Placement of a child in the ASD Base is the decision of the Local Authority in consultation with the school. Pupils will be considered for the ASD Base when it is clear that they will benefit from the provision and that they meet the following criteria:
- Pupils have an Education Health and Care Plan for their Special Educational Needs
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is identified as the prime need, and all other needs are secondary
- The range of needs will reflect the triad of impairments which are related to the autism spectrum:
- Impairment of social interaction. This can involve difficulty in playing and working co-operatively with others, developing and sustaining friendships and managing unstructured aspects of the day.
- Impairment of social communication. This can involve difficulties processing and retaining information and difficulty with understanding verbal and non-verbal communication. This includes difficulties interpreting facial expressions, body language, jokes and sarcasm. There can be difficulties understanding the social use of language and a literal interpretation of language.
- Impairment of social imagination and rigidity in thinking. This can include difficulties empathising with others. There can be difficulties coping with change and generalising.
- In addition to the triad of impairment, there may be difficulties with fine and gross motor co-ordination and organisational skills. The child may also be affected by underlying fears and phobias, which may be related to sensory sensitivities.
- They have the capacity to benefit from a mainstream curriculum and from inclusion in some mainstream classes
- They may have sensory processing and integration difficulties, but would have the capacity to cope within the school environment
- Any emotional and behavioural difficulties are not the prime need and will not adversely affect the individual or the host group’s ability to benefit from the resource.
Visits. In cases where the ASD Opportunity Base is a possible placement for a child, the family will be encouraged to visit. However, there can be no comment about the child’s suitability, nor an offer of a place, before the Local Authority has made a recommendation about placement. If the parents/carers request a place at the Opportunity Base, they should be referred to the SEN Team.
Referral. When a referral is received from the Local Authority (LA), the school will consider the request and respond in writing within the time limit set by the Authority. If the school consider that the child would not be appropriately placed in the ASD Opportunity Base, the Authority must be given the reasons for that recommendation. The reasons should be expressed in terms of the needs of the child and the efficient education of other children already at the school.
Children resident outside the London Borough of Sutton will be referred by the Local Authority in which they are resident to the SEN Team in Sutton for consideration. Referrals from another LA should be reported to the SEN Team at Sutton LA upon receipt.
Assessment. When a referral is made, the LA will always attach the Education Health and Care Plan, the most recent Annual Review and any appended reports about the child from the professionals involved. The LA will not wish the school to duplicate any assessment, but the school may need to seek up-to-date reports and observe the child if a recent report is not available.
The Head of Base and/or Deputy Head of Base will review the referral papers and request any additional reports required. If, from the paperwork, they consider that the child does not meet the admissions criteria, they will inform the LA.
Transition. When placement has been agreed, contact will be made with the child’s current placement to arrange a transition programme with exchange of information and reciprocal visits where practical and appropriate
Exit Criteria. The child will be referred to the SEN Panel if:
- it is considered that he/she has gained in independence and can access the mainstream curriculum without specialist support from the ASD Base;
- the changing needs of the child indicate that alternative provision may be more appropriate.
This process would come about under the review (Annual or Interim Review) process of the EHCP and would be in consultation with the family.