Admissions & Referrals

The purpose of the school’s assessment process is to determine and clarify the needs of the individual student with a view to evaluating whether these can be met by Eton Dorney Independent Therapeutic School’s educational approach and environment.

An assessment for admission considers each prospective student’s:

  • Education and performance levels
  • Communication and sensory needs
  • Behavioural and emotional responses
  • Self-help and independence skills
  • Emotional wellbeing and mental health needs
  • Adaptability and response to the school’s approach, interventions and environments
  • Impact on the existing peer groups
  • This initial assessment process forms the baseline against which progress will be measured at regular intervals. The assessment information informs the student’s initial Individualised Learning Plan which includes a detailed programme designed to enable each student to work towards specific, meaningful and attainable goals.
  • To begin the assessment for admission process we will request up-to-date referral papers, including the student’s Statement of Special Educational Needs (or Education, Health and Care plan), a history of the student’s education and any assessment reports that have been completed to determine his or her needs. This information will be considered with reference to Eton Dorney’s admissions criteria.

Admissions Criteria

  • The criteria for admission to Eton Dorney Independent Therapeutic School are based on a combination of factors which include individual student needs and the suitability of the school’s approach and environment. These criteria are set out below and are subject to regular review.
  • Students may have challenging behaviours resulting from their sensory needs; their inflexible thinking patterns; or from the communication, emotional or social difficulties, behavioural and/or learning disabilities Students may have a variety of learning styles and difficulties which range in severity.

Admissions Procedures

Students are assessed against the school’s admissions criteria in the following staged manner.

Step 1

Evaluation of the referral information
  • Determination of whether the student’s special educational needs, as described in the referral reports, match the school’s admissions criteria.

Step 2

Meeting the student if possible
  • The school’s multi-disciplinary team will then:
    Arrange to meet the child or young person, parents/carers and teachers/social workers. This may be at Eton Dorney Independent Therapeutic School, at the student’s care home/foster home or in another setting, as appropriate.
  • Request any additional paperwork and collect further information associated with the student’s needs, physical health, mental health , education and care.
    Consider the child’s suitability for placement in the light of this additional information.
  • If the outcome of the process at this stage strongly suggests that Eton Dorney Independent Therapeutic School is a suitable placement, then:

Step 3

The assessment placement and transition arrangements
  • An offer of a day or residential assessment placement is made, during which period the student’s initial response to his or her experience of the Eton Dorney Independent Therapeutic School approach and environment is evaluated. This takes place over a 6-week period.
  • In many cases, prospective students have experienced major difficulties in other schools. Many have spent long periods of time out of school either through exclusion, refusing to attend or because they have been in specialist placements with limited education. This means that personalised and sensitively planned transition arrangements must be put in place to enable each new starter to successfully join the school.
  • If student responses and outcomes of the transition arrangements and assessment placement are positive, then:

Step 4

The confirmation review
  • A multi-agency confirmation review meeting is held to evaluate the 6-week assessment period; to discuss findings from additional evaluations and to clarify the terms under which the student is being offered a full placement at the school.
  • Final decisions about the school’s suitability for the student are made by drawing on the conclusions from referral reports; from additional information collected by the school; and from impressions formed from the student’s assessment carried out by our multi-disciplinary team.

School Referrals Contact


Phone: 01628 667475

Admissions Policy