Information for Parents

 

Attendance - Primary Children

The local schools’ protocol for children not attending school due to illness is that parents do not have to phone the school to this effect, but instead a written note explaining the absence needs to be sent in with the children when they next attend. This does not fully comply with safeguarding procedures established by MOD Schools and therefore it is the responsibility of the School Business Manager (SBM) to monitor attendance. For this purpose, bus escorts keep registers and parents are therefore requested to inform (for contact details please see Transport page) the bus escorts between 8.00 and 08.25 if their child is not attending school. The attendance data for those children not travelling  on school buses, will be obtained from the school. The arrangements for the request of leave of absence in local schools mirrors that of MOD schools (more info), therefore please note that leave of absences are not authorised in local except under exceptional circumstances. Parents should inform the SBM in writing as well as the Head teacher of the school if leave of absence is requested. When absence is requested for Post Operational tour Leave (POTL) the SBM will request authentication from the unit Welfare Officer. (please see attached leaflet).

 

  

School Health Nursing Team

The School Health Nursing Team comprises of Judith Marsh (School Nurse) and  Paula McCarney (Health Visitor). The School Health Team perform school medicals (including hearing and vision screening) and immunisations at the Princes Royal Medical Centre (PRMC) and will visit the children at school whenever necessary. Judith is also the lead asthma nurse at the PRMC. If you need to contact Paula McCarney or Judith Marsh to discuss any concerns regarding your child, please phone 00 350 200 53489 or e-mail: judith.marsh806@mod.uk

 

Free School Milk

Free school milk is provided  at all local First Schools (Year 1 to Year 3).

 

SEN

The Government of Gibraltar (GOG) Department of Education, does not make or maintain Statements of SEN, therefore any UK Statement will cease during the tour in Gibraltar.

 

Children with SEN are assessed by the GOG SEN Panel which consist of multi agency education, health and social care professionals. Children with Statements, Coordinated Support Plans (Scotland) and those at School Action Plus must undergo an SEN Enquiry with the GOG SEN Panel before being admitted to schools in Gibraltar. There is one very small special school in Gibraltar, St Martin’s, but it does not provide places for Service children with profound or severe learning difficulties.

 

The parents of children with special educational needs must therefore contact CEAS as soon as possible prior to their posting at the following address:

 

Children’s Education Advisory Service

Portakabin 8     

Trenchard Lines

Upavon

Pewsey

Wiltshire

SN9 BE

 

Tel:  01980 61 8244        Mil: (9)4344 8244

 

DCYP-CEAS-Enquiries@mod.uk

 

 

CEAS will pass all the child’s details to the School Business Manager  (SBM), ( tel 00 350 55415 email:gib.slo@modschools.org who will then prepare the information and pass it on to the Department of Education.

 

The GOG SEN panel offers the chance for parents to make a submission in person, but there is no official funding for parents to attend in person.   Due to the fact that it is not usually possible for service parents to attend, the role of parental representative may be taken by the SBM subject to parental agreements. The SBM will contact the parents regarding representing their views at the GOG SEN panel and will communicate the results to the parents, as soon as the Director of Education endorses the decision taken by the SEN panel.

 

If a family move to Gibraltar without authority and the needs of the child cannot be met, a forced return of the family to the UK remains an option.

  

Notre Dame First School has a special educational needs unit which caters for first school children from all catchment areas.  Children with special needs are brought to this unit for tuition in small groups but are integrated as much as possible within the mainstream school.  Teachers work closely with support staff such as learning support assistants, physiotherapists, speech & language therapists and occupational therapists as the need is identified.

 

Similarly, Bishop Fitzgerald Middle School also has a special educational needs unit which caters for middle school children from all catchment areas.  Following the recommendation of the SEN panel, if it is best for an MOD child to attend any of these two schools, for the purpose of accessing these units, a place will be provided.

 

Apart from these two special units, classroom teachers do not normally have the aid of learning support assistants (LSAs).  Currently there are about two LSAs employed in every first and middle school, who are timetabled to work with small groups of children who may have minor SEN needs such as dyslexia, etc.

 

All schools have a teacher designated as responsible for the co-ordination of issues related to the special educational needs of pupils.

 

The occupational health therapist for MOD children is Rachel Tobelem.  Referrals can be made by parents, education staff or health professionals via the School Liaison Officer.  Children are seen at the PRMC and Rachel will likewise make the appropriate referrals when the family leaves Gibraltar.

 

 Children who are identified as having SEN concerns whilst attending St Christopher’s EYFS unit and who will be transferring to local schools at the end of the reception year, are referred to the Department of Education and will also be assessed by the SEN Panel.  The local educational psychologist will assess the child and his/hers recommendations together with teacher observations, SLT reports, etc will be discussed at the board. 

 

SLT Provision

Speech and language therapy (SLT) is provided by  the SLT team at the Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA). If there are any concerns about speech sounds and/or language development or general communication skills,  referrals can be made by education staff or health professionals.

 

 

St Christopher’s EYFS Unit

St Christopher’s EYFS Unit, managed by Miss Tricia Wood, EYFS Leader, mirrors best practice in MOD Schools and it the UK. It caters for children from 3 to 5 years old (Pre-school and Reception Year). The staffing exceeds the recommended qualifications and every member of staff brings both considerable experience and talent Please visit the website:   http://www.stchristophers.sceschools.com. To contact Miss Wood please e-mail tricia.wood@sceschools.org or telephone 00350 200 55441.


Sunflowers Nursery


MOD Schools Sunflowers Nursery is now under the leadership of the MOD Schools Early Years Strategy Manager (EYSM) Jayne O’Hare. The Nursery Manger, Mrs Brigitte Shute and her team of early years practictioners provide a caring, stimutating and fun setting  for children from birth to 3 years old.  They also provide extended day care for children attending St Christopher's Pre-school.  For further information on the nursery please contact Mrs Shute on 00350 200 55441 or by email gib.sunman@sceschools.org    

 


TOUREX

Parents are required to inform the SBM of any changes to TOUREX dates as soon as possible. Before leaving Gibraltar they must also notify her of the contact details of the new school their child will be attending; the SBM is responsible for forwarding school reports, assessments etc to the new school.  Moving school packs are available to help you support your child when moving from one school to another, both in the UK and overseas;  It is recommended that you find out details of schools in your new location as soon as possible and If you are not satisfied with the school place offered, you may appeal. CEAS (contact details above)  can offer advice on the process, help in the wording of the appeal and may be able to attend the appeal.  If your child is affected by different starting ages between Northern Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland you should contact the school in the first instance, speaking to the Headteacher may sort any possible problems out. If not, then you should contact the local education departments or boards; contact CEAS for further advice.