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“Success for Everyone”

PB Admission & Exit Criteria


Criteria for Admission to and Exit from Pebble Brook School 


The provision aims to support the development of children (aged 11 - 19) with communication and interaction needs including speech, language and communication needs, autistic spectrum disorder and moderate learning difficulties.  Some children may have a sensory impairment, i.e. hearing or vision.

The provision is a Community Special School and it is expected that the catchment area will primarily be the Aylesbury Vale district.  Pupils from other areas will be considered upon request by Buckinghamshire Local Authority.

Children are supported through:

  • Smaller than normal class sizes / enhanced staffing ratios.
  • Staff experienced / trained in supporting pupils with Special Educational Needs.
  • When appropriate, access to a range of therapies, teaching strategies, specialist resources and equipment not usually available in a mainstream setting.
  • Relevant, modified or alternative curriculum models, including the National Curriculum where appropriate, including a broad and balanced range of activities and experiences tailored to meet individual learning styles.  There is an acknowledgement of the very small steps of progress made by some pupils (and in some cases, the loss of previously learned sills).

The aim of all of the above is to support pupils in accessing the curriculum and to ensure that their statemented needs are met.  However, it is important that all pupils are appropriately placed, therefore, the entry and exit criteria will be considered at each Annual Review of the child’s Education, Health and Care Plan.

Primary Need (as identified in the Education, Health and Care Plan)

Speech, Language and Communication Needs

  • Pupils with a language disorder, or speech and language delay, which may or may not be in addition to other learning difficulties.  However, pupils will have difficulties with some or all of the following: pragmatic / abstract language, non-verbal language, understanding and following instructions, word-retrieval, word order, dysfluency, omission of syntactic structures, speech production.
  • Some pupils will also have difficulties with attention and listening, development of literacy skills, lack of self-esteem / self-confidence and / or frustration due to lack of ability to communicate effectively.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder

  • Pupils will have a diagnosis, or exhibit significant traits, of Autistic Spectrum Disorder, (including high-functioning Autism or Asperger Syndrome).  All will display behavioural, social and emotional difficulties that prevent them from being able to access the curriculum in a mainstream school.
  • Some pupils may also experience learning difficulties which fall within the MLD range.

Moderate Learning Difficulties

  • Pupils will have significantly lower educational development across all National Curriculum areas than is generally expected for pupils of the same age.
  • As well as their moderate learning difficulties, pupils will also have additional barriers to learning which prevent them from being able to access a mainstream environment, for example, communication and interaction difficulties, social and emotional difficulties, sensory or medical difficulties.
  • Some pupils may present a range of additional needs due to a syndrome or condition such as Autism or a medical and / or life-limiting condition which require additional support.

NB  Upon request by Buckinghamshire Local Authority, children who have a significant hearing or visual impairment will be considered for placement. Pebble Brook is able to offer a curriculum suitable for children of average academic ability with these areas of need.

Entry Criteria

A child is eligible to be considered for placement if they meet the following criteria:

  1. The child has an Education, Health and Care Plan.
  2. The child is aged 11 – 19 years old.
  3. The child is unable to fully access, or follow in a modified form, the National Curriculum in a mainstream setting.
  4. For most children their ability will lie within the following bands for Literacy and Numeracy:


Academic Ability (see point 4 above)


P7 – Stage 2


P8 – Stage 3


P8 - Stage 3


P8 - Stage 4


P8 - Stage 4


P8 - Stage 4


P8 - Stage 4


P8 - Stage 4

Pebble Brook is able to offer a curriculum suitable for more able children who have high-functioning Autism / Asperger Syndrome, hearing or visual impairments.  Entry requirements will be considered on an individual basis for pupils with the above conditions.

5. The Buckinghamshire SEN Matrix Locators relates to a child’s level of needs in each area.  The following table shows the needs catered for within this school and must be looked at in conjunction with the ability bands above:



































































Provision offered


Outside provision offered

In exceptional cases, a child who does not fully meet the criteria may be considered for placement at the request of Buckinghamshire Local Authority.

Exit Criteria

A child will be considered for placement in a mainstream school when one or more of the following factors are evident:

  • The child’s special educational needs are no longer a barrier to accessing the curriculum of a mainstream setting.
  • The child no longer requires an Education, Health and Care Plan.
  • There is evidence from professionals across the agencies involved that the child will benefit from a placement in a mainstream school.

A child will be considered for placement in an alternative specialist provision when one or more of the following factors are evident:

  • The child’s special educational needs have changed to the extent that the provision is no longer able to meet their needs and he / she requires the specialist skills / facilities / resources available within an alternative specialist placement.  (As determined by the Buckinghamshire SEN Matrix Locators).
  • A child will be considered not suitable for placement if there has been deterioration of their health to the extent that they are required to be in a full-time health based environment, for example, hospital, hospice, full-time nursing care at home.

Consideration should be given to the compatibility with the efficient education of other children and effective use of resources available.  For this reason a student may be considered no longer appropriately placed when the points above do not apply.

Procedure for placement

The admitting authority for special schools is Buckinghamshire Local Authority and requests for placement at Pebble Brook School will be considered by the provision panel.

If the panel considers that the child meets the criteria for placement within a special school, consultation will take place with the nearest appropriate provision to the home address that has an available space.  Should parents state a preference for a school which is not the nearest appropriate school, parents will be responsible for the home to school transport if a space is allocated at their preferred school.

The school being consulted will respond directly to the Local Authority indicating if they feel that they can meet the pupil’s needs as per schedule 27.

Schedule 27 of the Education Act 1996 requires the Local Authority to comply with parental preference unless:

  • The school is unsuitable to the child’s age, ability, aptitude or special educational needs
  • The placement would be incompatible with the efficient education of other children with whom the child would be educated
  • The placement would be incompatible with the efficient use of resources

In consideration of a parental request for a placement the Local Authority must consider the entry criteria detailed above.

September 2017