Retention Policy

    Retention Policy - Full School

    Last reviewed:02/07/19

    SLT responsible: Stephen Deady, Deputy Head Prep School


    At Cranleigh the general expectation is for students to be promoted with others of the same age sequentially from year to year. The School has a clear assessment policy and we track and monitor progress throughout the year for each child. The normal age requirements for each year-group follow standard British curriculum recommendations; on social as well as academic grounds, children generally fall within these boundaries:

    • FS1 (Aged 3-4)
    •  FS2 (Aged 4-5)
    • Year 1 (Aged 5-6)
    • Year 2 (Aged 6-7)
    • Year 3 (Aged 7-8)
    • Year 4 (Aged 8-9)
    • Year 5 (Aged 9-10)
    • Year 6 (Aged 10-11)
    • Year 7 (Aged 11-12)
    • Year 8 (Aged 12-13)
    • Year 9 (Aged 13-14)
    • Year 10 (Aged 14-15)
    • Year 11 (Aged 15-16)
    • Year 12 (Aged 16-17)
    • Year 13 (Aged 17-18)

    All students in the Pre-Prep (FS1 – Year 2) will be promoted to the next grade, except in rare circumstances. The decision to retain a student in the same grade will be taken after considering the guidelines included in this policy. 

    Year 3 & 4 children, who are still in class based teaching for their core curriculum, will be promoted unless there are rare circumstances which require a year to be repeated in the best interests of the child’s education. 

    All students in Years 5 – 13 (subject specialist teaching starts earlier at Cranleigh, hence we consider Year 5 to be the starting point for enhanced requirements as far as promotion is concerned) will be promoted to the next grade except when they do not meet the promotion requirements as per the ADEC approved curriculum, and the Abu Dhabi Scale of Achievement guidelines. A student will not be retained in a certain grade more than two consecutive times as a maximum, and no more than two different grades during the entirety of his/her Cranleigh education.

    Learning Support

    Cranleigh was approved by ADEC as a ‘mild inclusion’ school and, as such, caters for learning support under largely mainstream conditions. The school does not promote itself for learning support and makes it clear through the admissions process that there are limited resources to support children’s needs in this regard. Whilst the school has an active learning support unit, lead by the SENCO, the support provided by the school is not established for children with significant inclusion needs. 

    All students on an Individual Education Plan who meet their objectives progress to the next age-appropriate placement and year group level sequence. Whilst the school recognises the need to adjust IEPs where necessary in order to support a child’s progress through the school programme, it also holds the view that a child must be in a position to access the curriculum at each stage of development. As above, whilst this is more easily differentiated within class teaching environments, such as the demands of the Common Entrance, IGCSE and A-Level syllabi and other higher tier academic programmes followed at Cranleigh, that the demands specific to Cranleigh’s academic framework may prove too much for children on learning support, even with adjusted IEPs. Under such circumstances, it would be in the best interests of the child to be retained within a year to further consolidate their learning experience, rather than to promote them with an adjusted IEP but find that the child is unable to access the curriculum at the next level. The accelerated programme at Cranleigh begins with subject specialist teaching in Year 5 and it is from this point on that closer consideration will be given to a child’s ability to access the curriculum, whilst giving due consideration to adjustments of the the IEP to meet the child’s needs. 

    At Cranleigh, the school will explore all potential alternatives to retention. If a student is failing to make the expected progress, the School will communicate its concerns with the student’s Parents / Guardians and hold a meeting / meetings to discuss measures to be taken to provide the student with additional learning support. Cranleigh will seek measures within its limited resources, in line with its mild inclusion requirements, to propose particular ways of helping the student through its interventions, which may include modifications/improvements to the teaching program, to support the student in making the desired progress. Ongoing dialogue with parents as necessary will ensue to keep them informed of outcomes.

    Retention at Cranleigh

    Should a child be regarded as requiring retention at Cranleigh, a review of a child’s progress will be conducted by a review committee inclusive of the Headmaster and the relevant Deputy Head (Academic), who will consult with the following, as appropriate: 

    • All teachers who have taught or worked with the student during the current academic year. 
    • The Heads of the Teaching Faculties. 
    • The School’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator in the case of a student with learning support and the School Counsellor where appropriate. 
    • The Parents/Guardians, with whom consideration will be given to the right learning environment to best serve the needs of their child.

    The following factors will be considered before any decision is taken:

    The social and developmental impact on the student that would result if he or she were separated from their peers. 

    • School reports showing progress or lack of progress over two or more years. 
    • The School’s curriculum and the child’s ability to access it. This is of particular importance from Year 5 onwards once the child reaches the accelerated programme leading towards Common Entrance (11+ and 13+) and then (I)GCSE and A level. 
    • The capacity of the School to provide an improved, differentiated learning experience, given its mild inclusion status, and support for students who have in the past been retained. 
    • Whether or not the student has already been previously retained. 
    • Whether a student has been assessed for special education needs, and whether the student is in need of an Individual Education Plan which can better serve his/her individual learning needs.