Admissions / Referral Procedure

"He had so much trouble at his last school, and he was so unhappy. But since he has been with you he has felt happy, content and safe, and he's loved being at school."

Parent, Aug 2018

"(Cressey) transforms pupils’ education and ultimately their life chances ... (Students) make huge strides in their social and emotional development.”

Ofsted, March 2018

Admissions / Referral Procedure

Many of our students have been excluded from mainstream or other schools in the past, and almost all will have either an EHCP or a Statement; and the school will ensure it can meet the identified needs before offering a place. To do this, and to help the LA / Parent / Carer / Student to decide their preference, Cressey College will take the following steps:

  • The first step will be that we will assess the student's EHCP or Statement and other reports, if the LA has provided these. (If these have not been provided and initial contact has been made direct by a Parent / Carer, then we can still proceed with most of the process below; but without Cressey making a placement offer to the LA.)
  • Assuming that we feel we can meet the student's needs, based on the Papers, the Headteacher would then visit the potential student and parent / carer at home, so that she can assess which of Cressey's five sites (or two off-site programmes) would best meet the student's needs. She will also talk about Cressey's approach, and answer any questions the student and parent / carer may have at this stage.   
  • Assuming that we still feel that Cressey can meet the identified needs, potential students and their parents / carers will then be invited to visit the appropriate site. This will be to have a look round, to get a feel for what it's really like, and to have a talk with some of the staff. The visit is likely to take 45-60 minutes. 
  • If further information is still required then the Headteacher (or other staff) may also contact the potential student's current educational placement, or talk to the staff there.
  • Potential students will then be invited to attend one or more Taster sessions or days, to confirm that the student's needs can be fully met, and to assess which peer group / class would be the most appropriate for the individual. Equally importantly, this is an opportunity for the potential student to experience what being at Cressey would really be like. For Primary age children each session is normally two hours long, while secondary students' sessions are likely to be for a full morning; but this may vary according to the needs of each individual. LAs would wish to be aware that there is no fee for these sessions.
  • The views and advice of parents / carers, the LA, therapy services and previous schools will be sought during this process as appropriate, to help to determine the correct support that would be required for each individual.
  • Once we are satisfied we can meet the prospective student's needs, we will make a formal place offer to the LA, and inform the parent / carer. This would include an outline of any proposed transition plan. The LA will then make their placement decision, and will inform the parent / carer accordingly.
  • Once a placement is confirmed then we would agree the start date with the LA and the parent / carer, and we would write to the parent / carer to provide the pre-starting information that they will now wish to have, and to send them the forms that need to be completed before the student starts.
  • This letter will also enclose our Home-School Agreement, which we will be asking both the Parent / Carer and the student to agree to, to help the student to succeed at Cressey; though the terms may vary slightly, if appropriate. To see this Agreement in advance, please click here.  The letter will also invite the parent / carer to attend an initial meeting with the staff team, which would ideally be either before the student starts, or on the first day.
  • All admissions will be considered individually and the needs of each young person will be taken into account, including existing, new and potential pupils to the school. If appropriate, pupils may occasionally be educated away from our main sites. If at any stage we feel that Cressey would not be an appropriate placement, then the LA and the parent / carer will be informed as soon as this is known.

The above procedure will be coordinated by John Herring, who is contactable on 07474 145445. Please note that where a formal placement consultation has been made by an LA, Cressey will not proceed with the above process unless we have been given their authorisation to do so. This is to avoid raising what might be premature or unrealistic expectations, which may well be the case if the LA is consulting with a number of schools.


Admissions Enquiries

For any Admissions enquiry please contact John Herring on 07474 145 445 or email