Our children are aged between 6 and 11 years on admission and we offer places for boys and girls.

Admissions Profile

Children who join us have a range of difficulties. They usually have had a disrupted family life and may have been excluded from local educational provision. If they have been placed with foster carers, these carers are struggling to cope or the placement may have broken down altogether.

The difficulties our children have experienced may include experience of physical, emotional and sexual abuse, neglect, specific learning difficulties or a combination of these. 

The children at Fell House may have more severe learning difficulties or health problems such as epilepsy.

Admissions Process

In order to minimise the chance of further instability we endeavour to select, by agreement with placing agencies, only those children whom we feel can be successful in the environment we offer. Referral papers are circulated to senior members of staff who try to ensure that they have all the up to date information available.

The Principal and Head Teacher will also speak with the professionals who have most recently been working with the child. We also offer the child, the family and the referring authorities a similar chance to make a frank appraisal of the facility over any length of time they wish, so that admission is a joint decision engaged in by all the relevant parties.

Once children join us, we believe that it is our responsibility to be flexible in relation to meeting their individual needs. This includes supporting them through disclosure of abuse, finding an identity, relinquishing self-destructive habits and coping with events within their family. An Individual Programme, incorporating Individual Education and Care Plan is devised for every child following an initial three month assessment period. This Individual Programme is reviewed termly. Everyone involved with the child's care and education is invited to each review.

Appletree, Fell House and Willow Bank remain in close contact with referring authorities once agreement to place a child with us has been reached. It is only under extreme and exceptional circumstances that we will ask them to find alternative provision for the child. Indeed, it is the flexibility and commitment that we provide which allows us to maintain and support children through difficult periods.