Pupils should be taught in the least restricted and most appropriate setting. This would usually be the pupil’s local mainstream school, but not all schools can meet the needs of all pupils. We feel that a partnership school which brings together the expertise of both the SILC and the mainstream school is the next best option. The partnership model provides children with the opportunity to have their learning needs met in an inclusive environment while still being supported by specialist staff, ensuring that they make good progress in many areas. All the pupils in the Whitkirk Partnership class are on the role of the East SILC (Specialist Inclusive Learning Centre) and have an Education, Health and Care plan. The Partnership gives pupils with special needs the opportunity to be educated and socialise alongside their mainstream peers. Pupils follow personalised maths and English programs in the Partnership together with other core and foundation subjects but they are a member of a main school class group and join in mainstream lessons for part of the week with support from Partnership staff. They also join whole school activities and after school social events.

Being a pupil at Whitkirk Partnership gives more age-appropriate role models for pupils with special educational needs, including behaviour, social skills, image and friendships and gives real-life opportunities to develop interpersonal skills. Being in a mainstream school is also a really good environment for developing pupils’ communication skills and offers them a wider range of curriculum experiences.

Pupils in the Partnership class are so proud to be a pupil at Whitkirk Primary school and love going to their inclusion class and spending time with their mainstream friends.