Frequently Asked Questions
As the majority of our pupils have an EHCP (Education Health & Care Plan) we are technically an Independent Special School. We are an alternative and nurturing learning environment for children who have been failed by mainstream and whose particular needs are difficult to meet in a conventional school setting. We are registered with the DfE and inspected by ISI (Independent Schools Inspectorate).
No – not at all! Our children are all different and have had different school experiences. What they all share, however is that they were unable to learn effectively or thrive in their previous schools. They may have been bullied, have specific learning difficulties like Dyslexia or Dyscalculia, have Attachment-related difficulties, sensory integration issues or have social & emotional problems which meant they couldn’t cope with their school. This may have resulted in challenging behaviour but that was as a consequence of being in the wrong environment. At BL we give them the right environment to flourish and as our Ofsted Report points out – our children are well behaved!
No. We are a charitable (not for profit) independent school. That means we are a fee-paying establishment and are independent of Government or Local Authority control and funding. We are also a member of the Independent Schools Association.
Aside from all books, textbooks and learning materials, we provide an educational experience that is different from and additional to that of other schools. We have 8 children in each class with one Qualified Teacher and one TA in each. All of our children have their own Key Worker and our Educational Psychologist visits the children weekly. All children have regular 1-1 support for literacy and numeracy and dependent on the needs of the child may have individual or group Occupational Therapy and/or Speech & Language Therapy. We have an Outdoor Learning / Forest School programme and lots of trips and activities with visiting specialists including yoga, streetdance, climbing, orienteering, art, music, karate etc.
Does my child need a statement of SEN or Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan to come to Beech Lodge?
No, but the majority of our pupils have a Statement of SEN or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
We have a significant number of children who are funded by their LEA but it really depends on the policy of your LEA and you would have to check first. To be funded your child would need to have a Statement of SEN or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), be registered with us, have been through our admissions process and offered a place at the school.
Yes. However it has been enhanced and adapted to have an emphasis on children developing good skills in literacy and numeracy with cross-curricular links across subjects. Constructive use is made of IT and the natural environment.
Yes. All children have the opportunity to study for GCSE’s or equivalent qualifications (ASDAN’s / AQA’s etc) plus vocational qualifications.
Our ultimate goal is to prepare our children for the next stage in life and to be effective members of society. That may mean a place at college, a return to mainstream education, the workplace or an apprenticeship. Our links with the neighbouring 6th Form College – BCA means we anticipate the majority of our children will go on there to study for a vocational qualification or apprenticeship.
Yes. We are a fully inclusive school and will consider all children who are failing to reach their potential at their current school. However we are not an autistic-specific school and depending on your child’s needs it may be that we are unable to provide the particular educational tools and expertise that would maximise her learning potential as well as other schools do who specialise in ASD.
What Beech Lodge excels at is working with children who require a lot of nurturing, over-learning and patience to unlock their potential. Children with social & emotional difficulties, specific learning difficulties, sensory integration difficulties, attachment and trauma-related difficulties, and those who have been fostered or adopted from the care system all areas of considerable strength and knowledge.
No. Nearly all of our children have had continual 1-1 support at their previous schools and it has been because they were falling behind in class. Our children are placed in very small classes where they are all working at the same or very similar levels to each other. It is important that our children work together in small groups as it facilitates social and peer-group interaction essential for developing the whole child.
We will always be a small school with a high teacher/pupil ratio as that is what makes the learning experience at Beech Lodge so successful. We anticipate when full being around 80-90 children. The school has already exceeded all of our expectations in terms of interest from parents, educationalists and LEA’s – there is clearly a need for alternative schools like Beech Lodge. Once we are full and bursting at the seams maybe we will consider opening more schools in other parts of the country!