Frequently asked questions
Can I visit the school?
We offer open days twice a month for parent / carers to come and visit the school, one for primary enquiries and one for secondary enquiries. At the initial enquiry stage we do request no children accompany their parents on these open afternoons as we try to keep disruption to our current learners to an absolute minimum. Your child would get the opportunity to visit the school for an assessment day, if appropriate. A parent / carer must book on to an open day and due to high demand for these days we recommend booking as soon as you can.
For further information on dates, times and how to book please visit the open day section of our website.
What is the essential criteria my child must have to be considered for a place at your school?
Your child must be between 5-19 years old, have a diagnosis of ASC and have an Education, Health and Care Plan in place in order for us to consider an application. You can also be in the process of applying for an EHCP; we will accept a draft, proposed or initial EHCP.
What is the eligibility criteria my child needs to obtain a place at Gretton?
That Gretton School has space in an appropriate class/peer group.
The student must have a diagnosis of autism; due to the variation in diagnostic terminology, students may be diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition (ASC), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or Asperger Syndrome.
The student must have a proposed or final statement of special educational needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
The student being of average or above cognitive ability (and in addition, academically no more than 2 years below their chronological age expected levels);
That all those with parental responsibility are in support of the placement and in agreement with the strategies and ethos of the school. Continued support of those with parental responsibility and partnership with the school is essential for the success and viability of any placement;
In the case of a boarding referral, that the student’s needs can be met by the boarding provision;
That the student may be private (including international) fee paying or local authority funded. Referral circumstances of private fee paying students will be at the Headteacher’s discretion.
What are your fees?
Currently, all our students are funded through the individuals’ Local Authority, please contact your Local Authority if you are considering a placement at Gretton School. If you would like to be considered for a private fee paying placement, please contact the admissions team in the first instance to discuss further. All private fee paying students will be at the Principal’s discretion. Private fee paying students will also need to be considered through our assessment process.
How many girls do you have?
Currently, out of 120 students, 16 are female (accurate as of July 2020). We offer our female students a weekly girls’ group where they can get together and all female students have access to female teaching assistants and teachers on a daily basis. Our female students feel fully supported and, where appropriate, we will keep female students in the same classes. The number of female students being placed is quickly increasing, including a continued high increase in enquiries for female students.
Do you have a boarding provision?
We have a boarding provision at Gretton which provides our students with a 24 hour curriculum from Monday – Friday, 38 weeks per year.
Our boarding provision offers warm and homely houses during the week in term time, and our experienced and well-qualified team care for boarders and make sure that they feel secure and settled. A maximum of two or three young people live together in a house or bungalow within the school grounds. Every young person has their own bedroom, which we encourage and help them to personalise, and shares a bathroom that has a bath and shower. Each home has spacious communal living areas, a dining room and great kitchen facilities. The gardens and grounds are safe and enclosed, and the young people enjoy using the large fields around the school, the trampoline, football field and playground equipment. The young people take part in the day-to-day running of their home to prepare them to live independently. The tasks they might typically be introduced to include: preparing meals, washing up, doing their laundry, shopping and learning how to budget for food.
The young people are learning throughout the waking day and we encourage them to organise and participate in a variety of educational and recreational activities that support their individual education plans and reflect their particular skills, talents and interests. These include, football, cultural evenings, visits to social clubs, computer games, swimming, and any other personal activity the student may wish to take part in. All boarding staff pride themselves on providing the pupils with real life experiences, helping them to build positive memories that they can take into their adulthood.
Our ethos is: ‘we are here to look after someone else’s loved one, and we will do our utmost to help these children to achieve in life, and support their family network.’
What does an assessment day involve?
Where students are invited to Gretton School for an assessment visit, this may include, but not be limited to, the student:
having a tour of the school;
meeting with a member of the senior leadership team;
an educational assessment;
a Theory of Mind social story;
a classroom observation; and, where applicable
a boarding assessment;
where those with parental responsibility will be invited to meet with the Assistant Head of Boarding to discuss their child’s boarding needs.
Discussion will take place with those with parental responsibility, prior to the assessment visit, as to how best to prepare the student for the assessment. Where appropriate a schedule and social story will be sent to help in this preparation.
How do I apply for a place?
Applications can be made by parents or carers themselves, or by contacting your Local Authority, and sending Gretton School the young person’s final or draft EHCP, in addition to the supporting documentation referred to in Section K of the EHCP.
Following a letter of consultation and receipt of paperwork from the Local Authority, the Assessment Team will review the documentation and respond to both parties with whether or not we would offer an assessment day to further determine whether or not we can meet your child’s needs.
For more information on our admissions process please look at our Admissions Policy for further and more detailed guidance.
Do I have to live in Cambridge to apply for a place?
No, we work closely with several different Local Authorities. Most of our students come to school by taxi, distance may be taken into consideration at point of application. If the journey is too far, our boarding provision may be explored. Gretton School note government issued guidance that the travel distance from home to school as a general rule should not exceed 45 minutes for primary and 75 minutes for secondary students. We appreciate that due to the limited nature of SEN provision that longer journey times may be unavoidable. Also, journey times may be longer for boarding placements, as travel will only be at the start and end of each school week.
How many children are there in a class?
We have small class sizes and high staff ratios.
Often with one teacher and two TA’s present in the classroom for support.
Do you offer any therapies for students?
Yes, we have Occupational Therapists, Speech & Language Therapists, Art Therapy and an Educational Psychologist on-site too. If your child has therapies listed in their EHCP’s and we have offered a placement, we will provide it all in house.
For further information on our Therapists and what we can offer please visit our Therapy page.
What qualifications could my child achieve?
Students can study towards attainment at GCSE and A-Level, as well as other accredited qualifications. They can also gain nationally recognised vocational qualifications.
We plan every student’s learning and development individually.
We offer a broad and balanced curriculum at every stage, and adapt this curriculum to reflect the changing needs of individual students as they progress through the school, and according to their individual talents and interests.
We use a wide range of recognised autism spectrum condition approaches to support learning. There is a strong emphasis on a multi-professional approach.
To see what subjects we currently offer please visit the Education & Learning page of our website.