BESD Meeting Notes Tinshill Centre

BESD Meeting Notes Tinshill Centre

Officers present: / Alun Rees – Head of the Leeds Virtual College for VulnerableChildren
In Attendance / Only one person attended
Julie Hobson - Administrator (minute taker)


Alun Rees (AR) welcomed everyone to the meeting and gave a presentation on the proposals to change the age range and expand the capacity of the BESD SILC (Elmete Lane) and to expand the capacity of the North East SILC from January 2014, including the integration of the Key Stage 2, 3 and 4 PRUs into the larger SILCs.

The presentation included:

  • An overview of the proposals,
  • Why the local authority is proposing the redesigns and how they have been


  • Purpose of the public consultation, &
  • What happens to comments and the Next steps

Comments and Questions

The table below outlines the main comments made and questions asked together with the response given by officers.

Comment / Question / Response
Have any parents any concerns regarding the statemented/non-statemented children? / AR explained that there had been no negative feedback from any parents during the consultation process to date, either through the opportunity to attend a meeting or in writing.
Does the proposal include sufficient capacity for, say, 5 years from now? / AR explained that the proposal had been framed in the light of best available demographic data and intelligence on the level and scale of need in future.
Inevitably that involves modelling which is never and exact science.
However, given the data and professional advice available the increases in size were at the top end of what was likely to be needed. That intelligence gathering continues and the models continue to be refined in collaboration with the SILCs and PRUs. If the evidence suggests the numbers need to change then the proposal would be altered to take account of that.
Lighthouse Free School is planning a move to Cookridge - How might this affect numbers? / AR explained that the generic SILCs are judged more appropriate for children with significant needs on the autism spectrum that the Lighthouse is specified to address, so the development of a free school offer specilaising around autism would be unlikely to impact on this proposal.
Do you think you will be ready by January? / AR explained that there was no reason why the statutory process cannot be completed by the middle of the Autumn term. That means that the new specifications for the schools will be in place for January 2014.
It is likely, though, that implementation will then be phased form January 1st as the key principle underlying the change will be that children should not be moved from a provision until its right for them to do so.
Will we be trying to regularise this so children can go to their closest provision and will this deal with that? / AR explained that there is a tension between local provision and provision for differentiated levels of behaviour need. If we opted for local provision then we would need to create provisions that could meet the full spectrum of behaviour need in that locality. There is a risk in that of creating provision that, while local, is not able to fully meet the spectrum of need, and the personalisation of provision that children need.
Therefore this proposal puts on children’s need first, and geography second. It will allow the city, for the first time, to make an integrated city-wide offer, while creating provisions that can each specialise around part of the spectrum of need. That specialisation will allow each ‘site’ to be outstanding at meeting a group of related needs, rather than the risk of being only satisfactory at meeting a very wide range of needs.
If Tinshill were to close the community would have an empty school in the locality which could cause problems. There was a comment that it was a good thing that Tinshill remains part of the proposal. / AR observed that the proposal is to operate on all of the sites listed – so long as the need for provision exists. The leaders of the SILCs and PRUs are convinced that this proposal is the best way to move provision forward in Leeds.
Had the Head had any response from parents from the leaflet? / The Head of the Key Stage 4 PRU and AR confirmed that there had not yet been any written responses from parents to the letter and booklet sent out.
Have members of staff been fully engaged and is it together? / AR explained that there was a joint Key Stage 2, 3 & 4 PRU staff meeting arranged and a similar meeting for SILC staff. Those meetings will seek to explain the proposals and the timeline. They aren’t formal consultation meetings about the HR process of bringing the PRU provision within the SILCs – that will follow once this statutory consultation on this proposal is complete.
Will the proposal work? / AR commented that for some time Leeds has been working to frame a coherent vision for how it can best meet the needs of children with behaviour needs and their families, while supporting mainstream schools to retain children in learning.
Schools in Leeds have never been more inclusive and, with the development of Clusters and the work done by Area Inclusion Partnerships, Leeds is better placed than ever before to describe that coherent offer from school, locality, and city. The local authority believes that this proposal is vital in binding that offer together and partners in schools, services, and localities believe the same.

In summary, there was a thorough discussion of the issues and no objections were raised to the proposal during the meeting.