Kent County Council would like to hear your
views on the establishment of a new education
provision for children and young people with
health needs.
Information about how to respond to this
consultation is contained within this document.
This document can also be viewed at:
If you require further information please email:
[email protected]
Background information:
Local Authorities must arrange suitable full-time education for permanently excluded pupils, and
for other children who, because of illness or other reasons, would not receive suitable education
without such provision. This means that where a child cannot attend school because of health
problems, and would not otherwise receive a suitable full-time education, the Local Authority is
responsible for arranging provision and must have regard to the DfE guidance issued on 13
January 2013 and updated on 20 May 2013.
This service was last reviewed in 2005. Currently there are two Health Needs Pupil Referral
Units in Kent – The Willows in Canterbury serving East Kent and Woodview, near Leybourne,
serving West Kent. Woodview has two satellite units. The districts covered are:
East Kent (The Willows): Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Shepway, Swale and Thanet.
West Kent (Woodview):
Gravesend and Dartford.
Maidstone, Tonbridge and Malling, Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks,
The current function of these two Health Needs PRUs is to provide an appropriate education for
pupils who are referred to the provision and outreach to schools to create capacity for pupils to
remain in the home schools wherever possible. For example, they provide advice and training
about risk assessments and care plans, or specific training for conditions such as acquired brain
injury or epilepsy.
The offer also includes:
 Home tuition for pupils who are so unwell that they cannot leave home
 Tuition at home or at school for post-operative care
 Tuition at the PRU bases for those who need small group teaching and the specialist
knowledge of their conditions
 GCSE courses for those in Years 10 and 11 who are unable to reintegrate into their
home schools.
In addition there is Oakfields Education Unit (PRU) in Staplehurst which provides education for
all young people who are inpatients in the Kent and Medway Adolescent Unit, which is a
Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Tier 4 provision. This provision is
managed by the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, under a tender awarded in 2010 by
NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent, NHS West Kent and NHS Medway Trusts.
Tier 4 CAMHS provision provides specialist services for children and young people with the most
complex mental health needs. Most referrals are through CAMHS Tier 3 providers. There are
24 residential places at Oakfields and the average length of stay is 6 weeks. There is also
provision for a day service for a maximum of 6 places.
All admissions to Oakfields have a mental health diagnosis and some are sectioned under the
Mental Health Act. The health profile of learners supported by Oakfields Education Unit is
significantly different from the Willows Health Needs PRU and Woodview Health Needs PRU.
Over the course of the year ending January 2013, the three Pupil Referral Units supported
approximately 500 pupils. A substantial number of learners referred to the provisions had
psychiatric conditions. The length of stay for each young person varies according to need.
The total spend on Health Needs provision is approximately £3.5m, including out of county
hospital school placements, and transport. The cost per pupil varies, according to need, but
averages £12-14k for a full time placement.
The principles underpinning this review are to:
Develop a more flexible and responsive service managed by headteachers.
Consult on a revised policy. Current policy:
Review referral systems so that are more transparent and ensure a more successful
reintegration process.
Ensure appropriate and improved links with home schools and FE colleges.
Ensure there are better opportunities for adolescents with health needs to remain in their
home school, other schools or other provision including colleges.
Develop a service more available in every locality to all pupils with health needs across
the county.
Ensure there are explicit links with all other support agencies and KCC support services.
Provide access to an appropriate curriculum offer including English and Maths.
Develop stronger links to the 7 Clinical Commissioning Groups in the NHS.
The current health needs PRU arrangements for Kent do not meet the above criteria or the
requirements of the Department for Education guidance. Options for a new delivery model are
As part of this review the local authority is consulting on two possible options for future delivery
of the service:
Option 1:
Establish a county health needs service, based on eight localities. This would build on the
established model for Pupil Referral Units, which are now organised in eight hubs following
phase one of the PRU Review . These are:- Canterbury, Dover and Thanet, Swale, North West
Kent (Dartford and Gravesham), Shepway, Ashford, Maidstone and Malling and West Kent
(Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Sevenoaks).
Option 2:
Establish one Health Needs Pupil Referral Unit. This would retain a PRU model of provision for
Health Needs pupils only, and would be delivered through the three existing localities. (East,
West and Oakfields)
21 October to 16 December
16 December 2013
15 January 2014
January 2014
1 April 2014
Consultation period
Final date for sending a response to the consultation
Following consultation, all views received will be reported
back to the Kent County Council Education Cabinet
The Cabinet will decide which option will be implemented
Target implementation date
There are two ways you can let us have your views:
1. Complete and return the response form overleaf to:
George Ramsden, Learner Support and Information Officer, Room G34,
Kent County Council, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone, ME14 1XQ
2. Email your preferred option and comments to: [email protected]
You can also view the consultation information online at:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------PUBLIC CONSULTATION RESPONSE FORM
Options for a new Health Needs Education Service for Kent County Council
1. Do you agree with the principles set out in this consultation?
2. Do you prefer Option 1 – a county service based on eight localities?
3. Do you prefer Option 2 – a stand-alone Pupil Referral Unit, delivered through the three
existing localities?
I am: (Please state your interest e.g. parent, pupil, Headteacher, member of staff, governor,
other interested party)
Your comments….
Please continue on a separate sheet if necessary…..
We have completed an Equality Impact Assessment to see if the options could affect anyone
unfairly. We welcome your views on the assumptions we have made and the conclusions we
have drawn. To view the document, go to