Luminate 20.10.23

New Leeds campus opens to support vulnerable young people across West Yorkshire

A multi million pound purpose-built campus has opened in Leeds to support the most vulnerable learners in West Yorkshire.

The Vine, in Burmantofts, has been purpose-built – amidst a national shortage of such specialist provision – to meet the needs of young adult students with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD).

Run by Leeds City College, the Leeds City Council owned building replaces the college’s former site in Headingley. Featuring a hydrotherapy pool, sensory rooms and rebound facilities, it offers a level of all-encompassing support to learners who otherwise may have had to travel far from home.

Sarah Simpkins, Deputy Director of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) at Leeds City College, said: “Ensuring our learners get the very best education and support they need is our number one priority, and we’re thrilled that these new facilities, on their doorstep, will do just that.

“We have a bespoke curriculum which will sometimes require a level of personal and specialist care that could include using hoists, physio, hydro and rebound therapies along with other treatments and equipment to meet the needs of the students. We’re pleased that our new space accommodates these specialist facilities and we’re looking forward to seeing our students benefit and thrive from them, as we equip them with the skills to prepare for adulthood.

“However, we have a growing number of young people who require this level of support and have seen an increase in applications for specialist further education provision, with an additional 15 enrolments this year alone.

“Our students are diverse, with multiple and complex needs; some with severe medical and debilitating conditions. Despite these barriers we continue to have high aspirations around developing their independence. But to be able to effectively do this in the long term we, and the further education sector, need the funding to be able to deliver.”

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, deputy leader of Leeds City Council and executive member for economy, culture and education said: “We are thrilled the new site has been completed and is now open to provide specialist learning places to 19 to 25 year olds who need it.

“We have worked closely with Leeds City College to ensure the new site meets the needs and demand of those who access it, and the feedback we have had already is overwhelmingly positive.”

For more information, visit Study Vine at Leeds City College.