A glossary of Fountaindale School information


In this section you will find a handy A-Z of frequently requested information about the day to day organisation of the school.  There is also a Document Library, providing access to key school policies, holiday lists, etc.  If you would like to receive paper copies of any the information on our website, these can be provided free of charge and can be translated into different languages.  Please contact the office on 01623 792671, who will be more than happy to help.


If children are absent for any reason, parents are requested to inform school and taxi operators so that unnecessary journeys are not made.  Parents will be contacted on the first day of absence by the school office if a reason has not been received.

In the case of a possibly infectious illness, parents should not send their child into school until at least 48 hours after antibiotics have been started.

On a child’s return to school, parents are requested to send a written note, giving the reasons for absence, for our files. 

If the reason for absence is a family holiday, parents are required to obtain a holiday form from school, and return it at least two weeks prior to the first day of absence. Holidays during term time can seriously affect a child’s progress and therefore are only approved in very exceptional circumstances.  Parents taking their child out of school during term time, without approval, will result in a Penalty Notice and fine being issued.

Following a period of hospitalisation, parents must contact the school to discuss their child’s return to school. A multi-agency meeting may be required to ensure that school has everything in place for a child’s safe return to school.


The school caters for children with complex physical, medical and sensory needs.  Admissions are governed by Local Authority (LA) Policy and procedures in line with the Department for Education (DfE) ‘Code of Practice for the Assessment of Children with Special Educational Needs’.

Children are admitted to special schools with either an ‘Education, Health and Care Plan’ (which are replacing Statements of SEN) which names the special school.  Before an EHC Plan is issued, the child or young person will have undergone formal assessment.  After this multi-professional assessment, parents will receive a plan describing the child’s or young person’s special educational needs, and the various elements of special educational, health and social care provision required. 

When considering a parent’s preference, the LA will need to be sure that the school named by the parent can meet the pupil’s special educational needs, and that the placement is consistent with the provision of suitable education to other children and young people already at the school.  The LA also needs to be sure that the placement is compatible with the efficient use of available resources.

Before reaching its final decision on admission to a special school, the LA will consult with the Headteacher of the Special School to ensure that all needs can be met.

Information on the assessment and EHC process and how parents can be supported within it is available from the LA or the school.

Prospective parents and children are always welcome to visit the school, either informally or following the suggestion of the Local Authority, as part of the EHC Plan assessment process.  Only in extreme circumstances would any admission be approved without a prior visit by both parents and child.

Parents are always ensured open and frank advice as to whether the school feels it can meet the needs of their child and, as such, is always happy to be consulted.

For further information regarding the admissions process to special schools, parents should contact the Local Authority Admissions Team.

Arts Activities

Fountaindale has a firm belief in the value of the arts for all pupils and, as such, we endeavour to provide a variety of experiences.

Visiting artists offer workshops encompassing art, music and drama.  Theatre companies and music groups are regularly invited into school to present performances, giving pupils the opportunity to enjoy an experience of theatre or live music and to appreciate the many aspects of such presentations. Such performances along with visits to theatres and cinemas are an integral part of the curriculum.

Business and Community Links

The school places great importance on enhancing the curriculum through providing first hand experiences within the community.  Many of the topics and projects studied are now reinforced by visits to local businesses, agencies and amenities or by asking people who work in these areas to come into school.

Business and industry links are a particularly important aspect of the school’s Career Guidance Programme.  We are always looking for local businesses that are wanting to inspire and educate our students about the world of work and expand and develop our curriculum.

If you think you could help to provide invaluable work experience or opportunities that give students the chance to develop core skills and motivation, please contact the school.

Careers Education and Guidance

All pupils from Key Stage 3 onwards receive a Careers Education and Guidance Programme as part of their PHSE course.

The programme has two areas of focus:

1. An awareness of the roles of different people within the Community and the skills they need to perform those roles.
2. The options available for students leaving school, including advice on those people who are available to help them and an introduction to the school based Careers Library.

From the Annual Review following a pupil’s 14th birthday (the ‘Transitional Review) discussion will begin involving the pupil, the parents, the school and Social Care Transition Co-ordinators, about a pupil’s plans for when they reach the age of 16 and beyond.

Careers guidance in the 14-18 age range is seen as a key element of the core curriculum.  Here options are looked at in more depth.  In years 12 and 13 parents and students are invited to informal reviews to discuss the student’s plans Post 18.  This results in the organisation of a number of visits for parents and students to other establishments (usually colleges) followed by application and assessment procedures and applications for funding, the aim being to secure the best placement possible, as early as possible.  As part of the work related curriculum there is the possibility of students taking part in Work Experience whilst in Post 16.  This links in well with the Team Enterprise Scheme.  Within this scheme students have their own company supported by staff and advisers from local businesses. 

Charging and Remissions Policy

The School Governing Body has an agreed policy for Charging and Remissions in respect of school activities, a copy of which is contained in the Document Library section of this website.  Click here to be taken directly to the documents section of the website.

Where charges are made for school dinners, drinks/milk, and after school clubs the present rates are available from the school office.

Child Protection and Safeguarding Procedures

The school has stringent safeguarding procedures in place to protect your child whilst in school. All staff employed in school have undergone an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check. We also ensure that all outside professionals who work with your child regularly have had a DBS check.

All visitors to school, including parents, are required to sign in at reception and must be supervised whilst on site.

In the event of any pupil having an unexplained non-accidental injury, it is the duty of the school to follow the procedures as stipulated by the Nottinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board. Our Senior Designated Member of Staff is Jan Collins.

Communication Policy

The School’s Communication Policy states that ‘Our aim is to develop each student’s potential for communication with others, regardless of age, sex, ethnic background and disability.’

Procedures have been established for pupil’s assessment, the development of individual communication programmes, classroom based support and the monitoring and recording of progress. This is achieved through close collaboration between the Speech and Language Therapists, Teachers and Classroom Support Staff.

All staff receive ongoing training in the use of signing, symbols and communication aids.  In addition, key staff within each teaching department receive more specialist training in order to support individual pupils and advise other staff accordingly.

Nottinghamshire LA, Nottingham City LA, North Nottinghamshire Health Authority and Nottingham Health Authority contribute to a joint budget which provides high cost communication aids to pupils with severe communication difficulties who attend either mainstream or special schools within the whole county.  Such pupils will have undergone a thorough assessment by a Speech and Language Therapist and the case brought before a joint panel before monies are allocated. Monies are also allocated to provide support packages.

Complaints Procedure

We aim to make our school a happy, safe and caring place so that pupils may benefit from the best possible education.  All of our staff, both teaching and non-teaching are dedicated to this aim.  If you think we are not living up to your expectations we want to know about it so that we may have the opportunity to put things right.  We would also like to hear about the things you think we do well.

If you do have a particular concern, speak to your child’s class teacher.  If he/she cannot resolve the matter you should then discuss it with the Principal.  If you are not a parent of a child at the school then please address your concerns to the Principal.

A copy of the full School Complaints Procedure is contained in the Document Library section of this website.  Click here to be taken directly to the documents section of the website.


The school aims to develop a secure, purposeful and friendly atmosphere within which a standard of behaviour is expected based on respect and consideration for all.  Rules are kept to a minimum and are mainly in the interests of safety.

Should correction be necessary, this will mainly be achieved at the point of an incident, through verbal admonishment.  However, it occasionally becomes necessary to take further positive steps which may involve the tutor, Vice Principal or Principal.  In such cases parents will be consulted and informed about any necessary strategies employed, which may involve the withdrawal of privileges at break-times, lunch-times or in the evenings as appropriate.

A copy of our Behaviour and Discipline Policy can be found in the documents section of our website.  Click here to be taken directly to the documents section of the website.

Documents Available for Reference by Parents and Others

The Principal holds copies of the following documents which are available for reference on request:

  • Department for Education Statutory Instruments, Circulars and Administrative Memoranda regarding the Curriculum.
  • Nottinghamshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education.
  • Local Authority’s Curriculum Statement.
  • Local Authority’s Complaints Procedures
  • Local Authority’s Children and Young People’s Plan
  • Fountaindale School Policies
  • Fountaindale Curriculum Statements and Schemes of Work
  • Fountaindale Individual Education Plans and Records
  • Fountaindale School Improvement Plans
  • Ofsted Inspection Reports – Whole School
  • Ofsted Inspection Reports – Residential Provision

Equal Opportunities

The school has an Equal Opportunities statement which reflects the school’s aim to promote, encourage and support equal access to choice and opportunity for all, and the right for all to take responsibility for their own decisions regardless of age, gender, race or disability.

All staff work together to encourage positive attitudes amongst pupils towards minority groups.  Racist or sexist comments will always be challenged.  Nottinghamshire County Council supports Equal Opportunities. 

A copy of the Equality Policy, Access Audit and Accessibility Plan can be found in the documents section of our website.  Click here to be taken directly to the documents section of the website.

Equality Scheme

Fountaindale is committed to providing an environment that enables full curriculum access, that values and includes all pupils, staff, parents and visitors regardless of their education, physical, sensory, social, spiritual, emotional and cultural needs.  We are committed to taking positive action in the spirit of the Equality Act 2010 with regard to disability and to developing a culture of inclusion,support and awareness within the school.

Copies of our accessibility plan can be found in the documents section of the website.  Click here to be taken directly to the documents section of the website.  The school has adopted this accessibility plan in line with the school’s special educational needs policy with the aim to ensure that the school is socially and academically inclusive, that all pupils have access to a full curriculum, and that all pupils are appropriately challenged.

The plan has been created in response to the recommendations made in our school’s last Access Audit and should be read in conjunction with the Access Audit.  A copy of the Access Audit can be found in the documents section of our website.  Click here to be taken directly to the documents section of the website.


The school receives its own delegated budget from the Local Authority, under LMSS (Local Management of Special Schools).  This budget is determined by a formula which takes into account the needs of the pupils.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Fountaindale School respects your privacy when you use the Organisation’s services and is committed to complying with privacy legislation.

The information provided, on this site in relation to GDPR is what is referred to as a ‘Privacy Notice’, which explains how Fountaindale uses and protects your personal information.

Fountaindale School has a Data Protection Officer whose role it is to ensure that any personal information processed by Fountaindale School is processed fairly and lawfully (respecting your rights and ensuring we follow the law). If you have any concerns or questions regarding how we look after your personal information, please contact the Data Protection Officer, Anita Buffrey at DPO@fountaindale.notts.sch.uk or by calling 01623 792671 option 2.

You can find out more about GDPR in the documents section of our website.  Click here to be taken directly to the documents section of the website.

Global Education

A global dimension is included across the school curriculum to give the pupils an understanding of cultural diversity and the global issues that affect all our lives.

The School achieved the ‘International Schools Award’ in 2012 and has been successfully reaccredited since.


Fountaindale has an active Governing Body who play a very important part in the management and running of the school.  The full Governing Body and their established Committees for ‘Curriculum’, ‘Personnel and Pupils’ ‘Pay’ and ‘Finance and General Purposes’ meet regularly at school. 

The Governing Body were recently awarded the national ‘Governor Mark’ for reaching a high standard of performance.

A full list of the current Governing Body can be found in the Governing Body section of this website along with links to documents outlining their roles and responsibilities and their Code of Conduct and their Code of Practice.  Click here to be taken directly to the page

Health Related Education Team

The school is commissioned by the Local Authority to co-ordinate the provision of education to children who are unable to attend their designated school due to health related issues. This could be for children who are in hospital or convalescing, who have a specific illness, suffering from school based anxiety or are school aged expectant mothers.

Further details of this provision can be found in the Specialist Services section of this website. Click here to be taken directly to the page.

Healthy Schools Standard

Fountaindale is a healthy school. The school has gained the Healthy Schools Gold Standard and the ‘Enhanced Standard’.

A Food Policy has been developed to ensure Government standards for food and drink in schools are met. The school actively encourages healthy eating and drinking. In liaison with the school caterers, school lunches offer a balanced and healthy diet. Pupils are taught about healthy food options within the Science and PHSE curriculum and are encouraged to only eat healthy snacks outside of lunch time. Water machines are available throughout the school.

The school has a Drugs Education Policy, Sex Education Policy and an Emotional Health and Well-being Policy.

All pupils enjoy a minimum of 2 hours physical activity per week.


The list of school holidays for this year can be found in the Documents Section of this website. Click here to be taken directly to the documents section of the website.

Parents should note that in addition to those dates shown there are normally five ‘in-service’ days throughout the year when the school is closed to pupils.  Information about these dates will be sent home well in advance.

Parents should note that holidays taken during term time will only be approved in exceptional circumstances. Parents taking their child out of school during term time, without approval, will result in a Penalty Notice and fine being issued.


All parents are asked to leave emergency telephone numbers so that they can always be contacted.  In the case of children becoming ill at school, parents will be contacted and, if necessary, will be asked to take their child home.  If the child is staying in our residential provision, the parents are contacted and individual arrangements are made as appropriate.

The school asks that parents do not send their child to school if they are unwell or have an acute infection.  Other pupils may be very susceptible to infections which could be dangerous for certain children.  Parents should refer to the public health guidance in our documents section in the first instance but should also ring school to check if we consider their child well enough to return after an illness or hospitalisation.

Integration and Inclusion Links

Where it is agreed at Annual Review through discussion with parents and professionals, that a pupil could benefit academically or socially from a dual placement with a mainstream school, the school will endeavour to establish such a link with the pupil’s neighbourhood or nearest adapted school.  This would normally be on the basis of an agreed number of whole days. 

In addition, pupils are given the opportunity to take part in integration links with local primary and secondary schools for social as well as academic purposes.

Within the 14-18 age range link courses with local secondary schools and colleges are organized on an individual and group basis.

Investing in Staff

The Governing Body and Management of the school recognise that its’ staff are the greatest resource and asset it has in ensuring its quality and development.  As such we are committed to the continual training, support and professional development of all staff, to enable them to do their job well and contribute to achieving the school’s objectives.

OFSTED Inspection

The school received its last full school OFSTED Inspection in March 2017.  The school received a very positive report with an overall judgment of ‘Outstanding’ in all areas.

The school also receives an annual Ofsted Social Care Inspection of its residential provision. In the December 2017 inspection we were judged as ‘good’.

Copies of the latest full school and residential Ofsted inspection report can be found within the Documents Library section of this website or can be viewed online at www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report

PE and Sport Premium for Primary Schools

The PE and Sport Premium for primary schools is designed to help primary schools improve the quality of PE and sports activities and to encourage pupil participation in physical activity.

Details of how this money was used last year, the impact that it had and how we intend to use our allocation this year can be found in the Pupil Progress section of the Document Library section within this website.  Click here to be taken directly to the documents section of the website.

Phonics - Our Approach to Pre-Reading Skills in the Formal Curriculum

At Fountaindale School, it is recognised that the majority of our pupils have cognitive and physical difficulties which impair their acquisition of reading skills.

However, by employing appropriate interventions, we encourage pupils to make the best possible progress in literacy. Over-learning and multi-sensory tasks are essential, making the most use of the pathways to the working memory and ensuring that skills are well assimilated.  These skills are practised in a cumulative way, learning new skills whilst still practising the previous ones.

Phonics and pre-reading skills are taught throughout the Formal curriculum and are based upon the pupils’ prior learning point. 

Reading skills and phonics are taught on an individual basis to each pupil and are matched to their learning style and personal level of development.  The approach to teaching pre reading skills through phonics is adapted to meet the differentiating needs of all pupils within the curriculum strand and their level of development and language acquisition.

Teachers will assess and monitor the progress of each pupil and continue to adapt their teaching methods to support the pupil to their fullest capability.

Further details of our phonics and reading schemes can be found in the Documents Section of our website.  Click here to be taken directly to the documents section of the website.

Physical Disability Specialist Service

The school manages a Physical Disability Specialist Service for the Local Authority.  The service aims to co-ordinate support for mainstream schools within the county who have or are about to have pupils with physical disabilities on their roll. Support can be offered around building adaptation, the provision of specialist equipment, risk assessment, intimate care planning, health care planning, Manual Handling planning and training, curriculum advice, ICT assessment and staff professional development and training.

Further details of this provision can be found in the Specialist Services section of this website.  Click here to be taken directly to the PDSS section of the website.

Pupil Performance

Parents receive a detailed report each year on their child’s progress against targets set at the beginning of the year. In addition the school is required to publish details of the attainment of pupils as a group when they reach the end of Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4 within the DfE School Performance Tables. These tables can be viewed online at www.education.gov.uk/schools/performance/index.html

Pupil Premium

The school receives extra money in its budget based on the number of children it has that are registered for free school meals. This extra money is then targeted towards raising the levels of achievement of this group of children.

Details of how this money was used last year, the impact that it had and how we intend to use our allocation this year can be found in the Pupil Progress section of the Document Library section within this website.  Click here to be taken directly to the documents section of the website.

Religious Education and Collective Worship

The School has no affiliation with any particular religious denomination.  Religious Education is taught in accordance with the Nottinghamshire Agreed Syllabus and National Curriculum.

The Religious Education Curriculum within school seeks to provide experiences and activities at appropriate levels, which will promote the whole development of the child.  It aims to develop a knowledge and understanding of different religious faiths, to give insights into life’s experiences and to encourage all pupils to develop and communicate their own system of beliefs.

Collective Worship is an integral part of all school assemblies.  Whole School assemblies are held several times a term.  Parents who wish their children to be withdrawn from Religious Education lessons or Collective Worship, may do so after informing the Principal.

A statement of how RE is delivered within each of our curriculum strands can be found in the ‘Documents’ section of the website.  Click here to be taken directly to the documents section of the website.

School Uniform

A school uniform has been introduced for pupils within Key Stages 1 to 4 (5-16 years). The uniform is optional for Early Years children and Post 16 students.

The uniform consists of a navy blue sweatshirt or cardigan, a white polo shirt and black or grey jogging bottoms, skirts or pinafore dresses. In warm weather a white or House coloured polo shirt can be worn.  Black or grey shorts can also be worn or for girls a blue and white chequered summer dress can be worn as an alternative. 

Garments with school logos can be purchased directly from the School.  All clothing should be clearly marked with the child’s name.

For safety reasons we ask that children under the age of 11 years do not wear jewellery.  Students who are 11 years and upwards are allowed to wear limited jewellery but may be asked to remove it for certain lessons for safety.

School Values

Our school values encompass and extend upon British values and are embedded within the ethos, curriculum, organisation and management of the school.  Through these we constantly promote:

  • Friendship
  • Respect and tolerance
  • Excellence
  • Determination
  • Inspiration
  • Courage
  • Equality

Sensory Library

Fountaindale’s Sensory Library opened in March 2013 offering a wide range of high-tech and low-tech sensory equipment and resources for use by parents or professionals.

The Fountaindale Sensory Library Catalogue is available for download from the Documents section of the school website, found under the ‘Sensory Library’ heading. Click here to go straight to the Documents Section.

Please contact the school for further details and opening times.

Sex and Relationships Education

Sex and Relationships Education is taught as an integrated part of the school’s Science, P.H.S.E. and R.E. Curriculum.  The school has an agreed Sex and Relationships Education Policy which states that the consent of parents will always be sought before any specific aspect of Sex Education is taught.  The topic is always addressed sensitively and at a level appropriate to the development and understanding of the individual.  In addition all staff have a responsibility to answer questions from pupils which may arise incidentally and naturally both within and outside of the classroom situation.

Sports Activities

Fountaindale has a very strong sporting tradition.  Several students, both past and present, have achieved County, Regional and National Squad standards in athletics, swimming, basketball, table cricket, wheelchair hockey and Boccia.  At present the school has Boccia and table cricket teams who compete in local leagues. The school also works alongside local and national sporting bodies and sports clubs who run a number of events and training sessions throughout the year offering specific coaching in a range of sports and physical activities.

Supporting Pupils with Medical Needs

Fountaindale School is committed to ensuring that all pupils have full access to the school’s curriculum experiences and extra-curricular activities.  This includes activities which may be organized away from the school or out of school times.  Many of our pupils and students are required to take regular prescribed medication or to have medication administered in emergency situations.  Within the school, during the school day, such medication is given or supervised by our Health Care Team.  However, it is not possible for such medical staff to be present on school trips or for activities which take place outside the school day. In these situations the school will accept responsibility in principle for its own non-medical staff, giving or supervising children taking prescribed medication subject to conditions being met.

A copy of the school’s full policy document on Supporting Pupils with Medical Needs is available in the Documents Section of our website.  Click here to go straight to the Documents Section


The majority of pupils are transported to and from school in either a minibus or taxi (tail-lift vehicles are used in most cases).  This service is provided by the child’s Local Authority in accordance with the LA’s Transport Policy. Parents wishing to transport their child to school themselves should contact school so that a suitable parking place can be provided.

The school has its own minibus. This is used to support offsite activities during and outside the school day and residential trips.