Vranch House is a centre for the treatment of over 2,000 outpatients with physical difficulties, a provider of various therapies throughout Devon and an independent Day School in Exeter for children with significant physical difficulties.

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Last updated: 12/06/2024

Parent's/Carer's Letter September 2018

Date added: Monday 24th September 2018
Latest updated: Thursday 23rd February 2023

Parents and Carers of pupils at Vranch House

Dear Parents and Carers

Re: Our Ofsted report and dysphagia

As I am sure you will recall, we had a three day inspection from HM Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) at the end of June this year. I am understandably elated and proud to tell you that we received the highest possible judgement of ‘Outstanding'. I have attached the front page of the Ofsted report giving a summary of the feedback we received and you can read the full report by typing this link into your web browser: https://reports.beta.ofsted.gov.uk/provider/27/113571. Alternatively, you can download the report from the Vranch House homepage www.vranchhouse.org, under ‘Information' > ‘Ofsted 2018'.

I am immensely proud of all the staff at Vranch House who have worked tirelessly to produce the day to day practices that were observed by the Inspector and have led to this brilliant result. My thanks also go to all the Parents and Carers who were involved in the inspection, either by completing the online Parent/Carer Ofsted survey or coming to speak with the Inspector in person.

We have once again opened our bespoke Nursery provision and welcome our three new Nursery pupils Bupe, Henry and Troy. Chelsea Armstrong and Denise Hutchinson are the new EYFS Practitioners, both of whom are qualified Nursery Nurses and are supported by two teaching assistants. We also welcome Muath to Class 1 and one further pupil, Marcus, to Class 4 in our secondary provision.


Vranch House School is pleased to inform parents/carers that Michelle Weick (Speech and Language Therapist) has completed the required dysphagia qualifications to provide dysphagia assessment and intervention service to Vranch House Pupils. 
While a dysphagia service is not part of Vranch House's Core Offer, an in-house service will enhance the current provision and ensure the ongoing health and well-being of our pupils.


Pupils will still be able to access the ICS Devon/ Virgin Care Paediatric Dysphagia Service when necessary, which operates on a referral and triage basis. The Vranch House Dysphagia Service will assess pupils who present with the following:


• Coughing/choking while eating/drinking
• Change of colour, watery eyes while eating/drinking
• Recurrent unexplained chest infections
• Change in levels of alertness/wellness that has impacted eating and drinking
Parents, carers and/or school staff who have concerns regarding a pupil's safety while eating or drinking can refer into this service by contacting Michelle Weick directly. 
As the current speech and language therapy service offered at Vranch House School has expanded, during the school term the referrals accepted to the dysphagia service will be for the concerns listed above. For the following queries regarding eating and drinking, limited time is available during the school holidays to meet with parents/carers to discuss and provide strategies regarding the following:



• Fussy/picky eaters
• Behavioural issues affecting eating/drinking
• Refusal to eat/drink
• Development of oral motor skills such as chewing, sucking, cup drinking
Should you require any further information regarding the dysphagia service, please do not hesitate to contact Michelle Weick via [email protected] or 01392 468333.


As always, if you wish to discuss any of the information in this letter, or you have any queries or concerns, I am always available to meet with parent and carers of our amazing pupils, so please do come and see me or contact me using the details at the top of this letter.



Yours faithfully


Ian Norton
Head of Education