour and to develop pupils’ communication, academic, independence, self-help, social and leisure skills. We believe that the progress our pupils make is dependent on the sharing of ideas and strategies across all domains, school, residential flats and home.
Each pupil is treated as an individual, and we adapt our care and teaching strategies to meet their personal needs. The residential and teaching environments are constantly monitored to ensure safe, stimulating, and well-resourced learning areas. Staff identify and then emphasise the positive characteristics of our pupils and reinforce good behaviour and learning at all times. Adaptations include staffing and organisational changes, decoration, timetabling and building modifications.
The school’s residential accommodation is currently split into two main residential flats in the main school building. All our areas are tailored to meet the needs of the pupils living in them. All areas are decorated to look as homely as possible and all pupils have their own individual room. The school has furnishings which are robust enough to meet the demands of the pupils, most of our bedroom furniture is provided by Tough Furniture and is of a very high standard. When there is damage to furniture it is replaced quickly as we keep many additional items in storage on site for such occasions.
A high emphasis is put upon pupils being able to personalise their rooms (with support from their families and care staff) to create a comfortable and homely environment. We understand that our pupils want and need their rooms to be individual, we encourage families to provide items from home to personalise the rooms, and pupils usually bring in such items as TV’s, game consoles, laptops and other mobile devices.
When a new pupil starts with us families will often come into the flat and prepare the bedroom themselves.
The range of accommodation allows flexibility to match pupil’s needs with the most appropriate residential group.
Continuous adaptation of the residential facility is made to ensure that it meets our pupils’ needs, plus an ongoing cycle of refurbishment/decoration has been put in place to maintain excellent standards of décor throughout the residences.
What We Seek to Achieve for our Students
To help our pupils develop we have created our own living skills programme. There are various sections ranging from self-care through to financial skills for the staff to work on with each individual student. Each student will be baselined to give us a starting point to work from. The staff will give the students opportunities to develop these skills throughout each term, and they will record the progress each student has made.
To live a full and active life, our pupils need to develop the social skills and socially acceptable behaviour that we expect in our local community and in wider society. We plan as many leisure activities in the community as possible. It is imperative that social skills are actively taught to our pupils; therefore, we are continually looking for new community-based activities.
Our current range of Social and Leisure Activities include the following:
Sports / Activities
- Sno Rings
- Discos / Parties Karaoke
- Computers / Games
- Arts and Craft
- Soft Play
- Book Club
- Trips to the Cinema, Pantomimes and other local attractions.
The opportunity is given for pupils to choose activities they wish to engage in. Pupils have the option to withdraw for quiet periods if they wish.
All pupils are involved in whole school events such as Book Week, Sports Day, Open days and the Christmas Bazaar.
Meeting Families’ Needs
Having made the difficult decision to pursue a residential placement, families require openness and honesty from care staff as professional workers. The way in which staff conduct themselves in every area of school life will enhance parent’s trust in the school’s ability to support their children.
The Key Worker role is pivotal to developing an open and trusting relationship with families. We take great care as a school to provide an effective link between parents and Key workers. We have high expectations of Key Worker’s professional abilities. Whilst we try to maintain consistency from time to time we may have to swap staff around to other residential areas. When this is done the existing Key Worker will inform the parents of this change and introduce the new Key Worker
This arrangement allows the pupils and parents to develop a supportive relationship with a member of staff at the school and thereby receive support from a dedicated member of staff with extensive knowledge of their child’s needs. This can range from being able to listen to a pupil’s problems and fears, to full inter-agency involvement in reviews, assessments, and future placements.
The partnership between parents and Key workers is of paramount importance in agreeing and maintaining each individual pupil’s care plan and health care plan. This is encouraged through good communication channels, regular phone calls and school social events (parents evenings / family fun day).
The school actively encourages parents of prospective pupil’s, and placing authorities to contact Ofsted where past inspection reports can be accessed through their website www.ofsted.gov.uk in order to gauge how our services are rated by an independent source.
The residential team have worked hard to ensure where possible we have all care staff trained to at least level 3 NVQ / Diploma or equivalent.
The delivery of the Level 3 Diploma to all our staff is facilitated through Bradstow school in conjunction with our own NVQ assessors working alongside Bradstow’s staff.
In addition, the school delivers training to all school and residential staff to enable them to work effectively with our young people. Regular training includes PROACT-SCIPr-UK®, TEACCH (The Treatment and Education of Autistic and other Communication Handicapped Children), Makaton, PECs (Picture Exchange Communication System), and Autism Awareness. During staff development days various other training courses are delivered such as Child Protection / Safeguarding, Multi-Sensory, Health and Safety, First Aid, Food Hygiene, mini bus driver training, and Epilepsy awareness. Training for the administration of buccal Midazolam is also delivered.
Currently, our senior residential managers hold the following NVQs / Diplomas:
Head of Care
NVQ 3, 4 and 4 LMA
Residential Team Leader
Residential Team Leader
Assistant Team Leader
Gary Clarke Kray
Assistant Team Leader
Assistant Team Leader
Child Protection / Safeguarding
The Local Authority requires all residential schools to report any obvious or suspected case of child abuse to the appropriate designated social worker (if not allocated or out of hours the central duty team would be contacted), as well as informing the Local Authority Designated Officer, (LADO) within in Kent
All staff have a duty of care to report non-accidental injuries, severe physical neglect, emotional abuse and sexual abuse. This procedure is intended to protect children at risk and schools are encouraged to take the attitude that where there are grounds for suspicion, it is better to be safe than sorry. This does mean that DSL’s (Designated Safeguarding Leads) run the risk of upsetting parents by reporting a case which on investigation proves unfounded. In such circumstances, we trust that parents or carers would appreciate that the DSL’s have acted in the best interests of the pupil concerned.
If anyone has any concerns they can always contact Ofsted directly on their Whistleblowing hotline 0300 123 3155 or mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
To help safeguard our pupils Stone Bay School has eight Designated Safeguarding Leads, and all staff receive annual safeguarding training. Regular updates are available throughout the year for new staff, and we also access on-line training through Kent Safeguarding Children Multi Agency Partnership and our own Safeguarding Training Platform.
Our DSL’s meet every fortnight to discuss the school’s safeguarding processes and to review data, they will also discuss any latest guidance through training they have received.
The Designated Safeguarding Leads for the school are
- Martyn Nash Head of Care
- Jane Hatwell Headteacher
- Lucy Taylor Deputy Head Teacher
- Diane Smith Residential Team Leader
- Mireille Birchenough Residential Team Leader
- Louvain Scott Assistant Headteacher Secondary and 6th Form
- Ivonne Puttman Assistant Head Teacher Primary
Systems which help Safeguard Students
Stone Bay School is committed to achieving the best possible outcome for our pupils. Central to this is support for staff, staff motivation, morale and training. In the residential areas staff ratios and teams are organised in such a way that no member of staff works in isolation.
- Staff receive both regular informal and formal supervision
- All staff receive training in PROACT-SCIPr-UK® approaches during their first term at the school and take part in annual refresher courses
- Where possible, staff teams contain both male and female staff across a wide age range
- The care structure ensures that a senior member of care staff is always on site for advice or direct support throughout the times the pupils are in residence
- A senior member of staff from the school leadership is on call every evening/night
- Regular staff meetings are held to enable all care staff to meet and discuss common issues relating to residential education, minutes of the full care meeting are posted on our network and can be accessed by all residential staff
- All staff have access to the policies and procedures that must be followed if a crisis should occur, i.e., in the event of a child absconding or serious accident requiring hospitalisation
- Weekly Senior Leadership Team meetings between the schools leadership team provide time for reflection and development planning
- Staff support pupils in developing appropriate methods of communication and wherever possible, their views are sought through pupil council meetings
- Regular monitoring by Governors and Independent Visitor acting on behalf of the Governors is part of the evaluation process which takes action in supporting staff to effect change