New alliance to help improve prospects for children with behaviour needs

A new alliance is being created to help improve the education of children and young people with social and behavioural difficulties.

At next week’s meeting of Leeds City Council’s executive board, members will discuss the proposals to create the new alliance that will integrate existing specialist and targeted education provision to create an outstanding learning offer for children and young people with behaviour, emotional and social difficulties (BESD).

Currently children who have such difficulties are educated either at Pupil Referral Units (PRUs), BESD specialist inclusive learning centres (SILCs) or within mainstream schools. The behaviour learning alliance will see these provisions come together to create organisations with the capacity to meet each child’s need in a flexible and personalised way.

The advantages of creating the alliance will be to provide a seamless specialist and assessment provision which is able to respond quickly to need and have more flexible staffing structures. The integrated leadership and governance will allow swift and easy access to appropriate provision. It also provides the opportunity to develop the existing six sites to create learning environments that meet the needs of a very diverse group of children and young people, in a more inclusive and cost effective way.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:

“Providing appropriate and outstanding education for children and young people who have behaviour needs is a really important priority for the city. Unfortunately the outcomes and achievements of these children, both nationally and in Leeds, tend to be much lower than their peers who do not have barriers to learning. This new alliance would address long standing issues of attendance and attainment and deliver outstanding education to give every child the opportunity to progress to the best of their ability.”

In order to achieve this integration the executive board is being asked to approve proposals to start the process to change the age range of the BESD Specialist Inclusive Learning Centre from 5 to 16, to 11 to 16 and expand the capacity from 150 to 200 pupils using sites at Elmete Wood, Stonegate Road, the Burley Park Centre, the Hunslet Gate Centre and the Tinshill Centre and the expansion of its remit to include provision for children without a statement of special educational needs. The board will also be asked to approve proposals to start the process to expand the North East Specialist Inclusive Learning Centre (Oakwood Lane) from 30 to 40 pupils aged 4 to 11 and the expansion of its remit to offer learning to children without a statement.

For the first time in Leeds, all but one existing provider for BESD pupils has been judged to be either ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.

These proposals will not mean those children who have statements of Special Educational Need and complex or multiple needs who benefit from generic SILC provision, being placed alongside children with behavioural needs.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk