Q&A

Please see below our responses to questions raised during the consultation process:

Question

The proposal states that education will be offered for 4-19 year olds. Will you be offering a 3 year sixth form?

Answer

The majority of pupils will stay until they are 18 however there are occasions where pupils have been placed out of year group so we have requested an upper range to 19 to accommodate the minority of pupils that fall in to this category so they can have the full 7 years in the school.

Question

Will taking on more children with PDA have a negative effect on existing students?

Answer

The expansion project for children with a demand avoidant profile will take place gradually over the next three years. We will take this at a slow pace so that at the end of this time we will have up to 22 places available in the satellite provision. This is as a response to local need for provision of this type.

This will not affect the children currently in the school or places available for pupils with communication or other ASD needs. There will still be 66 places available at the Secondary and 60 at the Primary. We remain as committed as ever to meeting the needs of children with language and communication needs from Early Years through to 6th form.

We have been thriving with our work at the Link for pupils with demand avoidance and have found a very successful way of working with these children. The approach we take involves providing a bespoke curriculum within a nurture- based environment. The 8 children we currently support across the two sites are all doing well and are positively regulated the majority of the time.

The PDA children do not work in classes with other children in the school and indeed with the expansion project the majority will be on a different site altogether. Only those children who have the potential to integrate for specific lessons or social times without effecting the learning of others will spend time on the main school sites.

Question

Will the pupil numbers increase at the Primary and Secondary School?

Answer

Both primary and secondary school are at capacity and cannot take any further pupils on their existing sites.

Question

Will the new plans impact my child currently in Year 10?

Answer

There would be no change to pupils in Key Stage 4

Question

Where will the new site be located?

Answer

The proposed new site would be located at Wallington Primary Academy (WPA), which is 1.3 miles from the Link Schools. WPA is a large site with sufficient surplus accommodation to create a separate satellite site for The Link Schools

Question

Is the plan to open the new school in September 2022?

Answer

Yes, if the proposal is approved, the new satellite site would be effective from 1 September 2022

Question

Will the pupils with PDA be at the satellite site?

Answer

The proposal for the satellite site is to accommodate more pupils with complex ASD including those pupils that present with a PDA profile. However, each pupil will continue to be assessed on an individual basis as to which environment would work best for them.

Question

I chose the secondary school because of its calm environment – will that change?

Answer

New pupils with complex ASD and those presenting with PDA would be based at the satellite site and would access activities at Primary and Secondary sites when they could successfully integrate.

Question

Who will head up the satellite provision?

Answer

Sandy Turner is currently the Executive Principal for the Link Schools and if the satellite proposal is approved the satellite site would also come under her leadership. There would be a senior leader based at the satellite site.

Question

Will we have to apply for a place at The Link Secondary School if it becomes a through school?

Answer

Yes, you would need to go through the application process. We need to ensure that each child’s transition is right for them, their individual needs and they are in the best setting for them. It would also depend on which curriculum pathway your child is on at the Primary School, as that would determine if the Secondary School is the best fit for your child.

Our admissions criteria states that if your child is a pupil at The Link Primary School they have priority to attend The Link Secondary School if it is the best setting for them.

Question

When will you know if your proposal has been successful?

Answer

The end of April 2022

Question

Will the new site mean that the existing Link Schools will lose funding?

Answer

No, the funding would continue to follow the child.

Question

Will the satellite site impact on your current SLT?

Answer

We have capacity and have identified a senior leader who is ready to lead the new site if the proposal is approved.

Question

What is your biggest risk on this satellite proposal?

Answer

That the right children are in the right provision with the right staff supporting them.

Ensuring the new site is ready for September 2022.

Question

What will it mean for each schools’ administrative procedures?

Answer

Each site would have its own admin support and would continue to take care of their own HR, admin etc.

Question

My child is worried about moving location, will they have to move to the new site?

Answer

No, there would not be any impact on the current children

Question

What age will the school go up to?

Answer

The individual schools are currently 4- 11 (primary) and 11-19 (secondary). The merged school would therefore be for pupils from the age of 4-19.

Question

Will the new site have primary and secondary children?

Answer

Initially the new site would be for primary aged pupils, and there would be a KS3 provision eventually.

Question

Will you continue to offer places to children from local primary schools?

Answer

Yes, in the same way that we do now.

Question

The Primary School is an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ School and the Secondary School isn’t – it’s also much more modern – will this change after the merger?

Answer

The Secondary School has recently been judged as ‘Good’ with ‘Outstanding Behaviour and Attitudes’, which means we have two strong Ofsted reports. If the proposal is successful, the through school and new satellite site will have The Link Primary School’s Department for Education number and we will retain The Link Primary School’s ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted grade. We will make sure that all sites are invested in and are the best they can be. Both the Link Primary and Secondary Schools share the Link Priorities as will the satellite site.

Question

What will the merger mean to existing staff?

Answer

New specialist staff would be recruited for the satellite site, however, there would be opportunities for staff to move across if they have the suitable skills and a desire to join the new provision.

Question

In theory, could you direct staff to any of the sites?

Answer

Yes, but they wouldn’t be forced to. If staff wish to move to the new site there would be opportunities and training, but we would be recruiting specialist staff.

Question

Can staff request a move to another Link site?

Answer

Yes

Question

Currently, the two schools each have a top slice of their funding by the Trust. How would this work as a merged school?

Answer

The top slice is a percentage of each school’s turnover so it will be as a combined school instead of individual schools so there will be no change.

 

 

We cannot thank you enough for all the time and effort you have put into our son. You are amazing and we appreciate everything you have done for us as a family.

 

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