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KSENT Special Schools: Admission Guidance

Bower Grove is a Special School for children and young people aged between 4 and 16 years.

  • The school is designated for 225 pupils with learning difficulties and SEMH. Many pupils will have co-morbid conditions of Autistic Spectrum and ADHD.
  • Pupils may also display conditions such as Attachment Disorder, ODD, OCD and Foetal Alcohol Syndrome with associated behaviours.
  • A significant number of pupils are “Children in Care”.
  • Key Stage 1 & 2 pupils may have national average/above average academic potential. However, these pupils would be expected to transfer to a SEMH School eg Portal House or Goldwyn for their secondary school transition.
  • Generally, pupils will present as two or more years below the expected academic norms.
  • The school is organised into Primary and Secondary school departments. The Primary aged children are taught by a class teacher in their own classroom for most subjects and are taught by specialist teachers for PE, Computing and Music. Pupils in the Secondary school follow a  curriculum where all subjects are taught by specialist subject teachers.
  • The school has excellent accommodation including a dining hall, a sports hall, a well-equipped gym, specialist teaching areas for Science, Technology, Food Technology, Music, Art and Computing and a well-equipped medical room. The school has a Nurture provision and a sensory room. The school is situated in very pleasant surroundings with extensive field and outdoor play facilities.
  • The school has a number of vehicles that enable us to engage in regular off-site learning. We have a multi-disciplinary team including Drama Therapists, a Counsellor, Complementary Therapist and  Speech and Language Therapy provision.
  • Pupils are taught in class sizes of 12 with a teacher and 3 support staff in Key Stage 1&2 and a teacher and 2 support staff in Key Stage 3&4.
  • At 16+ transition, pupils will generally access a local college or special school sixth form. Pupils will typically gain 6 qualifications ranging from Entry Level awards to low-grade GCSEs.
  • In addition to the main school site, Bower Grove has an Autism Spectrum Condition Satellite for 12 pupils years 3-6, based at Westborough Primary School. All pupils for this provision must have a confirmed diagnosis of an Autistic Spectrum Condition. Pupils attending the satellite will be expected to have the necessary behaviour and cognitive ability to access the academic demands of a mainstream school curriculum.


How does my child get a place at Bower Grove School?

  • Your child must have an Educational Health Care Plan if you are seeking inclusion to a special school in Kent. These will be sent to us by the Local Authority as part of the Consultation Process.
  • Your caseworker will advise on appropriate special schools. A visit to our school can be arranged once we think we are able to meet your child's needs and have available space in your child's year group. Once you have visited our school you must tell your caseworker if you would like a place.
  • If the school has a space in the class group and the identified needs within the Education Health Care Plan appear compatible with the peer group, your child may be invited for some taster days. You will be responsible for transport on these days.
  • After the taster days, our staff team will then meet and discuss whether we feel we can meet your child’s holistic needs. The decision will then be communicated to your caseworker.
  • A place at our school will then be offered or declined with reasons given by the school.
  • If successful, an admission date will be agreed and the school admission pack will be issued to parents/carers.
  • An admission meeting with the Headteacher or a member of the leadership team will be held before your child starts at the school.
  • If your child requires transport to get to our school, you need to complete the transport form. This is included in the admission pack and needs to be returned directly to Kent County Council Transport.  It can take several weeks to put the transport arrangements for your child into place.

Appeals Procedure

The following link will take you to Kent County Council School Appeals website. Here it details how to make an appeal and the stages/format that this takes.