Every local authority should develop a simple protocol to ensure that, in partnership with all relevant agencies, boarding school is always an option as a family support resource but that each young person’s case is assessed carefully with a clear focus on ensuring that the outcome would be both positive and supportive.
Many boarding schools, both independent and state funded, are members of Boarding School Partnerships and these are specifically offering to discuss local authority placements for suitable young people. Any boarding school can be approached, however and this site makes clear those which have particular experience of supporting vulnerable young people in collaboration with the educational charities.
The educational charities Buttle UK, the Royal National Children’s Foundation, the Reedham Children’s Trust and the SpringBoard Bursary Foundation evaluate the hundreds of placements these charities support each year and further information, research and advice can be found on their own websites as well as here, on Boarding School Partnerships. In addition to formal research, there are many anecdotal examples of the positive life-changing experiences that boarding schools have made to vulnerable young people. It is clear, of course, that a boarding school placement may be right for some young people and not for others, even though the sheer range of those beneficially supported by the charities may be almost as wide as the range of state and independent boarding schools they have attended.
One of the prime objectives of Boarding School Partnerships is to give local authorities easy access to the charities and schools that can help and advise in identifying those young people for whom a boarding school placement is most likely to be effective and how best to manage the whole process.
Generally speaking, young people whose educational and health needs require an EHCP will have those needs fully met either in a day school or a specialist residential school under the plan. It is possible, however, for the children’s social care department within an authority to negotiate and fund the boarding element if a boarding school can be found which meets the education and health needs as assessed for the EHCP.