There are a number of children’s homes associated with Kisimul Lower School Lincolnshire (Swinderby) offering residential provision for up to 37 young people with autism, learning disabilities and complex needs, including behaviours of concern.
Our home provides an integrated residential, education and care package to young people aged eight to 19. The primary aim is to improve the social and educational outcomes of the young people we support.
Just ten miles from the centre of Lincoln, the main site is located within four acres in the quiet village of Swinderby. The site is close to a bus route and local amenities, and there is a train station one mile outside the village.
Our Statement of Purpose is available to view/download here.
“Children are cared for by staff who understand their complex and challenging needs. Children trust staff because the staff are caring and attentive.” Kisimul Ofsted Report August 2021
Inclusivity is the watchword at The Old Vicarage, where we celebrate the richness and diversity of childhood. Young people’s welfare and development is of paramount importance, and we actively support cultural and physical diversity through the home’s policies, procedures and practice. This means we are able to focus on different strengths deriving from ability, age, culture, ethnicity and gender. Every young person can therefore develop in an atmosphere which is conducive to learning in both the academic and life skills sense.
All of our young people have a statement of SEN or EHCP, and have Individual Learning Plans tailored to those needs. In partnership with Kisimul Lower School Lincolnshire (Swinderby), we provide safe and caring surroundings where the boys and girls can enjoy a carefully balanced, developmentally appropriate curriculum which promotes the academic, personal and social development of every individual.
And we see involving young people in the decision-making process as an essential part of our work, enabling them to have choices and giving them the reassurance that their views and wishes are actively sought and acted upon. They understand that their views are central to the person-centred care planning process, and that extends to our staff consulting with families and agency professionals to ensure that everyone has the plan in place that is right for them.
As a residential home, we work very closely with the educational provision to ensure those plans are delivered in tandem and effectively. We even have an active young people’s council which makes autonomous decisions about the school and residential services.
The Old Vicarage celebrates the diversity of cultures and religious traditions represented in its own community and elsewhere. The background and knowledge of all members of The Old Vicarage community help to enrich the experience and provide additional learning opportunities for young people and staff alike.
Every young person has their own room in a house, designed to meet their specific needs, and each building is adapted to enable young people to be placed in groupings suited to their age and peer groups. Accommodation is provided in four buildings – The Vicarage, Aislinn House, Araon House and Alair House. We also have Tigh Abaid, this is a separately registered children’s home associated with Kisimul Lower School Lincolnshire (Swinderby), and offers residential provision for up to six young people.
Activities include a full range of leisure, sports and recreation, and each young person participates in physical education. There is an outdoor play area, swimming pool and sports hall on the main site, and a range of external activities available to the young people, from shopping trips into Lincoln at the weekends, to rock climbing and sailing. All are undertaken in line with people’s individual needs and with appropriately qualified staff.
Staff & Therapeutic Services
While the young person as an individual will always be the focus, our staff are the facilitators, role models and mentors. Quality teaching experiences within a quality care setting are fully supported to promote success and achievement. The home is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with the number of staff appropriate to the needs of the people we look after. The Old Vicarage’s comprehensive staff training programme ensures there is an emphasis on excellence in training for all staff teams. See more information on our Therapeutic Services here.
It is the policy of Kisimul Group to ensure that a safe and caring environment is provided at all times for the young people entrusted to its care, and to protect them from significant harm (Part 2 section 10 of the Children’s Act 2004). The group is committed to ensuring that all young people attending services are kept safe and that concerns about a young person are followed up in the right way and to ensure that everyone including parents/carers, staff, volunteers and young people know what should happen and what is expected of them.
The Old Vicarage follows the Child Protection and Adults at Risk Procedure (OPED 05 Child Protection and Adults at Risk Safeguarding Policy) in line with The Local Safeguarding Board. The local procedure is framed in the context of the company’s overall policy and procedure.
Full training in the appropriate procedures is provided as part of the induction process for each new member of staff and reinforced in periodic refresher training and through supervision.
No form of bullying nor intimidation is tolerated anywhere within The Old Vicarage, irrespective of who the victim or perpetrator may be. The overall philosophy on these issues is set out in the company’s comprehensive behaviour policy.
OFSTED SAYS YOUNGSTERS ARE SUPPORTED, HELPED AND PROTECTED AT SWINDERBY
Following our latest inspection by Ofsted, Swinderby Children’s Home has been accredited with a rating of ‘Good.’
The Ofsted report said families and social workers “spoke highly” about the care provided at the home, and that staff ensure the specific social and healthcare needs of our youngsters are well met.
Inspectors added that staff understood the complex and challenging needs of the children, and helped provide a good transition for them into adulthood.
They praised the overall experience and progress of the young people we support, and commended the effectiveness of leaders and managers at the homes. The report also focused on how well our children and young people are helped and protected.
A mum of one of our youngsters, Julie Shade, also said staff demonstrated kindness during numerous hours of need, and that her son would not be in a position of contentment, excellent health and sheer happiness without the care he had received.
Some of the comments Ofsted said about the home included:
“Staff are caring and attentive”
“Social workers and families speak highly about the care provided”
“Children are encouraged to be part of the local community”
“There is good communication and good transition planning”
“Staff ensure children’s needs are well met”
“Children are given the opportunity to develop their independence”
The school year
The home offers offer up to 52 weeks of residential provision. The associated school, Kisimul Lower School Lincolnshire (Swinderby) operates a conventional three-term school year over 38 weeks of full-time education.