North Herts ESC makes full time education provision for students in years 7 to 9 who are permanently excluded or at risk of permanent exclusion from secondary schools in the North Hertfordshire area.

The Centre curriculum is based upon the National Curriculum, although there is no requirement for the ESC to deliver the National Curriculum, as it is hoped that the majority of the students attending will return to mainstream schools. We offer a broad, diverse and inclusive curriculum.

Students are admitted following a referral from school, a Centre Outreach worker or from the local area Integration Officer.

Respite place – Students will be offered a short term placement, of a half term, at the Centre where we work proactively with schools and parent/carers, helping the student to develop behaviour management strategies in order to successfully return to their school.

Alternative to permanent exclusion or permanent exclusion place – Working with schools, parent/carer and local authority we seek to find the correct pathway for students. This could be a managed move to another mainstream setting or supporting a parent/carer through the process of an EHC Plan application. This outcome could mean a placement at a specialist provision.

Once a place is agreed, Centre staff will arrange an admissions meeting with parent/carer and Head of Centre.

On starting at the Centre, students undergo a thorough Baseline Assessment process which is aimed at identifying areas of strength and weakness and also to assist in the identification/confirmation of any possible learning needs. The outcomes are used to inform teacher planning, assist in the setting of targets and may also identify a need for referral to an Educational Psychologist for further investigation.

Therefore, each student is taught at their own level either individually or as part of a group. All students are challenged and extended. A number of students who attend the centre arrive with low levels of self-esteem. Staff therefore focus on developing a relationship and building on areas of success, concentrating on what the student can do, this can be in the form of group work or 1-1 intervention sessions.

The Centre runs similarly to a mainstream school but with slightly different timings to the day. Students are expected to attend from 8.45am until 2.25pm daily and will follow a secondary school style timetable with subjects taught by specialist staff. Students are taught in two small groups, maximum size of five students, and each group would usually be supported by a member of the Centre support staff.

Free school meals are provided for all students.

Students moving back to mainstream school are supported by Centre staff and their reintegration is carefully planned through meetings with the receiving school and the multidisciplinary team around the child. Assessment outcomes, advice and support strategies are also discussed at this time.

Through specialist guidance and support, group work, workshops and the benefit of other professional services it is the intention to equip students with understanding, knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed. We encourage a curiosity about life and provide students with the belief that they can be successful in life. We are both proactive and reactive to student needs. We believe that the curriculum operates beyond the classroom and school trips are an integral part of Centre life. These trips give students the cultural capital and experiences essential to progress to Key Stage 4.

KS3 students undertake the following subjects at NHESC:

  • English · Maths · Science
  • Arts Award
  • Humanities; History, Geography and Religious Studies
  • Design Technology
  • Food Technology
  • Horticulture
  • Horse riding
  • IT
  • Mentoring
  • Princes Trust
  • Social Development
  • Sport and Wellbeing