Specialist SEND places and settings

Information about specialist SEND places and settings.

Specialist SEND settings are for children who require more support than can normally be provided in mainstream schools.

SILCs (Specialist Inclusive Learning Centres) and special schools Special schools are for children who require more support than can normally be provided in mainstream schools. SILCs are highly skilled, trained and experienced in meeting the needs of children with a vast range of complex special educational needs. Some special schools have specialisms

To be offered a place at a specialist provision, a child must have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This is because they fall outside of the usual admissions protocol.

Specialist Inclusive Learning Partnerships (SILCs)

SILC partnerships are mainstream schools that have an agreement with their local SILC to provide additional specialist trained staff and resources. The children are on the roll of the SILC but often wear the uniform and follow the daily routines of the host mainstream school. All partnerships work slightly differently, and we would recommend speaking to them individually for further details. All the partnerships are ‘generic’ meaning they can cater for a range of special educational needs, unless otherwise stated.

Social Emotional and Mental Health Provision

Leeds offers city wide specialist provisions for children and young people with Social Emotional and Mental Health Needs (SEMH).

Specialist Free School

There is one specialist free school in Leeds for young people aged 11 to 19 who have an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) or related communication disorders. This school is funded by the government, but ran independently (meaning they have more control over how they do things).

Partnership Provisions

Partnership provisions are for children and young people who are working at a higher level and are able to go to some mainstream lessons, but also need specialised support in some areas.

There are mainstream schools that have an agreement with their local SILC to provide additional specialist trained staff and resources. The children are on the roll of the SILC but often wear the uniform and follow the daily routines of the host mainstream school.

Resourced Partnerships

Resource Provisions are mainstream schools that have additional resources to specialise in meeting the needs of children within a specific area of SEN. Children are on the roll of and are fully included in the mainstream school. They receive highly specialist interventions they need for their individual needs. Resource provisions cater for the needs of Children and Young People with - 

  • hearing and visual impairments 
  • physical and medical difficulties
  • complex communication disorders 
  • specific learning difficulties (secondary only)
  • general learning difficulties

Children are on the roll of and are fully included in the mainstream school, whilst receiving the specialist interventions they need for their individual needs.

Post 16 Specialist Provision

There are citywide foundation learning and supported courses in Leeds, designed to meet the needs of young people aged 16 to 24 who have SEND.

Choosing the right school for your child

A school’s website is a good place to start. It can give you a sense of the school’s character. Each school must also have a special educational needs (SEN) policy and information about managing health needs.

The school’s website will also include a copy of its most recent Ofsted report or a link to the report on the Ofsted website. Ofsted inspections include looking at how a school is supporting children with SEN.

Visiting a potential school is important. You will be able to see the school environment, meet staff, and see children learning.

Mainstream schools have open days for families of children starting primary or secondary school. The local authority’s school admission team sends information about these. You can also find details on school websites.

You can also make an appointment to visit a school at a different time. You should call or email the school to arrange this. You may want to ask to meet the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) on your visit or speak to them before you go.

Special schools and integrated resources do not tend to have open days. Instead, they show families around by appointment.