Brompton Hall School: Specialist education centre could admit girls for first time at expense of residential care

A school that provides special educational needs for children near Scarborough could soon be expanded to accommodate more pupils, but would lose its residential care.

By George Buksmann
Friday, 17th June 2022, 11:29 am

North Yorkshire County Council wants to run a consultation of broadening the intake of Brompton Hall School so it can accept more 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. However, there is currently no specialist provision for girls with SEMH in the east of the county.

The authority said overall demand for SEMH special school provision in that area of North Yorkshire is continually "outstripping" supply.

Brompton Hall School, near Scarborough, could soon expand its admissions.

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.

The consultation could enter a second phase if approved by senior members of North Yorkshire County Council.

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 or carers of young people with special educational needs and disability.

A total of 65 per cent of respondents agreed with the proposal to admit girls to the school in the future.

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.

The county council said the lack of demand for residential places is likely to pose a viability issue to residential placements offered in the near future and is likely to limit the options for increasing places at the school and offering provision to girls with SEMH needs.

The authority is 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 at North Yorkshire County Council, 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 SEMH 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.

"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."

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