What is TMBSS?
‘The Tuition, Medical and Behaviour Support Service’ exists to meet the needs of pupils aged between 5 and 16 across Shropshire who cannot be taught in school for a short period of time. Our key purpose is to provide a high quality learning experience appropriate to the needs of the individual pupil.
Ultimately, we are a short term placement and support the (re)integration back into the most appropriate education provision at the earliest opportunity.
How can individuals access TMBSS?
Reasons for attending are varied and the individualised programmes are a reflection of this.
The ways in which a student may access TMBSS
- A commissioned place – through a referral made by their mainstream school to a specialist placement panel. There is usually a waiting list.
- Sixth Day Provision – following a permanent exclusion.
- Infill – Additional places, purchased by schools, other Local Authorities and LAC team, offering a bespoke programme for a specific period of time/piece of work with an individual.
- Hospital – consultants can make referrals for pupils who are too ill to attend school and are still accessing hospital treatment on a regular basis.
When allocated a place, students will usually access one of 5 secondary centres across Shropshire, our primary centre in Shrewsbury or one of two primary hubs. Whilst we endeavour to provide placements at the most local setting, this may not always be possible or in the best interests of the individual.
What is the purpose of a placement at TMBSS?
This will vary depending on the entry method to TMBSS.
- Students may attend TMBSS whilst awaiting Fair Access Panel – this type of ‘maintenance’ placement is to ensure pupil has access to education whilst waiting for a new mainstream placement.
- Students may attend for a short period of assessment to determine whether an EHCP application should be submitted prior to return to mainstream school/alternative specialist provision. Should this be the case, parents/carers will be consulted. This is based on professional judgment of experienced and specialist staff. Not all pupils will have an application for an EHCP submitted.
- Purpose of placement is to assess the individual needs of the pupil and to prepare them for their next step whether this be a return to their previous setting or preparing to access alternative provision.
- Staff work to re-engage students in education and develop a range of strategies to support their return to their mainstream/next setting.
- These placements may be conducted on a shared placement basis with a mainstream setting
- Pupils on these programmes are dual registered and the cost is met through higher needs funding.
- Students are taught whilst in hospital or recovering from illness. This may be done in collaboration with the student’s non-TMBSS school.
- TMBSS are usually commissioned to complete a highly specific piece of work with an individual. This is an agreed bespoke programme within a given period of time.
- ‘Period of assessment’ is not synonymous with ‘EHCP Application’. For example it may mean a two week period of observation before approaching Fair Access Panel for return to mainstream. It may mean statutory assessment. There is not a set period of time for this; the length of placement will be based on the need of each individual.
- If students receive an EHCP, TMBSSdo not determine the student’s allocated school. This is decided through the Local Authority SEN department, who gather information from parents/carers, education, health and social care to establish potential provisions. TMBSS staff will work with the identified placement to support transition.
- Pupils in KS1, 2 and 3 and some in KS4 will remain on the roll of their mainstream school (unless SDP). Their progress will be reviewed regularly and an individualised (re) integration programme will be put together as appropriate for the needs of the student.
What do we provide in terms of curriculum?
TMBSS aims to provide a curriculum which is highly responsive to the needs of the individual. Our key aim is to ensure that this is both high quality and effective for equipping the young person for their next stage.
- Students may, therefore, be taught in small mixed ability groups containing pupils of several year groups if it is deemed appropriate.
- Pupils’ programmes follow the most recent National Curriculum requirements and close links are maintained with mainstream schools, to support reintegration into mainstream education / training.
- All pupils have the entitlement to access a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum that is matched to their needs and abilities. A range of alternative provision activities are available to re-engage, motivate and develop pupils’ skills.
- Students in KS4 work towards the completion of a wide range of GCSE and alternative qualifications.
Attendance is a priority for TMBSS. It is crucial to the success of a student’s placement, their subsequent placements and academic progress. TMBSS actively seek to encourage all students to work towards achieving a full attendance record.
- Attendance is monitored daily by centre managers and discussed weekly by the Senior Leadership Team.
- All centres actively pursue each pupil’s attendance by a system of daily phone calls at close of register.
- If we have 3 consecutive non-attendances without contact from parent/carer, or without an adequate explanation, then we would follow the Local Authority’s attendance tracking progress guidance.
- Staff may conduct unannounced visits to monitor student attendance and offer support where appropriate.
- We work closely with the Education Welfare Officer who may use a range of approaches. In cases of persistent attendance issues, EWOs may seek to issue court proceedings, resulting in a fine of £2500 and/or 3 months imprisonment.
Expectations of parents:
- Parents/carers are expected to encourage maximum attendance.
- When absence occurs, parents/carers are required to contact the Education Centre to provide reason for absence at earliest opportunity. It is also parental responsibility to contact transport to cancel taxis as appropriate.
- In the case of persistent non-attendance issues, parents/carers will be required to discuss matter with Centre Manager at an early stage and to work with the staff in resolving any problems together.
- TMBSS may invite the parents/carers to an Attendance Review Meeting in order to try and resolve attendance issues.
Authorised absences are mornings or afternoons away from school for a reason such as genuine illness of the pupil or unavoidable cause.
Unauthorised absences are those which TMBSS does not consider reasonable and for which no “leave” has been given. This includes:
- Parents/carers keeping children off school unnecessarily.
- Truancy before or during the school day.
- Absences which have never been properly explained.
Students who live close to their allocated centre will not be eligible for transport (3 miles). It may be appropriate for some students to use public transport.
- For those who are entitled to transport, this may be via taxi or minibus.
- Once request forms are completed, these are to be returned to the Centre, where they will be submitted.
- TMBSS do not determine the route, company, driver or other students transported in the same taxi.
- It is the responsibility of the parent/carer to cancel transport in the event of unplanned absence in addition to contacting the Centre.
- Where parents/carers are aware of future absences (e.g. arranged appointments) they are required to cancel transport a minimum of 24 hours in advance in addition to contacting the Centre.
How do we manage behaviour?
Everybody has the right to learn, to feel safe, to be respected and to be fairly treated.
Key areas of our behaviour policy:
- Everyone is expected to behave in a reasonable way, to accept responsibility for their behaviour and to encourage others to do the same.
- Prevention rather than intervention strategies is regarded as the norm.
- Specialist staff work to remove barriers to learning that may have become entrenched in former educational settings.
- Staff work to create an ethos where acceptable behaviour is positively encouraged and misbehaviour is reduced.
- Where negative behaviours occur, TMBSS staff are trained to use MAPA – verbal de-escalation and physical disengagement techniques.
- Where students are at risk of causing harm to themselves, others or to property, they may be held using restrictive MAPA holds to maintain safety. Only staff trained in MAPA techniques will carry out these holds.
- Incidents will be dealt with using restorative approaches.
All TMBSS centres are no-smoking sites
- All pupils, staff (teaching, peripatetic, support and non-teaching), visitors, parents/carers may not smoke while on school premises.
- This includes while students are engaged in school related activities outside the school, e.g. off-site educational visits
- Students are not permitted to bring smoking paraphernalia /vapes into centres.
- If students constantly breach this policy, parents will be asked to attend a meeting with senior staff to discuss concerns and continued breaches may result in a fixed term exclusion.
- If students require support/education to stop smoking they will be offered support by staff.
Current policy allows students to have mobile phones in Centres.
- All students and their parents/carers are required to agree to and sign ‘Acceptable Use Policy’
- Both parents/carers and students should be clear that misuse of mobile phones will not be tolerated.
Examples of misuse may include
- the deliberate engineering of situations where people’s reactions are filmed or photographed in order to humiliate, embarrass and intimidate by publishing to a wider audience such as on Facebook or YouTube
- bullying by text, image and email messaging
- the use of a mobile phone for ‘sexting’
- pupils posting material on social network sites with no thought to the risks to their personal reputation/deliberate intention of causing harm to others
- making disrespectful comments, misrepresenting events or making defamatory remarks about teachers or other pupils
- general disruption to learning caused by pupils accessing phones in lessons
- pupils phoning parents immediately following an incident so that the ability of staff to deal with an incident is compromised
- publishing photographs of vulnerable pupils
- TMBSS request that in support of this, parents/carers contact centre administrators or centre managersin an emergency rather than the student directly.
- TMBSS also request that parents/carers contact centre directly when a student attempts to contact them during the school day and do not respond to their calls/messages.
- Centre Managers will contact parents if it is necessary or will facilitate a telephone-call with the student if it is in the best interest of the student/situation.
Breaches of this policy may result in:
- Withdrawal of permission to have a phone in centre for a period of time.
- Communication with parents/carers.
- Imposition of other sanctions up to and including a fixed term exclusion from school.
- If the offence is serious it will be reported to the Police.
Individual Programme and Integration into Centre:
- Students are invited to visit the allocated Centre to meet the Centre Manager with parents/carers.
- All students are expected to complete baseline assessments to determine attainment and establish gaps in learning. This information will be used alongside information from previous setting (where available) to make programme relevant and appropriately pitched.
- Integration will be decided by Centre Manager /Senior Leadership Team based on the needs of each individual.
- Individual programmes will also be set out by Centre Managers. We are not able to offer all subjects in all Centres, however we will endeavour to support students wishing to continue with particular subjects/qualifications if possible. This may be done by accessing support from previous subject teachers or within TMBSS. We have limited facilities, however and this will not always be possible.
- Housekeeping arrangements, e.g. lunch will be discussed at centre visit.