Arun Court is an alternative school provision for children with mental health needs. Our timetable combines therapy services with educational subject tuition and life skills. The setting provides full time education for non-violent young people suffering with mental health and Emotional, Social and Behavioural conditions such as clinical depression, anxiety disorders, school phobia, OCD, eating disorder and body dysmorphia, Post Trauma Conditions, Tourettes, self-esteem disorders & self-injury. We also support students who are transgender, and also those with an additional specific SEN diagnosis that are accompanied by high anxiety such as ASD, we are not classed as a specialist ASD setting however. Our students have often, but not exclusively, been out of education for long periods of time - as long as 4 years. We are a medium stay school with an aim of getting students mentally well and then catching them up academically; building their resileince to help them to re-enter the school system at an appropriate point. Our students tend to have high academic potential that has been hampered by specific mental health needs and non-attendance at school.
Arun Court offers hours of 10:00 - 16:00 / 10:30 - 16:30 plus wrap around care and clubs daily. We are classed as alternative education under the banner of ESBD (Emotional, Social & Behavioural Difficulties)
This is a private independent setting, which is run as a non-profit, break even project with the budget being scrutinised by the External Monitoring and Advisory Board. The proprietor is Beverley-Sarah White. She can be contacted via post:
Unit 8 A
Bramley Business Centre
(Above includes holiday periods)
or via the Arun Court School address:
14 Arun Court
Head Teacher & Leadership
The proprietor is also currently the head teacher. There are plans for her to move to purely proprietor (more of an executive head role) with an additional part-time head of school potentially starting in the summer term 2020 or autumn term 2020 (dependent on a successful appointment)
The school currently has a leadership team of 4:
Beverley-Sarah Head Teacher & Proprietor
Christopher Deputy Head Teacher
Gillian Senior Teacher
James Director of comissioning, administration and admissions
For details of how to contact the EMAT Chairperson (Governance) please see the governance page or download the parent handbook
Our current Local Offer is described below and further information can be found under the parent portal and curriculum tabs to the left of the screen.
Who do we cater for?
We work with young people in Year 7 to year 11/ 12 who have a mental health need as their immediate priority. Due to the nature of the setting and the students we are not able to cater for young people who are physically aggressive, abscond or those who require 'personal care'.
We accept referrals from LEAs, CAMHS, Children's Services and Educational Psychologists. Whilst some students may have a diagnosis of ASD or ADHD they will need to have a mental health need as their current main priority to meet our admissions criteria.
We are able to take students in year 12 who are taking GCSE courses a year later, however we are not able to take students aged 18 or above (we do have an over 18 provision, see 'Routes') The overall age at the centre is 'non adult' so 11 - 17.
Once students have improved in their mental health, it may be appropriate to look at their EHCP again and make the priority their main diagnosis or in the case of no SEN diagnosis to consider a return to mainstream education.
At this stage students often want a larger setting, with different opportunities. We therefore look for either specialist settings to transition to or support them back into mainstream. We have previously successfully transitioned students to:
St Dominics (ASD specialist school- state)
Stepping Stones (hemiplegia, physical SEN, ASD - Charitable Trust, Indep)
Unstead Park (ASD specialist school - Indep)
Reigate College (mainsteam post 16 - state)
Moon Hall (Specialist Dyslexia setting - Indep)
Rodborough School (mainstream -state)
Woking College (mainstream post 16)
Farnham College (mainstream state post 16)
Losely fields (mainstream -state)
Broadwater School (mainstream-state)
Guildford College (mainstream-state)
The Brit School (specialist music college)
What therapy do we offer?
1 x clinical psychologist - 1:1 high intensity students and supervision
1 x Psychotherapist (level 3)
1 x Solution Focused Therapies Coach (including arts coaching, pure SFC, CBT, mindfulness coaching, holistic coaching)
1 x Lego Therapist for speech & lang
1 x speech and language therapist for specific students
2 x Indian Head Massage practitioners
7 of our staff trained and qualified teachers of meditation and mindfulness
4 of our staff members are trained in psychology ranging from level 2 diploma to degree level
1 of our staff has completed a course in supporting counselling via the use of animals and we have two therapy animals (dog and rabbit) plus access to horses locally
3 of our staff have completed post graduate diploma studies in solution focussed coaching, 3 staff are also qualified to deliver CBT
1 of our staff members is a BAGA coach and has worked with LEA OT services to design programmes of physical activity for students with cerebral palsey and dyspraxia
2 of our staff have completed 20 hours of recognised CPD in supporting young people with psychosis and Schizophrenia
As a minimum, staff have complete a 15 hour course with Reading University on how to recognise and support students with clinical depression. All staff have 20 hours of training on our approach, including training in coaching and negotiated learning, how to deliver OT programmes and supporting those with anxiety.
The Senior Leadership all have post degree specialist qualifications ranging from post graduate diplomas, to NPQH to Masters Degrees
What is the core local offer?
A Scandinavian ethos, research-led, specialist teaching and therapy environment - our staff keep on the pulse of mental health issues, treatments, medical and educational research
What is the process and what are our contracts with brokering LEAs?
LEAs can broker Arun Court Setting places for students funded by EHCP. Due to our geography we are most likely to work with Surrey, Hampshire and Sussex but we are open to working with any viable LEA and we have already had past requests for services under Big Bear Bespoke Education Ltd for students living in Merton, Kent, Berkshire and Bracknell Forest.
Places are client specific and are offered on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. LEAs should make the initial approach, not parents, and can do so by sending the EHCP, Annual Reviews and any other relevant information to email@example.com
1.The paperwork is usually reviewed within two days, and in this time we review the case against our admissions checklist.
2. We will reply as to whether we can meet need. If we can meet need, we will either carry out a home visit, or invite the family to visit us. Sometimes we require both.
3. No placement is offered until the student has successfully completed a 5 day trial
Places should be for a minimum of 12 months, unless special terms have been agreed for a specific student. This is because past experience has taught us that it takes at least a year of therapeutic input as a minimum, and can often take 18 – 24 months, to get a student to a position where they can first consider transition to another setting. Some students need to stay longer to ensure they are properly safegaurded; we will not support sending a student to another setting if we believe them to be mentally at high risk.
We are an independet school and therefore our policies around expulsion are very different to a state school - please read the below statement.
EXPULSIONS (EXCLUSIONS) & CHILD PROTECTION
It is very important that any brokering LEA visits our setting and fully understands what it means to be a health-led facility, and a private facility in our context. Our current LEA contracts reserve the right to terminate a placement AT ANY STAGE if we feel that a student is placing other young people in harm, we will always hold the needs of the majority at the forefront of what we do. We always employ a collaborative, working party approach and we have to feel that when incidents of a serious nature occur parents are working with us, not against us. We will always go the extra mile, however if necessary we will robustly argue our case in court regarding protecting the well-being of very vulnerable young people by refusing to have a student on site until appropriate assessment of risk, and appropropriate actions to reduce risk, have been taken and if necessary funded. It is not in the social or mental interests of a child to be putting others at risk and to be isolating themselves further by their behaviour. If we do not feel our setting is benefitting a student's mental health we will make that very clear and have an expectation that any brokering LEA moves swiftly to find an appropriate placement; as we will not be put in a position where we are effectively further damaging a student by being forced to accommodate them when our professional view is that their presence is damaging to both themselves and others. IT IS LEGALLY ASSUMED, THAT BY TAKING A CONTRACT OUT WITH US, THE LEA HAS AGREED TO THIS STATEMENT & THE CONTENT THEREIN
SOURCES OF HELP
These services are not associated with us. We are not responsible for the quality of service they provide, we are recommending them based on the positive experiences of some young people known to us. By inclusion in this list nor are we suggesting that we are in any way affiliated with these servcies.
ANXIETY UK - Support, online counselling, magazine, advice
Text line: 07537416905
Info line: 03444775774
Website provides support for young people, professionals and parents. Young people who feel they are having a mental health crisis can get instant emergency support by texting YM to 85258
OCD UK - advice, online counselling, support and magazine. Dedicated youth services.
PAPYRUS - suicide prevention young people's hotline 0800 068 41 41
An eating disorder support service - smaller than some of the bigger associations, but specifically aimed at young people.