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Specialist Settings in Leeds


1.5 million children and young people have SEND in England and 4.5% of these have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) (Special educational needs in England, Academic year 2022/23 – Explore education statistics – GOV.UK (explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk)

By law, every mainstream school, nursery and college must provide support for pupils with SEND. The support that is available may differ from school to school, but all schools have a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments to support pupils with SEND. A reasonable adjustment is any alternation or change to teaching methods, resources or the physical environment. Schools are required to take proactive steps to identify and implement such adjustments, and to involve parents, carers and the children and young people themselves in this process.

Find out more about mainstream schools and SEND: Check out Leeds MENCAP’s ‘Mainstream Schools and SEND‘ information

For some children and young people with SEND a mainstream school may not be able to meet their needs and a specialist setting may be better able to do this. All children and young people need an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) to attend any type of specialist setting.

Find out more about EHC Plans: Check out Leeds MENCAP’s ‘EHC Plans’ Information

What is a specialist setting?

A special school or specialist setting is a school that is “specially organised to make special educational provision for pupils with SEN” (Section 337 of the Education Act 1996).

They can:

  • Specialise in one of the 4 areas of SEND:
    • Cognition and learning needs
    • Communication and interaction needs
    • Social, emotional and mental health needs
    • Physical and sensory needs

  • Meet the needs of children and young people with more specific SEND such as autism, visual or hearing impairments

  • Meet the needs of children and young people with a range of SEND needs

What different types of specialist settings are there in Leeds?

SILCs – Specialist Inclusive Learning Centres

  • A Specialist school that supports children with lifelong and complex SEND who are unable to access mainstream school
  • There are 5 SILCs in Leeds:
    • West SILC
    • North West SILC
    • East SILC
    • North East SILC
    • South SILC

Resourced Provision

  • A mainstream school that has specialist resources to support children with SEND
  • Children are on roll of mainstream school but receive specialist support to meet their needs

Partnership Provision

  • SILCs have arrangements with local mainstream schools to support children to access elements of mainstream education
  • Children are on roll at the partnership SILC but access education at the mainstream partnership provision and are supported by SILC staff

Specialist Free Schools and Academies

  • Operate independently from the Local Authority
  • Have more control over how they operate
  • There are several Free School and Specialist Academies in Leeds, such as Springwell Leeds Academy for children with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs, and The Lighthouse Free School for children with Autism

Click here for a list and information about all the specialist settings in Leeds from SENDIASS: Specialist provision (leeds.gov.uk)

Additional support from Leeds MENCAP

Speak to other parents with children with SEN and disabilities on our closed Facebook group.

Follow us on Facebook to hear about our upcoming events.

Check out the rest of our Family Support offer. We have:

  • Weekly Chats and Tots coffee morning
  • Family Support workers who can offer advice, signposting and support
  • Lots of tips and resources on our website
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