Sunfield recognises the unique communication skills of all our children and young people, and aims to develop these skills to support our students to communicate effectively in all areas of their lives.
The Student Voice takes many forms, from members of the Student Council having input into organisational and strategic elements of the organisation, to individual students being enabled to make choices and voice opinions about different areas of their own lives. They have also helped to implement a complaints procedure accessible to students by adapting a pack called “Listen Up”, promoted by MENCAP.
Our student population ranges from pre-verbal students (approximately 80%) to students who are able to verbally discuss matters of interest and choices. We aim to ensure that all of our children and young people are supported to develop skills to communicate effectively, regardless of their level of communication.
A student-friendly version of Sunfield’s Vision, Values and Purpose can be downloaded here: Sunfield’s Vision, Values and Purpose for Students
Key Workers regularly meet individually with their students and represent their views. Students are supported through this process by individual communication passports, which set out the student’s needs and preferred forms of communication, from eye contact through to symbol, verbal or written word. House meetings are held in the houses where students can contribute their views. Students are also encouraged to contribute and attend their statutory reviews.
Sunfield also employs the services of ’ VOICE’. Representatives of VOICE visit each house on a fortnightly basis. They get to know the students, monitor their welfare and represent their interests. They feedback individually and as a group, each term, to the Head of Care. In some cases they may also attend the student’s review to offer independent representation for the student. The Independent Care Standards Monitor visits the houses each month to meet with the students and staff. He also contacts parents and submits a report to Sunfield. This report is sent to Ofsted and local authorities.