Plans for new specialist school in Headingley set to be approved by Leeds City Council
A proposal to build a new specialist free school in Headingley is set to get official backing from senior councillors next week after a public consultation received strong support.
The new school, if approved by Leeds City Council’s executive board on Wednesday 12th February, will be based at Rose Court on Buckingham Road, and will create 150 new school places for children and young people aged 4-16 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). As part of the proposal, 50 additional partnership places will also be created in local mainstream schools, which will see more children with SEND able to access specialist provision within a mainstream setting.
There has been an increase in demand for specialist provision in schools over the past decade due to the number of children and young people living in Leeds with SEND. This new school, which is set to be established on the former site of Rose Court, part of The Grammar School at Leeds, will help to address this need.
The proposal highlights the benefits of using a site that is already home to a school; the impact on local residents will be minimal and, as the existing buildings are already suitable for education purposes, it’s cost effective too. The council held a public consultation last year to get people’s views on the proposal and 92% of respondents either strongly supported or somewhat supported the plans.
Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for learning, skills and employment said:
“If the plans are approved next week, this new school will contribute to addressing the city-wide need for additional high quality specialist school places. Ensuring everyone in Leeds is able to do well at all levels of learning and have the skills they need for life is a priority for the council. These specialist places will help us to do this and will contribute towards our Child Friendly City aspiration to improve educational attainment and close achievement gaps for children and young people vulnerable to poor learning outcomes.
Sue Woodroofe, Principal of The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) said:
“Throughout our project to relocate Rose Court pupils to join the main school at Alwoodley, our desire has been to see the Headingley site remain in educational use, continuing the legacy of our school’s original benefactors. We are delighted that, if this proposal is approved, under the ownership of Leeds City Council Rose Court will help fulfil the need for specialist educational provision in Leeds, and benefit future generations of children and young people in the city.”
To see the executive board report, go to www.democracy.leeds.gov.uk