Parent Handbook

Here you will find a lots of information about the day to day running of the school that you may find useful as a parent or guardian of a pupil at Newfield.

Accidents / Illness

In the event of a serious accident with a pupil or should they become ill, it is vital that the school is able to contact parents. Details of contact numbers must be included on the annual pupil information and permission form.

Our School Nurses or our trained first aiders deal with minor accidents. In the event of more serious accidents or illnesses parents will be informed immediately and children will be taken to the local hospital or a 999 procedure will be implemented. In this event a member of staff will accompany the child and act on behalf of the parent including sanctioning emergency medical procedures if the hospital staff deem it necessary until the parent arrives.

A number of our staff are trained in paediatric first aid and are therefore able to support pupils requiring help due to a minor accident when off-site.

Any accident/incident in school is reported and recorded through established procedures following Health and Safety guidance, and parents will be notified in writing, and by telephone call if necessary.

Attendance

It is important that your child attends school regularly.

If your child is ill and unable to attend school, you should phone school on the first day of their absence to inform us. We would appreciate you keeping us regularly informed during any period of absence, and school staff may also phone you to keep in touch with how your child is progressing during the illness.

If your child has an appointment, please inform school via telephone or the home school diary, including information about an expected return time or day.

We are committed to improving levels of school attendance and punctuality. We aim to do this by:

  • promoting the value and importance of regular school attendance;
  • reducing all forms of unjustified absenteeism, especially levels of persistent absenteeism. (A child is classified as being a persistent absentee if he/she has an absence rate of 20% or more).

Parents are responsible in law for ensuring that their children attend the school at which they are registered regularly, on time, properly dressed and in a fit condition to learn. (Parents are also responsible for ensuring that their children stay at school once they have registered.)

Pupils who are persistently absent or are a cause for concern due to their poor attendance will be referred by the school to the Education Welfare Officer (see Attendance Policy)

Extended Absence From School During Term Time

Following the Government’s amended Pupil Registration Regulations, Head Teachers no longer have the authority to authorise absence during term time unless in exceptional circumstances.

If you require your son/daughter to be absent during term time and feel that your request for absence is for exceptional circumstances please contact the school office for a Application for Discretionary Leave of Absence Form detailing:-

  • What the exceptional circumstance is.
  • The reason the absence cannot be taken during school holidays.
  • Accompanying documents e.g. medical documentation

This request will then be considered and this may require you to come into school to discuss the application further.

For further information please see the Attendance Policy

Charging And Remissions

The Governors of Newfield School have adopted Blackburn with Darwen Council’s charging and remissions policy, arising out of the provisions of ‘Charging for school activities’ Departmental advice for governing bodies, school leaders, school staff and local authorities (October 2014)

For all visits during school hours, or which form part of the National Curriculum, the Governing Body is to invite parents to make a voluntary contribution towards the cost of arranging the activity. The viability of each activity will be assessed on the level of voluntary contributions and financial resources available to the school.

Where the activity involves pupils in a stay of one or more nights away from home, the Governors may levy a charge for board and lodgings.

Activities that take place wholly or mainly outside of school hours as defined by the Act, or do not form part of the National Curriculum, are defined as ‘optional extras’. Under the provisions of the act a charge may be made for such activities and participation will be on the basis of parental choice and willingness to meet the charges made.

The school operates the Unofficial School Fund to help meet/subsidise the cost of activities.

Clinics Held In School

Paediatric Consultants regularly attend Newfield and hold clinics for children under their care, by appointment. Parents are invited to attend.

Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy appointments are frequently held in school and every effort is made to hold these as joint clinics where appropriate.

The Dietician also holds a fortnightly clinic to meet with parents and monitor the children in her care. The specialist nurse for children who are entrally fed also visits school to monitor those children.

clinic in school

The Orthotist regularly holds a clinic in school and will invite parents, however, school staff are able to support children within this clinic.

Respiratory nurses and physios, including the SPORT team, come into school to support specific children and ensure staff working alongside them are fully updated in their latest requirements.

Specialist nurses in the areas of continence, skin management and catheterisation also attend school to give support to specific children. In addition, the Orthoptic and Orthotic Consultants see children in school on a regular basis at their clinics.

Please contact School Nurses if you feel that you need information or advice.

EHCPs and Annual Reviews

Every child who attends Newfield School holds an Education, Health & Care Plan - EHCP.

This EHCP is reviewed each year at the ‘Annual Review Meeting’. This is an opportunity for all of the people involved in working with your child to come together with you, and of course your child, to discuss progress, plans for the following year and to raise any concerns. We aim to have a holistic approach to your child and to that end we invite contributions from social care teams, health care teams and indeed any additional people who are important in your child’s life. Where appropriate we try to hold ‘Joint Education and Social Care Reviews’ to ensure a wraparound service for you and your child.

Parents are well informed of their child’s learning and progress through for example, home school diaries, whole school and class newsletters, individual personal contact, parents evenings and annual reviews. LPPA, September 2016

The outcomes and targets set at the review meeting feed directly into your child’s ‘Personalised Learning Plan’, which the staff working with your child use to inform their planning of lessons to ensure that the key skills that your child needs to acquire are addressed in all areas of learning.

The Annual Review is a time to celebrate progress and address any worries that you or your child may have about school and indeed life outside of school. We have strong relationships with our colleagues in Health, Children’s, Adult’s, Recreation & Play and many other services and will work with you to ensure the best possible outcomes for your child.

Home School Agreement

Together we will support children’s care and learning to help them achieve their best

Name of Child:

Newfield School will provide:

  • An environment in which your child is educated, safe and cared for and their culture valued
  • A differentiated curriculum that meets your child’s needs, including access to the National Curriculum
  • A dedicated and trained staff who have respect for every child and value their comments and views and are motivated to meeting your child’s needs
  • A staff who are motivated to meeting your child’s needs
  • A specialised teaching environment aimed at best meeting your child’s needs and assisting your child to learn and make progress
  • Support for your child to assist them in developing skills to manage their own behaviour and challenges
  • A holistic approach to your child’s development, which includes not simply their academic achievement but also their social, emotional, moral and physical development
  • Opportunities for children to consolidate and generalise their learning and extend this learning beyond the classroom and school
  • A Personalised Learning Plan and Well Being Plan for every pupil
  • Homework, including opportunities for work and targets to be continued at home
  • Support and advice for pupils/carers to meet needs, including signposting to other services
  • A regular and open dialogue with parents and carers

Signed: Head Teacher

I/We will:

  • Ensure my/our child goes to school regularly and that any absences are explained/ reported to school
  • Work proactively with the school to maintain acceptable standards of behaviour and discipline
  • Take an active part in setting targets for our/my child and assist in the implementation of programmes to support progress on these at home
  • Ensure that I/we co-operate and support the school in its work with my child
  • Attend school events regularly including our/my child’s Annual Review meeting and consultations
  • Maintain a regular contact/dialogue with the school including informing school of any changes to home circumstances
  • Ensure early contact with school to discuss matters that affect our child’s happiness, progress and behaviour
  • Continue the work and targets set with school at home

Signed: Parent/Guardian

Homework

At Newfield School we recognise and value the role homework has to play in education of pupils.

If our children are to be given the best chance of extending, developing and generalising their skills, then homework provides a vital link and promotes the ‘parents as partners’ ethos.

Teachers will discuss suitable work to be continued at home and ensure parents feel happy with the type and amount of homework. This may be academic in nature, e.g reading, or more general, such as continuing a therapy programme or positive support plan aimed at assisting the management of behaviour challenges in the home.

It is very useful for teachers to have feedback about how a pupil has done with their homework and this can be given via the ‘home school book’. This will also include details of what homework is suggested. Parents receive regular messages in the ‘home school books’ to assist in the continuation of work with the pupil at home. There are also termly parent consultations where work at home can be discussed through review of their child’s personalised learning plans.

More information can be found in the Homework Statement.

Induction Of New Pupils

Once a place has been offered to a child the school will make informal contact with the parents and arrange another visit to Newfield before the child officially starts. At least one visit is needed to assist the child to understand and recognise where they will go to school and who will be in their class.

Visiting the child at home and in their current educational setting is very valuable in helping to prepare the child for starting school. The class teacher and Deputy Head Teacher will almost always meet a new pupil prior to them commencing and the Head Teacher may also attend the meeting.

During the visit the parents are asked to complete an information and permission form and may offer other information that the school may find useful or ask additional questions to clarify any final outstanding issues they may have.

Shortly before the child starts school the Education Transport Office will write to parents with details of the transport arrangements.

Information About Admissions

At Newfield School we are very pleased to receive guests for both informal visits and professional training opportunities.

Visits with a view to requesting a place should be directed through Blackburn with Darwen Children’s Services Department

The Local Education Authority is the admissions officer for Newfield School and placement at the school must be agreed with them. All pupils who attend Newfield School are required to have an Education, Health and Care Plan EHCP.

The following are available in school:

  • ‘without prejudice visits’ - visit by the parents and child to the school, with no expectation of admission on either side at this stage,
  • Pupil Induction visits (See New Pupil Induction)

If you are interested in visiting the school, please contact us to arrange your visit and ask for more details.

Insurance

The Council’s insurance arrangements in relation to children and parents is as follows:

  1. The Council’s Liability Insurance arrangements provide for the protection for the Council in respect of claims for compensation made by any person suffering bodily injury or damage to property due to some act or error of the council. These arrangements are in respect of the Council’s legal liabilities only. It should be noted that the Council does not automatically accept liability for any injury or damage which may occur as it would have to be proved that the Council was legally responsible for the injury or damage suffered, i.e. it was at fault.
  2. Where an injury or damage to property arises due to some act or neglect of a Third Party (i.e. some person or organisation other than the Council) any resultant claim for compensation would have to be directed towards the Third Party and not the Council.
  3. If a person suffers bodily injury where no one is at fault there would be no legal grounds for pursuing a claim for compensation against either the Council or a Third Party.

However, this is a risk, which can be covered by a Personal Accident insurance policy, which provides limited benefits in respect of injuries suffered by the insured person, regardless of legal liability. Parents could arrange such cover on a general ‘all risks’ basis applicable throughout the year or specifically for a particular event (e.g. a school visit/holiday). It is understood that the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations has such insurance available. In any event, advice could be obtained from an Insurance Broker or Insurance Company.

Medication In School

The school nurses work closely with our Education, Health and Care Assistants (EHCAs), who in turn work closely with the children in their class. The EHCAs complete competency based training and receive annual updates by the nursing team to administer medicines that have been prescribed by the child’s GP or Consultant. ONLY medicines that have been prescribed by the child’s GP or Consultant will be dispensed/administered. Medicines e.g.: paracetamol can ONLY be administered if they are prescribed for the child.

Prior to medication being dispensed/administered the following procedure applies:

  • Medication will only be given as prescribed, and with parental permission
  • The consultant or GP is responsible for supplying school with adequate information regarding the child’s condition and medication.
  • The parents are responsible for supplying adequate medication and of disposing of unused medication.
  • All medication must be given directly to school by parents (they must inform the escorts that there is medication for school in the child’s bag) this is then handed to school staff who will then give it to the nurses who will transcribe onto the administration of medication form.
  • ‘As Necessary / Required’ medication will only be administered if it is prescribed and with the parents informing either school staff or the nursing team of the time the last dose was given and the rationale why it was given.
  • Each medicine must be given to school in a separate original container.

Each container must be clearly labelled as follows;

  • Pupils Name
  • Name of Medicine
  • Dosage
  • Dosage Frequency
  • Date of dispensing
  • Any special storage requirements
  • Expiry date

A trained member of school staff will request medications if current supplies are due to expire or supplies are running low. The nursing team will monitor expiry dates for the rescue medications.

Newfield will make sure that a trained member of staff is available to accompany a pupil with a medical condition on an off-site visit, including overnight stays. Parents should let the school know immediately if their child’s needs change.

More information is available in the ‘supporting pupils with medical conditions policy’

Parental Involvement

At Newfield School we welcome a regular and open dialogue with parents.

We have ParentMail, an online system of sending messages and information home. The school operates a home/school diary system, for everyday messages and information.

We consider parents/carers to be our partners in the education and care of the pupils at the school. Our Home/School Agreement details our commitment to your child and our expectations of the parents’ role.

Parents are supportive of the school. Those spoken to, along with the vast majority of those who responded to the online survey, praise highly the effectiveness of the school. Parents said ‘regular reviews give us information about how well our son is doing in school and how we can help him at home’, and ‘my child is well looked after and really enjoys school. His education and needs are well catered for’, for example. Ofsted, 2016

There are many ways in which parents can become involved in school life and these include:

  • The Parents Group which meets regularly in school
  • As a volunteer to assist with activities on an occasional or regular basis
  • By attending the many events that take place in school
  • By attending Parent Consultation meetings which are held every term to discuss pupil progress
  • By attending your child’s Annual Review.

Our website contains lots of information for parents, which is regularly updated - please check browse for further details.

The family ethos of Newfield was evident throughout all aspects of the verification, for example in the documentation, on the website and in conversations with stakeholders, ‘Parents refer to us as their family and that is the way we consider them’ (staff), ‘It is the Newfield family’, (governor) and ‘It is a family with open arms’ (parent). LPPA, September 2016.

‘Parents agree Newfield is an exceptional school’ Ofsted, 2016

Read our LPPA report
Parents group tapestry
Positive Behaviour Management

The general principles of behaviour agreed by Newfield School Governors are implicit within the whole school Positive Behaviour Support Policy. Consultation has taken place with staff, parents and, where appropriate, pupils. The school recognises the need for teaching and learning to take place in a caring, organised and orderly manner. Pupils are encouraged to develop an awareness of their unique contribution to the life of the school and to recognise the consequences of their behaviour and actions on themselves, other pupils, staff and visitors.

Throughout the visit there was much evidence of mutual rights respecting behaviours and very good relationships. A teaching assistant commented ‘they [the pupils] give way to others, everybody has respect for others’. RRSA, June 2017

Good conduct and appropriate behaviour is rewarded through praise, encouragement and tokens of appreciation, such as stickers and certificates. Some children have particular difficulties that they find hard to come to terms with and overcome, and it is for these reasons that the school formulates positive support plans with the child and parents. These plans are aimed at quickly resolving conflicts and difficulties a child may experience and are based on a child’s individual needs. These plans form part of a child’s overall Well-Being Plan.

Adults demonstrate high standards in everything they do. The air of calmness around the school is punctuated frequently by pupils’ desire to be successful learners. Ofsted, 2016

The excellent relationships between adults and pupils are undoubtedly the key to pupils’ outstanding behaviour in and around the school and when off-site on visits to the local and wider community. Ofsted, 2016

Within each child’s positive support plan there are details of advice and support for dealing with the difficulties presented. We believe the difficulty is a shared one, and the emphasis to resolve the situation is placed equally on the child and supervisory staff. Many of these plans can be adopted for use at home in order to create the opportunity for a twenty-four hour curriculum and to give the child the maximum opportunity to generalise these skills throughout their life.

The behaviour of pupils, including those in the early years and sixth form, is outstanding. Pupils, learners and parents spoken to, agreed that this is the case. During the inspection, inspectors saw nothing but exemplary behaviour. Pupils are polite and courteous towards one another and towards adults and other visitors, usually with little or no prompting from supporting adults. Ofsted, 2016

School Complaints Procedure

The policy of the School is to work in partnership with parents/carers and the wider community. It is based on the belief that co-operation and a sense of joint purpose between staff, parents/carers and the School will assist in ensuring open and positive relationships.

From time to time, however, parents and members of the public may express concern or make a complaint, either orally or in writing, about some aspect of the conduct/operation of the school, the conduct of the Headteacher, an individual member of staff, the Governing Body or an individual governor.

The School will always give serious consideration to concerns and complaints that are brought to its attention. However, anonymous complaints will not normally be considered. In considering concerns or complaints, the School will ensure that they are dealt with effectively and with fairness to all parties.

The vast majority of concerns and issues raised by parents/carers will be resolved informally. Where a complaint has not been resolved informally, then the formal procedures set out in the School Complaints Policy will be followed.

If the complaint is about the Headteacher or you wish to remain anonymous you can contact the Local Authority. Principle Governor Services Manager or Strategy Support Manager / Complaint’s Manager at Blackburn Town Hall, Telephone 01254 585 585.

School Meals / Dinner Money
Food hygiene rating

We are proud to hold a Food Hygiene Rating of 5 (Very Good) from the Food Standards Agency.

All meals are cooked on the premises by our Catering Team and individual dietary requirements are taken into consideration.

We acknowledge that many of our pupils experience difficulties with their eating in terms of selective eating and restricted preferences and we take these into consideration as part of the child’s personalised learning plan.

Dinner money is collected each Monday for the following week or you can pay by cash or cheque for the full term in advance. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Newfield School’. Details are available from the pupil services team. Money should be sent to school in a sealed envelope, clearly marked with the child’s name and the amount contained in the envelope.

If you feel that you may be entitled to free school meals, then please contact the Education Office.

The current cost of a meal is £2 per day or £10 for the week.

Enjoying school lunch
School Transport

All pupils are transported to and from school free of charge in vehicles provided through the Local Education Authority. Passenger Assistants are employed to supervise the pupils during the journey. Parents are requested to have their child ready for when the transport arrives.

Any difficulties or issues related to the transporting of pupils should be directed to the Special Needs Transport Team. Contact names and numbers are available on our links page.

Times Of School Sessions / Taught Time
Clock

Children arrive at 8.45 am and go to their classes for registration.

Lunch breaks and leisure activities run between 11.45 am and 1.30 pm to accommodate three lunch sittings according to age phase.

School ends at 3.10 pm, with pupils leaving on transport between 3.15 – 3.30 pm

Many classes have a drinks time in the morning and some may take this time in the afternoon also. Teachers use this time as an additional teaching opportunity.

Many of the pupils may have additional periods of physical activity as part of their individual timetables to address aspects of their education.

Uniform

The school has a uniform.

We realise that a number of our pupils have specific preferences for certain types of clothing or individual garments, however should your child have no objections to wearing school uniform, then the following items apply:

  • Grey/black skirt/trousers/joggers
  • White blouse, shirt or polo shirt/T-Shirt
  • Blue gingham Summer dresses
  • School sweatshirt with logo (available at cost price from the school)
  • Grey/black or white socks with dark shoes/trainers

The following items should be worn for Physical Education:

  • Plain T-Shirt
  • Shorts/joggers
  • Black plimsolls/trainers
  • Swimming costume/trunks
  • Towel
school jumper

Please could you ensure that all your child’s clothing is clearly marked with their name.

Pupils should not wear jewellery to school unless it is for strict religious or medical purposes. Jewellery can present safety issues for pupils particularly during PE activities.

Unofficial School Funds

The school is pleased to receive donations towards the purchase of additional resources for specific projects we have identified. Monies donated are greatly appreciated and are placed in an account specifically designated for this purpose. The accounts are audited annually and approved by the Governing Body.

Unofficial school funds

We hope you found what you were looking for. If we missed anything please contact us in school.

Newfield School
Old Bank Lane
Blackburn
Lancashire
BB1 2PW

01254 588 600

newfieldbwd on twitter newfieldautism on twitter
Safeguarding

Newfield School is committed to safeguarding and protecting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults as its number one priority.

Full copies of Policies and Procedures related to all aspects of Safeguarding, and the Complaints Policy, are available on request from Geoff Fitzpatrick, Head Teacher and Designated Senior Lead for Safeguarding and Child Protection.

Equality Duty

Newfield School complies with the general and specific duties of the Equality Act (2010). In accordance with the duty we publish information that demonstrates that we have due regard to the need to;

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination
  • Advance equality of opportunity
  • Foster good relations

These specific duties have been considered in relation to all our policies and procedures in school. Our objectives will be reported on and published as part of the Governance public documents available for inspection under the Freedom of Information Regulations and Data Protection duties and in the school newsletter to parents.

Our Equality Objectives are set, reviewed and published annually in our School Development Plan.

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