HERS School Information

Please find links below for all our HERS school information.

HERS Welcome Pack 2023

Timetable 2023-24

Free snacks and drinks for HERS 



HERS welcome pack

Hospital Education and Reintegration Service (HERS)

A Welcome by the Service Manager – Sarah Dunsford

We are delighted to welcome you and your child to HERS even though we understand that this may have been a challenging time for you. This pack is designed to give you all of the information you might need initially when your child joins us. Please take the time to read through it carefully and note down any questions you may have.

We are a temporary service for pupils aged 4 to 16 for students who have health and medical needs and cannot access learning opportunities at their own school.

Our HERS staff are focused on supporting pupils and families to achieve the best possible education and reintegration outcomes. We work with a range of other professionals, including a medical professional, to ensure the needs of each child can be correctly identified and we can support each individual academically and socially, and prepare them for reintegration.

There is a positive atmosphere in which children can fulfil their potential and grow in self-confidence and develop the resilience and perseverance to overcome individual challenges alongside a clear understanding that our learners are unwell and so a bespoke and medically-guided programme is required.

We are proud of the pupils and staff who aim to cultivate an environment where students feel well enough and safe to learn. Students are taught in a range of ways, guided by medical advice, such as in our quiet base, online and by teachers supporting and guiding independent work, in conjunction with the child’s home school curriculum and external exam requirements where applicable.

All students are dual-registered with us to maintain effective links with the home school with regards to curriculum, SEND, exam entries, reintegration work and pastoral support. We aim to provide a high quality, relevant and balanced education for all our pupils based on medical needs.

Our main focus is on academic and core subjects balanced with sessions to help improve social isolation, friendships, and a therapeutic approach as part of a wider holistic curriculum for those who cannot yet access core subject learning.

We are incredibly proud of our service and we hope our team, website and this pack, provides you with a greater understanding of what life is like for pupils, families and staff across the county of Bath & North East Somerset (BANES). Students must reside in BANES to be able to have a referral to HERS considered. This referral is coordinated through the home school and with supporting and appropriate medical evidence. This is considered by a BANES Panel.

Sarah Dunsford               (HERS Service Lead)

What is HERS?

HERS stands for ‘Hospital Education and Reintegration Service’.

Our aim is to provide educational support when, for medical reasons, a child is unable to attend their normal mainstream school. The duration of the placement is dependent on medical advice.

How long does a HERS placement last?

We have some pupils who attend HERS on a short-term basis, and some, more long term. HERS provision is determined at Health Opinion Panel meetings organised by BANES Local Authority. A HERS placement may be extended based on medical advice.

What happens once my child has a HERS placement allocated?

Shortly after you receive confirmation of HERS allocation, one of our lead teachers will contact you. The lead teacher is your point of contact with HERS. They will give you their e-mail address and mobile phone number should you ever need it. The lead teacher will see your child regularly enabling them to build up an effective teacher-pupil relationship.

The Initial Meeting

The lead teacher will arrange an initial meeting with you, usually at your home, with your child present. This is a chance for the lead teacher to fully explain what HERS provision will look like, and for you and your child to talk about this. Part of the initial meeting is for your lead teacher to get to know your child, and begin to build a bespoke timetable based on their needs.

Some information is provided to us in advance by the home school (for example recent working grades, target grades and any SEND information the school may already hold). We also receive information about support school has put in place for your child in the past. This is also the opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have. Your lead teacher will also discuss where and how lessons will take place, and discuss transport options should your child be attending lessons at The Hive. We will also discuss access to technology for online lessons.

Lesson Format

Lessons at HERS mainly follow a core curriculum, including PSHE content.

Your lead teacher will guide you through what your child will be allocated, and build up a personalised timetable for them.  The timetable has to be reviewed regularly, and can be adapted if necessary.

Where do lessons take place?

Lessons take place either individually or in small groups at The Hive (our base on site at Abbot Alphege Academy in Bath). Lessons may also take place online, at the home school when reintegration starts or another mutually agreed location suitable for education. Lessons typically last one hour or two hours (the latter with a short break). These can be shorter depending on the medical condition. We also have a base at the RUH for pupils who are inpatients or day admissions there. The nature of your child’s lessons will be agreed at the initial meeting and depends on a range of factors and is guided by medical need.

What does a HERS lesson look like?

All HERS teachers are qualified with teaching experience – this means lessons will run in line with the National Curriculum. Whilst lessons are planned with the same content and challenge expected at school, our teachers are sensitive to the needs of HERS students and will adapt the lessons to suit the needs of the individual pupil. We work on a first name terms basis.

What will my child need for their lessons?

Whether online or at The Hive, we ask that all pupils adhere to our dress code policy. We do not require learners to wear school uniform, however expect them to be dressed appropriately for a school setting. At home, we expect pupils have everything ready they may need for their lesson. Your child will need their school pencil case and calculator.

Exercise books, resources and revision guides are all provided by us. We do have some equipment we are happy to loan out, however being organized is an important life skill we would like to encourage. Pupils may also like to bring in a water bottle and any drinks/snacks/packed lunch they may need during the day. If your child has free school meals, please discuss this with your child’s home school.

Lessons at The Hive

Pupils attending the Hive may be dropped off by car, walk (if local to the area) or arrive by taxi. Please aim for your child to arrive 5 minutes before the start of their lesson so they can sign in, safely store devices and be ready for a prompt start.

Homework/independent work is available on a weekly basis, and whilst we encourage all of our pupils to do homework to enhance their learning, but we are aware that in some cases this may not be achievable. Please discuss this with the lead teacher in the first instance.

Assessment and Feedback

We will assess your child at regular intervals throughout the school year, providing feedback and the opportunity to improve. We share this data with your child and their home school. We have our own HERS marking policy which encourages pupils to scrutinize their work and have the chance to improve.

Currently, we send one summative academic progress report to parents/carers at the end of the year or time with us and we also use Evidence For learning to chart progress by teachers to collect data 6 times a year. This can be shared at reviews meetings.

Due to the close collaborative nature of our work, any concerns with your child’s progress will be discussed with you at the earliest opportunity, and of course you can check in with us to discuss any concerns. Many of our team are part time but they always try to respond quickly.

What should I do if my child is sick and/or has a medical appointment?

If your child needs to miss a lesson, please call with a clear reason as we use national attendance coding:

0117 462 3941

We may ask for proof of medical appointment for our records so please keep the letters/email confirmations of these. We always ask you to notify us at least 24 hours in advance in the case of individual lessons, where this is possible. Please contact the lead teacher if this is something it would be useful for them to know.

If a child is absent, with no reason communicated, we may mark the absence down as unauthorized. All attendance data is shared with the home school, and where necessary with the BANES AWSS (Attendance and Welfare Support Service).

We will contact you to ensure that your child is safe if they do not arrive as expected.

What happens if my child’s teacher is unwell?

If a staff member is unwell or called to a safeguarding emergency, we will endeavor to let you know as soon as possible if we need to cancel, change, amend your child’s lesson. We offer work, possibly a cover teacher, to work on Oak Academy, continue with homework or revision guide work, or to do Century Tech.

If the lesson is on the Hive, there will always be teachers present. We cover internally and would only use external supply in extreme circumstances as we understand that can be difficult.

What happens when my child is ready to return to their home school?

HERS will work closely with you, your child, your child’s home school and up to date medical advice to carefully plan for reintegration when the time is right.  We appreciate this may be straightforward for some pupils, but more difficult for others. We aim for pupils and their parents/carers to be fully informed throughout the process by:

  • having termly review meetings between parents/carers, the home school, medics where available (or an update from them), and the HERS lead teacher. This gives us all the opportunity to establish how the child is progressing with their lessons and reintegration. It also gives everyone the opportunity to establish a plan for next steps and ‘what happens next’.
  • If the child is ready for reintegration, HERS teachers can work with the child to establish what reintegration would look like, and support the child with those initial steps. We also liaise with the school to co-ordinate reintegration.
  • When the child successfully reintegrates back into an agreed educational setting, HERS support will close and you will receive a letter.

What do I do if I’m not happy with any aspect of HERS provision?

If you are unhappy with our work in any way, please discuss first with the Lead Teacher. It may be that a simple change can make the world of difference, and we will always try to accommodate the needs of our learners if appropriate to do so.

If you are unsatisfied with the response, or wish to discuss things further, please contact our HERS Service Manager, Sarah Dunsford by e-mailing sdunsford@banes-hers.com

Contact details – we have a welcome video, so please ask if this would be helpful for you

Hospital Education and Reintegration Service (HERS),

The Hive, Abbot Alphege Academy (top floor), Beckford Drive, Lansdown, Bath, BA1 9AU

Telephone: 0117 462 3941 (we are NOT in Bristol – this is a web-based number)

Email addresses: sdunsford@banes-hers.com (HERS manager) Ldyte@banes-hers.com (general enquiries)

Website: https://www.themendipschool.co.uk/01-welcome-to-hers

Name of HERS staffe-mail
BIDDLESTON Davedbiddleston@banes-hers.com
BURTON Siansburton@banes-hers.com
BURTON Richardrburton@banes-hers.com
GOLLEDGE Anneagolledge@banes-hers.com
DUNCAN Melissamduncan@banes-hers.com
DUNSFORD Sarahsdunsford@banes-hers.com
DYTE Laraldyte@banes-hers.com
HELLIER Alisonahellier@banes-hers.com
INGLIS Yvonneyinglis@banes-hers.com
JAMES Karenkjames@banes-hers.com
KELLY Ellieekelly@banes-hers.com
LANZON Elizabethelanzon@banes-hers.com
PATE Katherinekpate@banes-hers.com
McCUTCHEON DamiendMcCutcheon@banes-hers.com
ROGERS Nicolanrogers@banes-hers.com
SULLY Jamesjsully@banes-hers.com
WALL Anabellawall@banes-hers.com

Free school meals

If you have queries about free school meals or pupil premium, your child’s home school retains the responsibility for arranging provision for this. Please contact your home school for further information (or ask during a review meeting).

Safeguarding of our HERS learners

HERS follows the policy for safeguarding from our linked school, The Mendip School. This is available on their school website and provides more detail.

As a provider of education, we follow all requirements recorded in the latest version of the government document – Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023.

We work with your child’s home school and will share and discuss any safeguarding concerns that arise.

HERS staff need to see your child on a regular basis, at least weekly, in order that no further discussion or action is taken. This is decided in conjunction with the home school, BANES local authority, education, health, social care and any other relevant agencies.

Attendance for our HERS learners

HERS follows the policy for attendance from our linked school, The Mendip School. This is available on their school website and provides more detail.

As a provider of education, we follow all requirements recorded in the latest version of the government document – School Attendance (May 2022 or later once published).

We work with your child’s home school and will share and discuss any attendance concerns that arise, verbally and in writing at first. We then discuss and complete a referral to the Attendance and Welfare Support service if absence concerns remain regarding cancelled sessions, planned as part of a medically guided education and reintegration service.

HERS uses nationally-recognised attendance coding so it is vital that you communicate promptly with your lead teacher and teachers where these are known. Once attending lessons, the staff will share with you the most effective way to share this information. Attendance is recorded on BROMCOM, a national management information system for education settings.

HERS staff need your child to attend on a regular basis in order that no further discussion or action is taken. This is decided in conjunction with the home school, BANES local authority, education, health, social care and any other relevant agencies such as the BANES Attendance and Welfare Support Service.


This provides initial information for you, and you will be provided with more information during your time in HERS. We follow the policies of The Mendip School and share their DfE number.

We look forward to helping you with your learning until you can reintegrate back into an appropriate educational setting.

Sarah Dunsford and the team,

September, 2023