The Ark is an integral part of the school but admissions to it are arranged via the Special Educational Needs (SEN) team at Reading Borough Council. Applications to The Ark are not dealt with under the admissions policy for the main school.
There are 21 places in The Ark. We do not normally admit children in Year 6, because by this stage the child is close to secondary transfer, and to limit the impact on any one area of the main school we also restrict numbers to 3 children in a single year group.
Children whose parents wish for them to be considered for admission to The Ark must have a statement of Special Educational Needs (or an Education and Health Care Plan) which states that autism is the child’s principal need. The Special Needs Department at Reading Borough Council may then refer the child for consideration by The Ark's Admission Panel. Admission Panels are held three times a year: in the Autumn for entry to the school in January; in the Spring for potential entry at Easter and in the summer for entry in September.
When the Admission Panel recommends a child for admission to The Ark there is then a period of transition with visits by staff from The Ark to see the pupil in his or her present setting, followed by a programme of visits by the child to Christ the King. Very rarely it may become apparent during this transition process that The Ark is not the best place to meet the child’s needs, in which case the SEN department at RBC will be informed and an alternative placement will be sought.
One important point that parents sometimes wonder about is that where the over-subscription criteria in the Admissions Policy of Christ the King school mentions “siblings”, a child in The Ark counts as a sibling for the purpose of ranking applications to the main school.
Parents who are interested in The Ark for their children are warmly encouraged to visit the school to speak to the Headteacher and The Ark Manager and to see how we work.