We offer respite for children who need a break from their current school setting. This gives breathing space for all parties, and through our tailored programmes it enables pupils to make progress. We work with the child’s school and family / carers to ensure the respite is a positive educational experience.
We offer respite as a short-term intervention for days, weeks or a term. The aim is for the child to return to full-time mainstream education, or we will help find an alternative long-term equivalent. We can provide respite support off-site (away from the child’s usual setting) or on-site (within the child’s usual setting). Every situation is unique, each programme developed is based on the child’s individual circumstances.
Planning for a successful respite experience
To make respite work, the key is good planning. Before any placement starts we arrange school and home visits and complete a number of baseline assessments. We evaluate children’s strengths and weaknesses to create a personalised learning programme for them to follow. Start dates and regular reviews are agreed so we can evaluate progress and tailor support to successfully reintegrate pupils into long-term education provision.
We provide placements at the Southover Partnership School for children who need respite away from their current school setting. The situation is regularly reviewed with the child, school, parents/carers and other support teams. At each review, a decision will be made to extend period of respite or to start a reintegration process.
For on-site respite, in the child’s usual education setting, we require a space for the child or small group of children to work in. Initially, the child/children are kept separate from their peers. They often have a different arrival time, break, lunch time and departure time from the rest of the school – working on a reduced timetable. The aim is to work with the child/children academically and emotionally to reintegrate them into the mainstream setting.
We plan carefully for reintegration into mainstream education to make it a positive and successful experience. Each pupil is supported through the process by a member of our team who has been working closely with them. At the start of the process, the child and staff member go on a short visit to school, in a situation where the child feels comfortable. We analyse the visit and aim to repeat and extend visits over a period of time, until the child is ready to return full-time. If things start to deteriorate then it may be necessary to slow down the integration process until we build up the child’s confidence to allow for successful reintegration.