BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

An ethos of learning, achieving and caring is at the heart of everything we do. All academies in the Trust, strive to provide a learning environment, where pupils can make the best possible progress in all aspects of their lives. This is achieved through a relevant and engaging curriculum, high expectations and high quality teaching.

CELEBRATING SUCCESS

Manor Hall Academy Trust (MHAT) is distinctive as a Special Schools Trust. Working in collaboration with various partners and stakeholders, MHAT aims to provide high-quality personalized education for pupils with Education Health Care Plans (EHCPs) primarily focused on Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs and/or Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) with associated challenging behavior needs.

PROMOTING PROGRESS AND INDEPENDENCE

The new school will be purpose-built, designed specifically to cater to the needs of students with Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) difficulties. Drawing upon the collective expertise of the entire trust, the school will provide a comprehensive educational experience.

Welcome to Manor Abbey’s website!

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS | CELEBRATING SUCCESS | PROMOTING PROGRESS AND INDEPENDENCE

As the CEO of Manor Hall Academy Trust, I am delighted to extend a warm welcome to all visitors, parents, students, and members of the community to our brand new Free School in Stoke on Trent.

At Manor Hall Academy Trust, we have a deep commitment to providing exceptional SEND education and fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for all learners. The establishment of this Free School marks an exciting milestone in our journey of providing educational excellence and dedication to the emerging needs of a community, in meeting the diverse needs of our students.

An ethos of learning, achieving and caring is at the heart of everything we do. All academies in the Trust, strive to provide a learning environment, where pupils can make the best possible progress in all aspects of their lives. This is achieved through a relevant and engaging curriculum, high expectations and high quality teaching.

Manor Abbey embodies our core values of academic achievement, personal development, and well-being. We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to thrive academically and socially, regardless of their background or individual challenges. Through our innovative and tailored approach to education, we aim to unlock each student’s full potential, nurture their unique talents, and empower them to become confident, capable, and compassionate individuals.

With a team of dedicated and passionate educators, we are committed to delivering an outstanding educational experience that goes beyond the classroom. The curriculum will be designed to be personalised, engaging, and enriched, with a wide range of opportunities, enabling students to explore their interests, discover their passions, and develop essential skills for lifelong success.

As part of our Multi Academy Trust, our Free School benefits from the collective expertise, resources, and support systems that we have cultivated across our network of schools. Collaboration and co-production are at the heart of our approach, ensuring that our students have access to the best possible education through the sharing of good practice and a seamless transition between educational stages.

We firmly believe in the importance of strong partnerships with parents, carers, and the wider community. We encourage open communication, active involvement, and collaborative decision-making to create a united and thriving educational community. Together, we can provide our students with the guidance, support, and opportunities they need to flourish socially, and emotionally.

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

CELEBRATING SUCCESS

PROMOTING PROGRESS AND INDEPENDENCE

Please visit our website to find out more.

We look forward to embarking on this invested educational journey with you and creating a bright and promising future for every student in our Free School.

Warmest regards,

Richard Redgate,
CEO, Manor Hall Academy Trust

Why is there a need for a new school in Stoke that focuses on
social, emotional, and mental health (SEMH)?

Stoke on Trent Local Authority has undertaken extensive efforts to maximise the capacity of local SEMH provision. Currently, 261 children from the city have to travel outside their community to access specialised SEMH education. These children face various challenges:

  • They endure long daily journeys to school.
  • They would prefer to attend a school within their local community.
  • Due to travel constraints, they are unable to engage in local social activities or build relationships after school.
  • They cannot access local services easily.
  • Looked-after children often have to move out of the city and access care placements away from their hometown.
  • Transitioning back into their communities, accessing education, employment, and training at 16 becomes extremely challenging.
  • A significant proportion of SEMH learners with Educational Health Care Plans (EHCPs) are not in education, employment, or training at 16.

Establishing the new Free School within the city would address these challenges and ensure that children with SEMH EHCPs:

  • Have their needs met, make good progress, and reach their potential.
  • Attend a school rated as ‘good or better.’
  • Experience shorter travel times to school.
  • Attend a local school and have access to local after-school and out-of-school activities.
  • Looked-after children have access to high-quality local authority small group homes.
  • Access local services through local commissioning arrangements based on local agreements and protocols.
  • Receive support for high-quality local provision and placements at colleges, including initiatives like Supported Internships, to facilitate their transition into further education, employment, and training at 16.

How will Manor Hall Academy Trust deliver Manor Abbey Free School?

Manor Hall Academy Trust (MHAT) is distinctive as a Special Schools Trust. Working in collaboration with various partners and stakeholders, MHAT aims to provide high-quality personalised education for pupils with Education Health Care Plans (EHCPs) primarily focused on Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs and/or Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) with associated challenging behaviour needs.

The development of the proposed new school aligns with Stoke-on-Trent’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Strategy, focusing on enhancing local capacity to meet the educational needs of SEND students efficiently and effectively.

MHAT is committed to the inclusion and well-being of all children, enabling them to attend schools in their local communities and access local services and care arrangements. The trust prioritises social and emotional development through nurturing principles and initiatives promoting positive mental health. By doing so, learners are empowered to make positive contributions to their communities.

MHAT aims to make a difference by placing a strong focus on the child, the community, and positive outcomes. They promote a learning pathway that encompasses attending, engaging, behaving, progressing, attaining, accrediting, transitioning, and sustaining. This pathway is underpinned by the core values of building relationships, celebrating success, and promoting change. The transitioning process is tailored to meet the individual needs of learners.

MHAT actively engages in networking and offers school-to-school support initiatives with other educational settings across the inclusion continuum. By sharing best practices, they champion provision for vulnerable learners and remove barriers to learning, aiming to reduce exclusions in mainstream schools. MHAT collaborates with multidisciplinary assessment hubs, the Virtual School, SEMH research-based practices, colleges, and career services to support post-16 inclusion through their Transition Officers.

The trust remains open to new initiatives and established practices, utilising private, public, and third-sector resources and investment, as well as research-based approaches. They prioritise areas such as curriculum development, equality, accessibility, post-16 education, and positive mental health, taking into account local initiatives like School Readiness and SEND Supported Internships, as well as inspections by SOT SEND.

MHAT is dedicated to enhancing the specialist provision for learners through a multidisciplinary approach and coordinated services. They prioritise the well-being of pupils and staff, considering it fundamental to achieving outstanding outcomes for children.

Head of School profile

Jack has over 10 years of experience working across both special and mainstream education. His wealth of experience comes from teaching in Alternative Provision and Independent SEMH specialist schools with an emphasis on relational practice. Jack specialises in Social, Emotional and Mental Health with Senior Leadership experience in developing the holistic pastoral approaches that schools can take to support students and their families. Jack’s most recent role saw him directing SEND across a large multi academy trust. Jack will work alongside David Bownds, leading the school’s ethos and vision.

What to expect from Manor Abbey Special Free School

Manor Abbey Special Free School is part of the family of 15 Special Schools and Alternative Provision managed by Manor Hall Academy Trust. The trust was formed by the federation of two SEMH schools in 2015, and its wealth of experience and knowledge in the SEND sector contributes to a holistic, high-quality educational offering for all children and young people.

The new school will be purpose-built, designed specifically to cater to the needs of students with Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) difficulties. Drawing upon the collective expertise of the entire trust, the school will provide a comprehensive educational experience.

The school’s ethos aligns with the trust’s overarching aims of building relationships, celebrating success, and promoting progress. Establishing strong relationships is fundamental to engaging SEMH students and facilitating their learning and progress. These relationships also serve as a foundation for students to learn self-advocacy and experience success beyond their school years.

The curriculum at Manor Abbey will meet the requirements of the National Curriculum while allowing for personalised learning journeys tailored to individual needs. Teaching methods and learning styles will be adapted to help students overcome any barriers they may have faced in previous school settings.

The school believes that the combination of high-quality relationships and personalised learning approaches is a proven formula for success in SEMH settings. Manor Abbey Special Free School will provide an aspirational environment for students who may have had negative experiences in the past, offering them a vibrant, relevant, and enjoyable educational experience.

A typical day at Manor Abbey

A typical day at Manor Abbey revolves around a hybrid timetable that combines elements of both primary and secondary school structures. Here’s what you can expect:

  • All year groups follow the hybrid timetable, ensuring that each class group in every year has a home form room, a class tutor, and a teaching assistant.
  • Basic skills lessons, including Mathematics and English, are delivered by class teachers. These lessons primarily take place in the morning, and during this time, the class remains in their form room with their familiar staff teaching team.
  • Classes will transition from their form rooms to specialised subject teaching areas such as Art, Design Technology, Food Technology, Science, and Physical Education. The class teaching assistant accompanies them to ensure the effective implementation of any necessary behavioural or emotional support strategies.
  • Pupils facing difficulties for any reason will have access to support from Inclusions Officers, and there will be a dedicated area for emotional support. The school acknowledges that students in such a setting often find it challenging to focus on work tasks when they have emotional or mental health barriers. Therefore, brief periods of respite and attentive adult support will be provided to help students develop self-help strategies over time and enhance their resilience.
  • Break times and lunchtimes will offer a structured program of engaging activities or areas designed to cater to different pupil needs. This may include opportunities for active participation or quiet spaces, depending on individual requirements.
  • Break times and lunchtimes will offer a structured program of engaging activities or areas designed to cater to different pupil needs. This may include opportunities for active participation or quiet spaces, depending on individual requirements.
  • The school emphasises a healthy balance of on-site activities to support a diverse range of learning experiences. This can include engaging in fun challenge days, participating in charity events, competing in sports tournaments, and promoting positive mental health days, among others. Additionally, there will be a strong emphasis on off-site school trips to enhance cultural capital, allowing students to connect their learning, apply social skills, experience different cultures, and engage in supervised and positive interactions with the public.
  • The curriculum and timetable design provide flexibility for staff, who have a deep understanding of the students, to recognise how, when, and where to challenge students effectively and maximise their learning potential.
  • High-quality and consistent parental/carer liaison plays an essential role in the school’s success. The communication and collaboration between teaching teams, senior leaders, and parents/carers are key in supporting the school’s vision of building relationships, celebrating success, and promoting progress.

Overall, Manor Abbey strives to create a nurturing environment where students can flourish academically, socially, and emotionally.

Admissions

Please be informed that the placement procedure at Manor Abbey Special Free School is subject to the mandatory consultation process. Therefore, all placement requests must be processed through Stoke’s SENMAS team, who will reach out to the school to discuss potential placements. We will be hosting engagement events where families of prospective pupils can gather more information about the school, its offerings, and its position in Stoke’s SEND provision. If you have any inquiries, please feel free to contact SENMAS by sending an email to senmas@stoke.gov.uk.

To ensure that placements at Manor Abbey align with the needs outlined in each student’s EHCP, the school has an internal admissions process that involves a discussion between parents, pupils, and the senior leadership team.

This dialogue allows for an effective assessment of the suitability of a placement at Manor Abbey and ensures that we can fully meet the stated needs of each EHCP. We anticipate that this process will commence in Autumn 2023.

X