September each year we can accept an intake of approx. 8 new students. If you think you may be interested in applying for a placement, our internal process and calendar of activity is detailed below. Additionally on the SEND guidance and links page you will find much more detail of the new arrangements for further education for young people with special educational needs and disabilities which have come into force in 2014/15 following the implementation of the Children and Families Act 2014.
If you are thinking about looking to The Mount for a placement the ideal timescales and processes are as follows:
Based upon an assumed start date of September 2016.
September 2014 to July 2015 – Attend one of our Open Days to undertake a tour of The Mount and establish whether our community provides the environment for living and learning that your young person is seeking as their next step towards adulthood (see list of dates under “Diary”).
September 2015 – Arrange an interview visit to discuss in more detail whether this is the right setting for you, and arrange an assessment visit if appropriate. Ensure contact is made with your Local Authority as soon as possible (depending on the area this may be via Connexions/transition team advisors, social workers or 14-19 education funding departments) to discuss placement possibilities and express the student’s preferences (it is advisable to consider undergoing alternative assessment visits to be able to evidence why your preferred option provides the most suitable education and living situation).
November 2015 to January 2016 – Young people come to stay for assessment visits (2 days/nights for residential students, 1 or 2 days for day students) to enable a detailed picture of the young person to be established. From this we will draft a needs assessment, leading to a decision as to whether we can offer them a placement, and whether they wish to pursue a future at The Mount.
By February 2016 – Needs assessment, study programme and funding application submitted to the Local Authority for presentation to a funding panel meeting.
By June 2016 – Approval, or refusal, of funding for placement. (Unfortunately, however, it is not uncommon for us to still be awaiting funding decisions in July and August). If funding is refused you could then choose to move on to a challenge to this decision via the routes detailed in the SEND Guidance and Links.
This timeline is the ideal, as discussions and negotiations with Local Authorities can take a considerable amount of time. However if circumstances result in you not making contact with us until later in the year, we would be happy to still consider a placement subject to spaces being available.
Each student has the right to the further education placement which is most appropriate to their needs. If The Mount provides that placement, we will support you to try and achieve this.