Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find answers to some of our most asked questions. If you have any other questions or require any further information then please telephone your child's Head of Campus, their learning mentor or the Partnership and Admissions Officer. Their details can be found here on the website. Alternatively you can e-mail us at enquiries@sandwellcs.org.uk.

When will my child start at Sandwell Community School?

You will receive details of an initial meeting for you and your child to attend. Your child will then be asked to return to school to complete some assessments, usually the following day. The results will help the staff plan work at the correct level for your child. They are not tests so your child does not need to revise for them and they are not intended to cause them any anxiety. Once the assessments are completed then your child will start to follow the same timetable as the other pupils.

There is a nearer campus to where we live. Why can’t my child go there?

Although we will do our best to place each child at the nearest campus for their age group, there are sometimes reasons why this is not possible. If you have any concerns then please discuss these with the Head of Campus at the initial meeting.

I’m worried about my child attending this campus as he/she has had issues with a pupil that attends there. What can you do?

Please advise the staff of your concerns at the initial meeting. Staff closely monitor pupils at all times and this can often prevent any further problems from occurring. In some circumstances the Head of Campus may advise a change of campus.

Will I get help with bus fares?

If your child lives more than 2 miles away then they will be given a bus pass. Unfortunately we are unable to replace a lost bus pass until the expiry date of the original one and you will be responsible for providing bus fares until then. However, you can purchase a replacement at the cost of £15.00.

My child has free school meals. Will he/she still get them?

Yes. Please ask what the arrangement for lunches are at your initial meeting as this varies from campus to campus.

Will my child have to wear a uniform?

Yes. Sandwell Community School expects each pupil to wear: black trousers or skirt, white shirt, plain black jumper and black footwear. The P.E kit consists of jogging bottoms, t-shirt and trainers. Pupils may be sent home sent home to change if they are not correctly dressed or may have to attend isolation.

Does my child need to bring any equipment with them?

No, everything is provided, except P.E kit. However, if the aim is for your child to return to mainstream then it is good practice for them to arrive each day with the correct equipment.

I feel my child needs help. What can you do?

Please discuss your concerns at the initial meeting. The assessment results will identify any support your child may need with their learning and staff will personalise the lessons for them. For any other concerns, your child’s learning mentor may suggest a referral to a particular agency for additional support.

I would appreciate some support with my child at home. Is there anything you can offer?

Please don’t be embarrassed to mention the issues at the initial meeting or speak to your child’s learning mentor as it is very likely that other parents have had to deal with similar problems. Staff won’t tell you what you should do but will make some suggestions of things you could try and agencies that could support you.

How will I know if my child is making progress with their studies?

You will receive telephone calls/letters on a regular basis to discuss any behaviour issues and to celebrate your child’s achievements with you. You will also be invited to visit the campus to attend review meetings. Please feel free to contact staff at any time if you have any concerns or wish to share any information, as it is important that parents and school support each other for the benefit of the pupil.

Will my child be able to go to another mainstream school? Will I be able to choose the school they go to?

At Key Stage 3 the priority is for the pupil to return to a mainstream school as soon as possible. If it is not possible for your child to return to their original school then you will be given a school request form and asked to select 2 more schools that you would like your child to be considered for. The Fair Access Behaviour and Attendance Partnership meets every 3 weeks and will nominate an exit school for your child. However, they would not start at that school until their behaviour and attendance have reached a high standard. Once these targets have been met then staff at Sandwell Community School will work with the exit school to ensure that the transfer goes as smoothly as possible.

The later in Year 10 it gets, the more difficult it can be for a pupil to transfer successfully to a mainstream school. The options that a pupil may have chosen may

not be available and they may have a lot of catching up to do. If a Year 11 pupil has not moved to a mainstream school by October half-term then they will remain at Sandwell Community School until they leave. However, some key Stage 4 pupils and their parents prefer the small teaching groups, individual attention and high levels of support that we can offer.

How long will my child stay on roll at Sandwell Community School?

This will depend on your child’s behaviour and attendance. Staff at Sandwell Community School can only discuss a return to mainstream if they feel the move will be successful. A school can ask for a pupil to return to us at any time if things aren’t going well.

Will my child be able to take their GCSEs in Key Stage 4?

Yes. We offer GCSEs in the core subjects of English and maths and a GCSE equivalent qualification in ICT. We also offer Functional Skills qualifications in English, maths and ICT for those students who struggle at GCSE level. In addition, students chose one option a year. These options can be chosen from Art & Design (GCSE), construction or hairdressing (carried out by an external provider but monitored by SCS) or Hospitality & Catering, Sports Studies or Child Development (all of which are GCSE equivalent qualifications).

What happens at the end of Year 11 if my child is still attending Sandwell Community School?

Pupils leave us at the end of Year 11. Way before this happens staff from Sandwell Community School will work with Connexions to encourage your child to think about their future. They will be helped to apply for courses and attend interviews so that when they leave they know exactly where they are moving on to and what they will be doing there.