Sir Peter Hall School is a Special school for students with social, emotional and mental health difficulties and who also may have other additional needs such as Autistic Spectrum (ASD), Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD), Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder (ADHD), Emotional Based School Avoidance (EBSA). Children are allocated a place at the school through the Suffolk Local Authority SEND team and will have an Education Health Care Plan where social, emotional and mental health is identified as the main area of need.
The SEMH description applies to provision for children who are unable to access education because of their extreme reactions to everyday situations which can result in inappropriate behaviour or an inability to participate in the usual range of education activities that would be offered in a mainstream school, even with specific and additional support. Children attending this provision may have the cognitive ability to access mainstream education but do not have the appropriate skills to do so. This need may be due to early life experiences, or severe difficulties in managing emotional responses and reactions, which may present as anti-social or uncooperative behaviours, aggression, anxiety, and low mood.
We include pupils who may also have a defined diagnosis. These children may exhibit or experience similarly dysregulated behaviour and/or response to social situations and their needs in this area will be rooted in their neurological diversity. Careful consideration will be given to the class groupings and educational needs of these children so that they, too, can have their needs met.
In January 2019 Suffolk County Council (SCC) agreed a new framework for the development of its specialist provision. This framework describes a pathway of specialist provision for each of the four main profiles of need identified within the SEND Code of Practice 2014. Sir Peter Hall fits within the Social, Emotional and Mental Health Pathway of specialism. Within this pathway there will be a continuum of provision to reflect a graduated response starting with mainstream placements supported by SCC’s specialist education service SES. The pathway includes new specialist units in mainstream schools for children with more complex needs, from which it is expected that most children will reintegrate back into mainstream when appropriate, and for the pupils with the most complex needs ensures a local special school offer.
The overarching vision for the school is to provide individualised support for all students and prepare them to become successful independent adults who make a positive contribution to their community, becoming valuable members of society, with an educational experience to look back on with enjoyment and pride.
The Trust believes that an ambitious, well-planned curriculum is essential for not only achieving successful academic outcomes but also in effectively meeting the social, emotional and mental health needs of their learners. The curriculum will follow the best blend of National Curriculum for high academic aspiration and therapeutic intervention to support pupils with their personal and social development.
The school will forge strong referral and working links with a range of multi-agencies such as mental health services and educational psychology to ensure a holistic approach is taken to meeting each child’s needs.
SEMH does not have to be a lifelong condition. With appropriate support children and young people can move forward and live successful lives.