The law says that you have a right to be educated in a mainstream school if this is your choice and they can meet your needs.

Schools and colleges have a responsibility to work with young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND)to help them achieve their goals.

If you cannot attend a mainstream school because you need more support with your learning, then you would need an EHCP and could apply for a place at a specialist school or setting.

Specialist schools and settings

There are different types of specialist schools and settings that you could attend these are:

Specialist Inclusive Learning Centres (SILCs)

A SILC teaches children and young people who have more severe and complex difficulties. They have specially trained staff and resources to support pupils. There are five SILC’s across each of the five areas of Leeds.                     

Social Emotional and Mental Health provision

Leeds offers provision for children and young people that have difficulties with their Social, Emotional and/or Mental Health Needs (SEMH).                     

Specialist free school

There is a 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 access 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.                     

You would be on the roll of the SILC but likely wear the uniform and follow the daily routines of the host school.                     

Resourced provisions

A resourced provision is a mainstream school that has additional resources in a specialist area. These include resource provisions for children and young people with:                     

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

You would be on the roll of and fully included in this mainstream school, whilst receiving any specialist interventions that you need.         

You can find out more about the specialist schools and settings available in Leeds on the Leeds Local Offer website.

You can also contact us for copies of our Leeds provision, out of authority and post 16 provision guides.

Post 16 options

You can legally leave school at the end of the year that you turn 16, but you must remain in some kind of education or training until you turn 18. This is known as Further Education(FE).

After the age of 18, you would not remain at the current school or setting as you would now be classed as an adult learner. Some specialist settings offer education for 19-25 year olds, or you might want to consider university. This is known as Higher Education (HE).

More about Further Education (FE)

You should receive information and advice about suitable options and courses in good time to make the right decision. It is important to choose somewhere that you will feel comfortable and be able to work towards and achieve your goals.

As well as getting information from your school or setting, you can also check the Leeds Local Offer site to see what is available in Leeds, or visit the National Careers Service website.    

You can choose from:   

  • Sixth form at your currents school or setting if they have one.
  • Sixth form at a new school or setting.
  • A further education (FE) college
  • A specialist FE college - If you have an EHC Plan.
  • A traineeship
  • An apprenticeship
  • A supported internship - if you have an EHC Plan.
  • Studying part-time

You can find out more about these options on our planning for your future page.    

You can also contact us for a copy of our supported internships, traineeships and apprenticeship guide.     

More about Higher Education (HE)

If you chose to go to university, then your EHCP will automatically come to an end. This does not mean that extra support is not available as universities also have duties under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments for disabled students. This could include support such as flexible seminar times, support for study skills or access to specialist computer software.    

You may also be able to apply for a Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) to help fund specialist support or equipment that you need.    

Visiting a school, college or setting

It is a good idea to go and visit any school or setting that you thinking of attending. This would give you the chance to look at the environment and meet the staff.

You could also look at the school or setting's website to see what they offer and read about the way that they run things. This might help you with your decision making.

Advice for visiting schools

When making a visit, it can be helpful to take down some notes about what you think or of any questions that come up, to then ask at the end of the visit. It is also helpful to visit a few settings so that you can compare them and see which one feels best for you.   

When visiting it might be helpful to ask or think about:   

  • What SEND support can they offer you?
  • How does the learning space feel to you?
  • Do you think you will be able to move around independently
  • Is anything worrying you?
  • How is the teaching organised?
  • what are the class sizes?
  • Do they have any students with similar needs to you?
  • If they run any clubs or groups that might interest you?
  • How would you get there?
  • How do they track progress?
  • How do they communicate with home?

More information, advice and support (IAS)

Leeds SENDIASS are not responsible for the content of sites or services offered by third parties.

You can find more resources on our useful SEND links and tools page.