Decision details

Proposal to establish a new special free school on the Elmete Wood Site

Reference: D50347

Decision Maker: Executive Board

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Appropriation of Land at the Elmete Wood site to establish a new special free school, on a 125 year peppercorn lease to the identified sponsor Trust.


The Director of Children and Families submitted a report regarding a proposal brought forward to meet the Local Authority’s duty to ensure a sufficiency of learning places including provision for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Specifically, the report presented the outcome of a consultation exercise regarding a proposal to establish a new 200 place special free school on the Elmete Wood site following Leeds City Council successfully securing funding through Wave 2 of the Special Educational Needs / Alternative Provision free schools funding provision.


It was confirmed that correspondence had been received by Board Members from a member of the public in advance of the meeting with regard to this proposal, with it being undertaken that an appropriate response would be provided to that individual.


A Member enquired whether the proposal for the Rose Court site (Minute No. 107 refers) together with other actions being taken regarding SEND provision would mean that this proposal for the Elmete Wood site would not be required. In response, the rising demand for Education Health and Care Plans and SEND provision was highlighted, and it was confirmed that the capacity which would be provided by both proposals was deemed to be necessary, and that it would enable the Authority to keep pace with demand and would look to provide parents and young people with an element of choice.


Responding to a Member’s enquiry, it was confirmed that although the proposed scheme would be delivered and funded by the Department for Education, the Council would be responsible for providing funding to deliver the access solution designed to address highways planning conditions relating to the scheme.



(a)  That the outcome of the consultation exercise on the proposal to establish a new 200 place special free school on the Elmete Wood site, as detailed within the submitted report, be noted;


(b)  That it be noted that the Department for Education is delivering and funding the capital costs of the scheme under the provisions of Wave 2 – Special Educational Needs/Alternative Provision (SEN/AP) free schools funding;


(c)  That under the specific conditions of the funding bid, approval be given to the transfer of the Elmete Wood site under a 125 year peppercorn lease without premium to the successful sponsor identified through the free school presumption process;


(d)  That it be noted that within the related funding conditions Leeds City Council must meet any associated highways costs required under planning, in addition the Local Authority must meet any ground abnormal costs where remediation is required under planning, with it also being noted that once these costs are determined, ‘authority to spend’ will be sought through a design and cost report;


(e)  That it be noted that the successful sponsor will be determined by the Secretary of State following an assessment and interview process, with the announcement on the successful sponsor expected to be made in February 2020;


(f)  That it be noted that the responsible officer for the implementation of such matters is the Head of Learning Systems.

Reason Key: Financial Impact>£500K;

Wards Affected: Roundhay;

Portfolio Holder: The Executive Member for Learning, Skills & Employment

Other reasons / organisations consulted

The proposal would establish a new school under the free school presumption process, in accordance with the requirements of section 6a of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 and the guidance set out in ‘The free school presumption departmental advice for local authorities and new school proposers’ (May 2018). The legislation that relates to this guidance includes The Education Act 2011, The Educations and Inspections Act 2006 and The Academies Act 2010.


All parents with a child attending a SILC, parent support groups, all Leeds schools and SILCs, Multi Academy Trusts (MATs), local residents, all ward members, MPs, Diocese, and other relevant stakeholders.

Contact: Vivienne Buckland, Head of Learning Systems 0113 37 83588 Email:

Report author: Vivienne Buckland

Publication date: 28/11/2019

Date of decision: 25/11/2019

Decided at meeting: 25/11/2019 - Executive Board

Effective from: 05/12/2019

Accompanying Documents: