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Parayhouse accepts students between Year 3 and Year 11 who have speech, language and communication needs as a primary diagnosis.  Students can join us at any time between these year groups assuming we can meet their needs and have capacity for them at the time.

Consultations can come to the school either from local authorities or parents themselves. Where the referral is directly from parents, the school can determine whether they can meet needs and offer a place but will need consultation and acceptance from the local authority before the placement can be processed unless it is to be privately funded.

Parents of prospective students and/or other interested parties can arrange to visit the School by contacting Emily Taylor on or via reception. 

Parents may be asked to provide some information on their child prior to attending and some circumstances may be asked to bring their child with them.
Following this visit, if it is thought by both the School and parents that Parayhouse might be a suitable educational placement, then one of the following will take place:

1. The student will be visited in their current setting by a member of the senior leadership team

2. The student will be invited to an observation day at Parayhouse. The number and length of days will be different depending on the student's specific needs.

At this stage parents/carers will be asked to provide the student's most recent Annual Review/EHCP Review minutes. It can also be useful to see any reports from educational psychologists, speech and language therapists, doctors, teachers or other professionals.

A place is offered on the following criteria:

  • We can meet the child’s Special Educational Needs
  • The child fits into the existing group structure
  • There will be a place available at the time for when entry is sought

If we feel unable to offer a place, we will, where possible, refer parents to other educational establishments which we consider may be able to meet their child’s specific needs

Observation Days

An Information Sheet about the Observation Day is given to parents prior to their child’s appointment. Parents are asked to complete a form for that day.

The time in school is structured to be a fairly informal and enjoyable event for the child, in order to help him/her relax and perform well.

The child is observed in a range of situations so that we can assess social development, self-help skills, behavioural responses, physical abilities, pre-academic and academic functioning.

The child may be withdrawn from the relevant peer group and be observed in a distraction-free setting for informal assessment work by a Speech and Language Therapist and the Occupational Therapist.

Observation of the child takes place on entry to the School, separation from parents, in class and in free play situations. General use of social skills, non-verbal and verbal communication is noted. 

The Speech and Language Therapists’ role on Observation Days is to gain an overall view of the child’s functional speech, language and communication abilities. When a prospective student is already in therapy, then the assessment is subjective as required in professional practice. Previous therapy reports or assessments are considered, and the current therapist may be contacted for background information.

The SaLT will be informally assessing the child’s:

  • General desire to communicate
  • Ability to focus attention
  • Ability to engage in interactive speaking and listening behaviour
  • Comprehension
  • Expression
  • Voice
  • Fluency
  • Articulation
  • Social skills

A prospective student on Observation Day may be assessed by the Occupational Therapist if physical and/or SI difficulties are deemed to be a significant aspect of the child’s SEN. The OT’s role on this day is to observe and analyse the child’s skills and abilities throughout a range of activities, which cover all aspects of gross and fine locomotory function, perceptual and sensory functioning.

Parayhouse School is a non-maintained provision, therefore places are offered at the discretion of the Headteacher and Senior Leaders.

It is a criterion for entry that students be adequately transported to and from school. In the case of a student being funded by their local authority, then Parayhouse School will ask that the LA make the necessary arrangements for this. In special circumstances, notably where an agreement has been reached between LA and the family, the transport costs and arrangements may be the responsibility of the parents.