Consultation has started in Leeds on plans for a new special free school for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
The number of children and young people with SEND living in Leeds has increased over the past decade, leading to an increase in demand for specialist provision.
To make sure there are enough specialist places in future years to meet this need, Leeds City Council is proposing to create a new 150-place special free school (Specialist Inclusive Learning Centre, SILC) from September 2021 using existing school buildings at Rose Court on Buckingham Road in Headingley.
The site at Rose Court is in a central location and is considered to be well positioned to contribute towards addressing the citywide need. The proposal is dependent upon Leeds City Council acquiring the site from its current owner, The Grammar School at Leeds.
As part of this proposal there would also be 50 partnership places created in local mainstream schools. A partnership between a SILC and a mainstream school has children on the roll of the SILC accessing specialist provision within a mainstream setting.
There will be two informal drop-in sessions held as part of the consultation on the proposals, open to all to find out more and discuss the plans with council officers.
These sessions will be held at Rose Court, Headingley, on 3 December from 5-6.30pm and at Merrion House in the city centre, on 11 December from 3-5pm.
The online survey can be accessed on the Leeds City Council website at www.surveys.leeds.gov.uk and will be open until the consultation closes on 16 December.
Leeds City Council executive member for learning, skills and employment Councillor Jonathan Pryor said:
“We know the number of children and young people with SEND living in Leeds has gone up over the past decade leading to an increased demand on school places for these children. The proposed introduction of a new special free school will help meet this increased need.
“It is really important that people tell us what they think and so I would encourage as many people as possible to take part in the consultation by attending the drop-in sessions and filling out the online survey.”