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Bennerley Fields School

Nurture. Support. Aspire. Achieve.



Bennerley Fields School is an academy and a member of the Esteem Multi-Academy Trust. Decisions about which students are placed at Bennerley Fields are ultimately taken by the placing local authorities, however, in each case a local authority will consult with the school governors before making a placement decision. The governors have delegated the power to consult on placements to the Headteacher.


Students that Derbyshire Local Authority (LA) seeks to place, the school will advise on whether it can meet the student’s needs, and whether a place is available. For other local authorities who seek to place students here, e.g. Derby City or Nottinghamshire LA, Bennerley Fields will provide the same information.


Following a placement request, the Headteacher will make a judgement based on information provided by the LA, such as the student’s EHCP and professional reports. When responding to a local authority consultation the Headteacher will clearly state whether the needs of the student are able to be met and we would be a suitable placement for them.



Range of Provision


We cater for pupils aged 2 to 16 with a range of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. All pupils will have an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC).  All pupils will have a recognised learning need and be working well below their chronological age and will also have communication difficulties. 


The chart below outlines an overview of needs we can and cannot meet to guide parents and carers to consider if we may be a suitable school for their child. 


Whether we are a suitable placement also depends on whether we can meet the needs and provision stated in a child’s EHCP.


As a school equality, diversity and inclusion is very important to us, and we welcome children and their families with any protected characteristic if we can meet their SEND needs and provisions as stated on their EHCP.


Needs we can meet

Needs we do not meet and would be unsuitable for as a placement

• speech, language and communication difficulties

• cognition and learning needs well below their chronological age

• moderate learning difficulties

• severe learning difficulties

• autistic spectrum disorder

• some sensory and/or some physical needs

• some behaviour, emotional and social development needs

• visual impairment

• hearing impairment

• multi-sensory impairment

• some physical disabilities

• some other needs depending on provision needed and learning level of the pupil


  • Pupils who are at Are Related Expectations, or those within a few years of their Age Related Expectations
  • Pupils in Y10 and Y11 who are able to access GCSEs  (the highest level of qualification we offer are Entry Level qualifications)
  • Pupils whose main barrier to education are Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs
  • Pupils with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities


Procedure for Admission

Enquiries for places may derive from many sources, including:

• Professionals  working  with  a  young  person  suggest  Bennerley Fields School to parent/carers; or

• Derbyshire or another LA suggest Bennerley Fields School as a school to consider to the parents/carers of a young person with an EHCP

• Parent/carers will contact the school independently, in which case a visit is likely to be suggested; or

• Derbyshire or another LA directly request consideration of a student for admission.

Whoever makes a request, the formal offer of a place by a local authority requires them to consult with the school as described above.

Admission will be dependent on the availability of a place (current maximum 100) and the suitability of the school to meet the particular SEN needs of the pupil and the impact that the pupil’s attendance might have on the education of other pupils in the school (Paragraphs 34 & 35 Circular 15/99).

The majority of pupils will be admitted on a full time basis but exceptions will be made on the basis of age, medical needs, and transition into Bennerley Fields after a period of non-attendance at another school.

Prospective parents/carers are welcome to visit the school during one of our scheduled half-termly parent information evenings.  A senior member of staff will discuss their child’s individual needs and show them around the school.

If a child is given a place at Bennerley Fields School, the Headteacher will be the first point of contact to discuss information and transition between families and their school to ensure a smooth transition that meets the needs of the pupil.  Transition arrangements will depend on pupil need and are personalised to the circumstances of the child and the family.  These arrangements can include:

  • Visits to school after school when it is quiet
  • Visits to school to meet other pupils
  • Bennerley Fields School staff visiting a pupil at their current setting or home
  • A personalised transition booklet and social story with photos and information to support their transition
  • An admissions pack for parents/carers with lots of relevant information and permission forms etc.

If a place is agreed, the placing local authority arranges transport between home and school in accordance with its own home-to-school transport policy. Parents/carers usually have to apply for transport themselves – our Family Support Workers can help parents/carers with this if require help.  Derbyshire LA usually agree to fund a pupil’s transport to Bennerley Fields School if they live more than 3 miles walking distance away.

The flow chart below explains the process for admissions for Derbyshire LA; other LAs may be different in their procedures.


Procedure for Complaints

The SEN Code of practice states that parents/carers and young people can make an application to the administrative court for judicial review if they are not happy with the local authority’s placement. The administrative court considers local authority placements by reviewing the decisions that the local authority has made in the process of placing a child.

An application for a judicial review can only be actioned after you have followed the complaints procedure set by the local authority, complained to the Department for Education and you are still not happy with the outcome.

Before you can apply for a judicial review, you must follow the pre-action protocol to see if there is any way the case can be resolved before going to the high court.

Derbyshire LA Admissions Procedures

Please see information sheet below for more information