Home 2017-06-20T14:12:15+00:00

WELCOME MESSAGE from the Principal Designate Belinda Logan

It is with great excitement and anticipation that I welcome you to the consultation period for the Stephen Longfellow Academy.  The consultation process is now open and I urge you to contribute.

The Stephen Longfellow Academy will offer both high educational standards and excellent individualised support for pupils who are struggling to reach their potential within their current mainstream school.

The Stephen Longfellow Academy will work in partnership with both primary and secondary schools to ensure that by far the majority of pupils remain on roll at their school and are supported back to full time attendance following a period of intervention.  For some pupils, particularly those in the last two years of their education, the best outcome might be to remain at The Stephen Longfellow Academy.

The Stephen Longfellow Academy will bring together a range of professionals under one roof, from education, health and social care, to work in a truly multidisciplinary way.   This means that pupils and families will receive the best education and care designed around them and their child.

As Principal Designate I bring a great deal of expertise within both Special Educational Needs and Alternative Provision.  I have taught children and young people with a range of additional needs for a great many years as well as teaching in mainstream primary and secondary schools.  I have had to have had two successful headships one in a special school for pupils with Moderate Learning Difficulties and Autism and more recently as the head of two schools one for children with Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties and the other an Alternative Provision.  I am fully aware of the challenges and opportunities The Stephen Longfellow Academy will bring.

I am very passionate and driven to secure the very best for children and young people who experience for different reasons, most out of their control, difficulty maintaining a positive placement within mainstream education without additional help.  The Stephen Longfellow Academy is designed to not only maintain placements but to support pupils to thrive, reach their potential and enjoy school. I am reminded of the quote below that;

“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela

We may not be changing the world but the potential of The Stephen Longfellow Academy to significantly positively impact on the lives of many children and families is great.

ADMISSIONS | Joining The Stephen Longfellow Academy

The Stephen Longfellow Academy will open in September 2017.

The Stephen Longfellow Academy will be located at Phoenix House, Global Avenue, Leeds, LS11 8PG (located in the building previously occupied by Elliott Hudson College).

Schools and local authorities will commission places at The Stephen Longfellow Academy. Some students will be dual registered as we believe that all children should have the opportunity to return to mainstream education if at all possible. Some younger children will spend only a very short period of time at the academy, for others a much longer stay, possibly up to a year will be required. Some students will be with us for a half day each week for a lengthy period of time.


Free schools are all-ability state-funded schools/colleges set up in response to what local people say they want and need in order to improve education for young people in their community. They are an extension of the existing Academies programme. A Free School is a publicly funded independent school, run by a sponsor, that operates outside Local Authority (LA) control and who receive their funding directly from central government.

There is a significant minority of parents who cannot send their child to a good local school. While the wealthy can buy a house in the right postcode, or pay for private school fees, many do not have that option. The GORSE Academies Trust believe every parent should have access to a good local school which offers what their child needs – the right level of attention, the right ethos and the right curriculum. In Leeds there is an urgent need for more school places for its young people. As a city Leeds continues to struggle regarding the educational achievement of communities in areas of greatest socio-economic challenge.  It is our determination to use the Free Schools initiative to change this unacceptable situation and to ensure that we establish in an area of extreme poverty an exceptionally effective Alternative Provision that will change the face of education across the Leeds City region

Free Schools are still subject to inspections by the schools’ inspectorate, Ofsted, in the same was as other schools are. Exam results will continue to be published alongside those of other state schools in league tables. Free Schools are accountable directly to the Education Secretary of State in line with their signed Funding Agreement. It will also be the subject of Ofsted inspections looking at the quality of provision and outcomes for students.

We would like to ensure that children struggling most to succeed in mainstream education in the south of the Leeds city region and beyond, reach their full potential by focussing relentlessly on academic progress and attainment combined with the highest standards of therapeutic and psychiatric support.

Scheduled to open in September 2017, The Stephen Longfellow Academy will in total offer 300 alternative provision places. It will be divided into 4 schools, each one facilitating 75 places. The first school will accommodate children in Key Stage 1, the second will offer the same in Key Stage 2. A third school will facilitate 75 Key Stage 3 places and the fourth and final school will offer 75 Key Stage 4 places. Each school will be overseen by its own school leader who will work directly to the Principal and Vice Principal of the academy. The schools will be entirely separate with their own staff, facilities and secure zones within the overall building.

The Stephen Longfellow Academy will have as its motto ‘We will never give up on you’.  It will process no permanent exclusions.  The academy will ensure that children from some the most troubled and challenging backgrounds in the Leeds city region enjoy and benefit from a fine academic education whilst at the same time being properly supported through therapeutic support which is of the highest standard.

The Free School will be set up by The GORSE Academies Trust which has a nationally renowned reputation for producing outstanding Academies in all aspects of their work.

Financially, the college would receive direct funding from the Government and in some cases “topped up” by a “commissioner”. A commissioner refers to the organisation that needs the place for a student, for instance a school, academy or local authority.

The GORSE Academies Trust will run The Stephen Longfellow Academy. This is a charitable Trust which would delegate day-to-day management of the school to the appointed Governors and Senior Leadership team. The GORSE Academies Trust Board has a legal duty to operate in the best interests of the school. The Governing Body would be made up of parents, staff and members of the community. The Trust are responsible for:

  • Complying with and ensuring the Trust complies with company and charity law
  • Managing and complying with the obligations of the Funding Agreement with the DfE
  • Ensuring the quality of education provision
  • Challenging and monitoring the performance of the Academy
  • Managing the Trusts finances and property
  • Employing and performance managing staff

The principles of governance are the same in Free Schools as in maintained schools, but the Governing Body of an Academy has greater autonomy. It reports to the Board of The GORSE Academies Trust rather than the Local Authority. As such, there is no requirement to accommodate Local Authority governors. In addition The Stephen Longfellow Academy would have representation on the Board. The Local Governing Body would be made up of Parent Governors, Staff Governors, Community Governors and Board representatives. Governance administration would be managed via the central team.

No. Some Free Schools have a business sponsor but The GORSE Academies Trust does not have a commercial influence.

In any given week all students will have access to a minimum two hours and a maximum of four hours of intensive therapeutic support.  This will be provided through our art therapists, our music therapists, our trauma therapists and our educational psychologists.  Some of those sessions will be one to one, others will be conducted in very small groups appropriate to the needs of all of the students involved.

Students will enjoy benefiting from a rigorous academic programme of study.  At Key Stages 1 and 2 each school will contain 10 specialist teachers as well as 5 higher level teaching assistants.  In Key Stages 3 and 4 students will study English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, IT and PE and will also have the opportunity to study Performing Arts, Visual Art, Design and Technology and Modern Foreign Languages.  Having taken advice from other very successful alternative provision free schools we will recruit teachers, particularly in the secondary phase, through our already existing academies providing staff with the opportunity to teach in two centres or on a one or two year placement at The Stephen Longfellow Academy. The approach to teaching will ensure that all students benefit from intensive, small group excellence in each subject.

Location | Contact Information

Address: Phoenix House, Global Avenue, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 8PG

Email: info@stephenlongfellow.co.uk

Website: www.stephenlongfellow.co.uk

Phone: n/a