Consultation on places to pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs

This story was published 16 June 2022

A consultation on turning a residential special school into a co-educational centre that can admit more pupils, will enter a second phase if approved by senior members of North Yorkshire County Council.

Brompton Hall School

We are looking to broaden the intake of Brompton Hall School, near Scarborough, so it can offer more places to pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs (SEMH) and offer places to girls.

The school currently offers education and residential places four nights a week to boys aged eight to 16 with SEMH needs.

In February and March this year, the county council ran a public consultation, asking people’s views on whether the school should offer daytime education only and increase the number of places on offer.

There were 34 responses to the survey the council ran, with the majority of responses from stakeholders connected to the school and 30 per cent from parents/carers of young people with SEND.

A total of 65 per cent of respondents agreed with the proposal to admit girls to the school in the future. There is currently no specialist provision for girls with SEMH in the east of the county and overall demand for Social, Emotional and Mental Health special school provision in that part of North Yorkshire is continually outstripping supply.

The survey also asked whether residential placements should be phased out. Only 24 per cent of respondents agreed. Although a large proportion of respondents disagreed with the removal of residential provision, demand for residential places are declining year on year – from 38 to 29 in the last three years with further significant reductions seen this year. This lack of demand for residential places is likely to pose a viability issue to residential placements offered in the near future. It is also likely to limit the options for increasing places at the school and offering provision to girls with SEMH needs.

As a result, we are now going to consult on increasing places at Brompton Hall School and admitting girls, which would involve ceasing residential provision by September 2024.

If the executive approves the proposed next phase of public consultation at its meeting on June 21, the consultation will begin the following day, June 22 and end September 8, allowing additional time to account for the summer school holiday.

Jane le Sage, assistant director for inclusion, said: “We have now gone through all the feedback from the initial consultation.

“The feedback we received demonstrated large support for the proposal to increase the number of places at Brompton Hall School for children and young people with Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs and to admit girls.  There is a pressing need to see more provision for young people with these needs in North Yorkshire, especially for girls, a demand that is increasing.

“However, in order to do this, we need to free up physical space and resources at the school to accommodate more teaching and learning space. We also need to make sure the school remains financially viable. As a result, we will be consulting on a proposal to end residential provision by September 2024.

“We will work closely with families of pupils already attending the school. The vast majority of pupils attending the school at the start of this review will transition through school naturally, unaffected by any proposed changes.  We will closely support all pupils to make sure their assessed needs continue to be met.”

If a second consultation is approved by our executive, then details on how to take part in the next public consultation will be released shortly after the executive meeting.

A final decision on the school would likely to be requested on November 8 this year.