- Two highly successful special schools – Culverhill (designation complex learning difficulties, or CLD) OFSTED Good (2016) and New Siblands OFSTED Outstanding (2017) (designation severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties, or SLD / PMLD), came together to enhance outcomes for pupils by forming Enable Trust on July 1st 2018.
- The MAT will incorporate ‘Two Bridges Academy’ (working title for an SLD / PMLD free school that Enable Trust successfully bid for) which is due to open in 2023. The free school application is in response to South Gloucestershire Council’s competition for a new special free school to cater for the needs of aged 2 – 19 pupils with severe learning difficulties (SLD) and profound, multiple learning difficulties (PMLD). The 112 co-educational places (including 7 nursery and 21 post 16) will be commissioned by Bath and North East Somerset Council and South Gloucestershire Council, and possibly Bristol City Council. The rationale is clearly set out by South Gloucestershire LA citing the 2014 SEN Review and subsequent work in identifying demand for places for pupils with SLD / PMLD in South Glos.
- Enable Trust is seeking to contribute to the building of a new, diverse yet effective schools eco system for the sustainable future. Through collaboration and an outward focus, we will ensure outcomes for pupils are improved through better opportunities, and by teaching that is impacted through peer support and informed by the latest innovation and research. Enable Trust is well placed to prepare pupils with additional needs for adult life and increased autonomy.
- Two key rationales were behind the application to form a MAT:
1. To sustainably improve standards and outcomes (including through succession planning for sustained leadership in the sector, and outreach to support SEN locally, regionally and nationally)
2. To ensure pupils with complex, severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties have a strong voice in the wider system.
The advantages of forming Enable Trust as a Special school MAT were:
- proactively working together to protect, improve and sustain the educational provision for children and young people with complex, severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties
- collaborating to ensure we maximize all potential for sustainable school improvement through expertise in the field, efficiency of resources (human and financial) to enhance outcomes for pupils for the long term
- working together to shape the future - influencing provisions and services from social care and health that our pupils need
- Having a strong united voice to prioritise and influence local offer provision to meet pupils’ needs
- Having a strong alliance with Special Partnership Trust in Cornwall, to proactively and collaboratively meet regional SEN priorities in the South West region
- formal partnership with local academies to have a sustained impact on pupil outcomes through a Teaching School Alliance
- Having an inclusive vision to enable mainstream partners who share a child centred, personalised and holistic pedagogy and the desire to have a strong SEN voice and approach to affiliate with us.
- Having the capacity to make informed choices for the future to meet pupils’ needs
- Culverhill and New Siblands both meet the needs of pupils with autism. Our proposal for Two Bridges Academy includes a vision for meeting needs of children with autism and Severe learning Difficulties (SLD) in a low stimulus environment which will support children’s outcomes and needs being met within South Gloucestershire. This type of provision is not established in South Glos beyond Key Stage 1. Pupils at Culverhill typically have speech language and communication needs, autism, and increasingly cohorts of pupils have mental health needs.
- Culverhill and New Siblands Schools have piloted the latest innovations in assessment design, post Rochford Report, for the Department for Education (DFE). Formal collaboration strengthens outcomes and will enable the Trust to support schools regionally and nationally through the teaching school alliance.
- The Board of Trustees and Members of Enable Trust have an exceptionally strong track record in SEN. Our Patron is Professor Barry Carpenter (Complex Learning Difficulties Research Project commissioned by the DFE and Professorship at Oxford University – mental health needs).
- The Chief Executive Officer of Enable Trust is Andrew Buckton. Andrew has 27 years experience in SEN education, Schools, Students and Teacher Network Executive Heads Programme, MA (distinction) psychology of SEN – inclusion and disability and is a current OFSTED inspector (mainstream and enhanced SEN), committed to sustainable improvement and is a Research Fellow SSAT.
- Robust financial analysis demonstrates the viability of the MAT sustained over time to deliver vision and outcomes for pupils.
- Highly robust curriculum and assessment offer across the Trust that has a strong track record of meeting pupils’ needs
- Strong track record of achievement and progress for pupils at Culverhill and New Siblands School.
- Excellent leadership capacity that has been grown and developed, including senior leaders qualified to NPQH standard and middle leaders qualified with SSAT Lead Practitioner (SEN), NPQSL and NPQML.
- All pupils across Enable Trust will have a carefully planned learning journey that targets academic, physical, social and emotional needs, building skills and developing independence. They will benefit from the flexibility of a curriculum that can be personalised to ensure individual needs and learning styles are addressed to maximise positive outcomes. They will learn in a positive and nurturing atmosphere, where all their achievements are valued and celebrated. All pupils will be enabled to reach their full potential and will be fully prepared for their future lives as happy and confident adults, supported from the outset by highly experienced experts in the field of SEN.
- All pupils across Enable Trust will benefit from:
- High levels of personal development, independence and life skills alongside academic progress for all pupils within the trust through relevant curriculum, pedagogy and inclusion opportunities.
- Experts who will support all pupils to be engaged, believe in their ability to succeed and strive to be the best that they can be.
- Innovative learning environments with outstanding teaching and learning opportunities and high quality resources and support
- The sharing of specialist staff expertise and resources across the trust to benefit all pupils
- Staff who work closely with other agencies to provide sustained effective support for families of pupils with SEND.
- Sustainable links with the community that will support pupils’ needs, interests and career and future pathways once they have left school.
Strategies for curriculum delivery for children with SEN will be shared across the wider community of schools through ETHOS (Enable Trust Holistic Outreach Service).