Ferndearle School was established in 2001 and is registered with the DFES as an Independent Special School for pupils with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD). The school caters for pupils between the ages of 5 and 16 (key stages 1 to 4) and is well equipped to provide a differentiated time table for SEBD pupils; pupils with Aspergers, Autism and those categorised with mild to severe learning difficulties.
The school is specialised in catering for pupils who have emotional blocks to learning as a result of traumatic experiences.
The school provides a placement for pupils who live in care at Ferndearle and offers day placements to pupils from the local community. The school offers 52 week residential placements. The school has two sites with staff ratios relevant to the pupil’s learning needs.
Bernie is a qualified social worker who continues to care passionately about the children with whom she works. She has dedicated her career to the social care sector, beginning as a Residential Worker in a non-maintained special school in 1989. She later proudly worked as a Child Protection Social Worker for Kirklees Council. Here she developed her knowledge and skills in safeguarding children, learning the importance of placing children at the centre of organisational decision-making.In 2004 Bernie attained a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Huddersfield after moving into the independent sector in 2001.She then spent a period of time as the Chief Operating Officer at FCA before joining Compass in 2012. Since this time Bernie has led Compass from being a standalone Independent Fostering Provider to what is now Compass Community Children’s Services; providing care, education and therapy as part of specialist services to over 1,300 children and young people.
Kate is an educational psychologist by training with over 25 years’ experience of working with children with special educational needs in mainstream primary and secondary schools, special schools and FE colleges. Kate has worked as an Assistant Director of children’s services in a local authority in the South West of England where she was responsible for the leadership of school improvement, early years, SEND, youth services, behaviour and attendance. Kate has also worked on government projects (Academy and Free Schools) for the Department for Education and the Department of Health (National Healthy Schools Programme). Kate has worked for a number of private fostering agencies helping to enhance the educational outcomes of children in care.
Rebecca is a fully qualified teacher with over 20 years’ experience. Rebecca has worked in mainstream and SEND, she is a specialist in supporting children presenting with social, emotional and mental health difficulties to access education successfully. Rebecca has worked in a wide range of roles across education as a teacher, advisory teacher to mainstream, SENCo and headteacher. Within her current role as executive head teacher, Rebecca oversees Compass Community Schools and a national education service which supports looked after children to access education provision.
Sam has a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management, is CIPD qualified and built her knowledge and experience in a HR role over a twenty year period. This originated in a marketing environment, followed by a major Child Protection Charity and for the last fifteen years has worked in social care, fostering and residential as a Director in an independent fostering and residential agency.Sam joined Compass, through its first acquisition, in 2012. She had project managed the sale of the agency in which she worked and steered it through due diligence and into successful completion. She was a major part of the evolving Compass Group from the beginning and worked at ensuring the process of integrating acquisitions and developing the organisation was completed with integrity. She is a member of the Operational Board and contributes to ensure that all legal and HR policies are developed and operated in a safe environment balancing commercial and care needs. She has built an effective and focussed team to support staff and business imperatives.
Ben holds an NVQ Level 3 and Level 4 in Children and Young People as well a level 5 NVQ Diploma in Management and a Diploma in Law and Society from the University of Kent at Canterbury. Other relevant qualifications include certificates in Social Sciences, Politics, Sociology, a Diploma in Stress counselling in the work place, Belbin team role Accreditation and a range of training in advanced child protection. Ben has also completed a significant number of Mentor Forensic accredited PSB training courses. Ben has 14 years’ experience of working in care and education.
The school is sometimes able to prepare students for integration into mainstream school and colleges. This includes pupils who come to Ferndearle with a statement for SEBD provision and those who have prior to Ferndearle struggled in SEBD provision as we believe that many pupils have been unable to manage their education due to the instability of their previous placement. The majority of pupils remain at Ferndearle School either until they move out of the area to such as a foster placement or until they leave Ferndearle for independence. Young people who remain at Ferndearle post 16 are transferred to our local college and also undertake work experience placements.
The school is part of Ferndearle Child Care Services which offers an integrated package of Care, Education and Therapy. All pupils have access to a large Consultant Clinical Team which includes: Speech and Language Therapist; Psychotherapist; 2 Clinical Psychologists; 2 Psychiatrists and a Play Therapist. These are accessed as and when required but the Psychotherapist is a frequent weekly presence in the organisation. All pupils receive weekly therapy during term time; fortnightly systemic group therapy; therapy or other forms of assessment depending on need and family therapy where appropriate. There is a close integration of the three strands of the service with the Head of the school meeting weekly with the Heads of Care and the Psychotherapist. Care staff (trained in therapeutic strategies) and the Home’s Psychotherapist enable and support learning through daily or weekly liaison with school staff with care staff providing direct support in school when deemed necessary. The Psychotherapist also provides training/pupil focus sessions for advice to education staff on pupils emotional needs to support learning.