Manchester Local authority currently commissions 107 places for children from Manchester schools or of Manchester residents with Social Emotional and Mental Health difficulties (SEMH) at Bridgelea Primary School. Bridgelea provides education in Y1-Y6. 'Our Children' (previously LAC Looked After Children) and those allocated a place at the Bridgelea in accordance with a Primary in Year Fair Access Protocol (PIYFAP), take precedence over those on a waiting list.
A permanent exclusion is when a pupil is removed from a school permanently and their name is taken off the school roll. In these cases, the Local Authority must arrange full-time education for the pupil from the sixth school day. Bridgelea is Manchester’s offer for permanently excluded children following the 6th day of permanent exclusion.
Maintained schools have the power to direct a pupil off-site for education to improve their behaviour. Regulations require that the school’s governing body must ensure that parents/carers are given clear information about the placement: why, when, where, and how it will be reviewed. At Bridgelea we offer alternative provision or ‘preventative places’ for Manchester children at risk of exclusion in Y1-Y6. The child remains on the role of both the mainstream school and Bridgelea. We work collaboratively with the family and school to assess the child’s needs to determine future provision. This is achieved through a half-termly review cycle. The school funds this place.
The majority of places are for children who have completed the Statutory Assessment process and now have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) identifying a specialist SEMH (Social, Emotional, Mental Health) setting. Parents can request that the school is named in an Education Health Care Plan if their child has SEMH needs and Bridgelea will be consulted for a place through Manchester’s Statutory Assessment Team.
Pupils benefit from working in small groups with adults attuned to the needs of pupils with SEMH. In line with our holistic approach to supporting pupils with SEMH we work within a multidisciplinary team with weekly access to speech and language therapy, relaxation, peer massage and educational psychology as required.
We recommend that parents and carers visit the school when choosing the most appropriate provision for their child. The Headteacher/Assistant Headteacher/ SENCO will be pleased to show you around the school and answer your questions. Please contact the main office to arrange a visit.
If parents/carers wish to have Bridgelea named as the preferred school on their EHCP, (Section I, My Placement) they should notify their SENCO and/or casework officer from the Statutory Assessment Team.
Pupils placed on the roll of a special school are reviewed each year, this annual review is convened by the Headteacher and/or SENCO and information gathered could result in an amended EHCP being issued. The Authority considers it essential that parents, pupils, and LA, and where appropriate other agencies/services, are fully involved in the Annual Review process, this will include the opportunity to meet formally with the Headteacher and/or SENCO in school and to contribute to the Annual Review.
Where admission is required as a Manchester resident who has been permanently excluded from a primary school, school admissions will contact Bridgelea Primary School to request a place and Bridgelea will then contact the parent to support this and to arrange admission to the school. These places are funded by Manchester Local Authority.
Alternative to Permanent Exclusion
Where admission is required as a Manchester resident who is at significant risk of permanent exclusion from a Manchester primary school, the child’s current school can refer through Bridgelea’s Outreach Service. Initially, this will involve support and advice from the Outreach Team and in some cases an assessment or preventative placement at Bridgelea in order to reduce the risk of exclusion. The child will remain on the roll of the school in the hope that they may return if appropriate. These placements are funded by the mainstream school. This will be reviewed on a half-termly basis and will not exceed 2 terms unless a formal EHCP assessment of the pupil has been requested by the mainstream school. Following this, the pupil could be offered an extended placement at Bridgelea School while the EHCP assessment is completed. This will require joint agreement from the parent, mainstream school, and Bridgelea. The mainstream school will continue to fund this placement until the child’s final EHCP plan is agreed upon and a school is named.
Bridgelea operates a placement panel each half-term where cases such as this are considered.
Travel Co-ordination Unit (EHCP Places)
The Travel Coordination Unit is responsible for travel solutions between home and school for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
They will look at the information you provide and make a decision on what support is needed and may need to call or visit you if they need more information.
If they can provide support, they will discuss and agree on the most appropriate travel solution. This may range from a walking bus to a personal travel budget, independent travel training right through to a seat on a minibus or specialist vehicle. In some cases the solution may be a taxi or private hire vehicle; this will depend on individual circumstances.
Children who need extra support will be assigned a 'passenger assistant', someone who will accompany the child on the journey.
In some cases, they may decide to give you a personal travel budget (PTB). This is a payment that is made to you directly to help with making your own travel arrangements for your child in a way that best suits their individual situation. They base this on the distance between home and school/college for the days the child attends and includes of a number of factors. It will be personalised according to the needs of each family and individual circumstances.
If you would like more information contact the Home to School Transport Team on 0161 219 6400 (calls are taken by Environment on Call). They will be able to talk you through completing the application form and can discuss whether a child in your care may be entitled to help.
For further advice or support contact:
Statutory Assessment Team
First Floor, Universal Square,
Devonshire Street North,
Telephone: 0161 245 7439.
Information, Advice, and Support. (I.A.S.)
(Previously Parent Partnership)
Parent Confidential Helpline: 0161 209 8356 (Monday to Friday 10 am-3 pm)
Answer phone available when lines are closed: 0161 209 8356
Enquiries from Practitioners: 0161 245 7300
Information, Advice and Support (IAS) Manchester
Westwood Street Centre
Manchester School Admission Team
Home to School Transport
Telephone Number: 0161 219 6400
For useful information about exclusions. Please click here.
For further information about travel support for parents. Please click here.