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Alternative Centre for Education
Dyke Road, BN1 3JA, UK Brighton
+44 (0)1273 327389

Introduction to ACE

 The Alternative Centre for Education (ACE) was created in September 2000 following the merger of Queensdown Special School and St. George’s Pupil Referral Unit. Based on 5 separate sites throughout the city, ACE is designated as a Special School.

ACE places under a single management structure all the specialist provision in Brighton and Hove for children with emotional, behavioural and social difficulties (EBSD). It provides a continuum of education and support for up to 132 full-time equivalent primary and secondary aged children that includes; full-time education for up to 60 children with statements, 8 places for permanently excluded children and over 200 assessment and outreach places for children on the roll of mainstream schools.

The overall strategic management of ACE is the responsibility of the Principal supported by three Vice-Principals who head up the Secondary School, Primary School and Pupil Referral Unit respectively. Together they form the Strategic Management Team (SMT). A wider Operational Management Team (OMT) is made up of the members of the SMT plus five Senior Teachers and an Administration and Finance Manager.

To complete its personnel ACE employs an additional 19 full-time equivalent teachers, 10 classroom assistants and 11 support and administration staff on a permanent basis. It also regularly recruits temporary staff to carry out extra tuition and support work as required. In total, therefore, over 50 teaching and non-teaching staff work for ACE.

ACE is providing an imaginative solution to behaviour problems in Brighton and Hove that involves increasing the participation of children with statements in mainstream schools, reducing permanent exclusions and minimising the time these children are out of school. As a consequence almost all the children attending ACE also take part in mainstream education, permanent exclusions have been reduced by 44% in the last 3 years and in the same period the average time these children are out of school has halved.

The Alternative Centre for Education, although not unique, does represent a new type of inclusive special school where, in the interests of the child, the continuum of non-statemented and statemented provision is both fluid and com\bined.

Admission Priorities

ACE provides education and support for up to 132 full-time equivalent (FTE) children experiencing a wide range of difficulties.

The priority for admitting children is as follows:


  1. 1. Children possessing an appropriate statement of special educational needs naming ACE as part of a full-time or dual place arrangement.


  2. 2. Children permanently excluded from school for the duration of their exclusion until either a new school is found or the child is no longer required to attend statutory education.


  3. 3. Children requiring temporary access to discrete provision in the form of an approved educational activity off site delivered as part of a continuum of behaviour support to schools.


ACE provides for children and young people from diverse social and emotional backgrounds
who have a wide variety of complex needs and abilities ranging from high academic ability
to autistic spectrum disorders, moderate and sometimes severe learning needs. ACE believes
that the school curriculum comprises of all learning and other experiences that are planned for its pupils and that the National Curriculum is an essential part of this. Furthermore, ACE believes that a well-planned and robust curriculum is a fundamental route to the social, emotional and behavioural development, and overall well-being, of its pupils.

In fully adopting the National Curriculum ACE supports its two fundamental aims to provide
opportunity for all pupils to learn and achieve and to promote pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development to prepare all pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life. In making this commitment ACE also expects to secure pupil entitlement,raise and maintain standards, and promote continuity, coherence and public understanding. Whether admitted on a full time basis or provided for through a support package with a mainstream school, all pupils attending ACE have their academic and social progress recorded and monitored through their 'Pupil Achievement File'. The file is designed to provide a concise source of information that clearly demonstrates pupil progress and ability, as well as providing a basis for planning and discussion.


Tuition Assessment is a separate level of provision developed to accommodate requests from schools and the LEA to educate children who are temporarily ‘out of school’. This may include children who are returning to the city following a breakdown in residential provision or could be for children who, according to the school, require a supplement to their mainstream timetable.

Tuition Assessment is commissioned directly by schools or the LEA via the referral system linked to the Behaviour Support Service and is usually delivered on an individual basis at a convenient ACE location or, in exceptional circumstances, at the child’s home.

It is a very intensive form of education designed as a temporary bridge into more sustainable forms of learning. Information gathered from the assessment process is used to inform the next level of provision, for example, APA or full-time special school, and the learning support required to maintain it.

One of the main features of Tuition Assessment is that the change of context provides a unique opportunity to work intensively with a child, their parents, school and other agencies, to offer practical and effective solutions to a wide range of emotional, behavioural and social issues. This coupled with an educational focus designed to develop the core areas of numeracy, literacy and ICT, means that this type of support can provide an effective short-term solution for children who, temporarily, have limited or no access to school.


Detailed below are a list of our policies. Click on the view text to view the relevant policy.

 Careers Education Policy   View
 Child Protection Policy   View
 Drug Education and Substance Misuse Policy   View
 Equal Opportunities Policy   View
 Health and Safety Plan   View
 Performance Management Policy   View
 Race Equality   View
 School Education & Relationships Policy   View
 Teaching & Learning Policy   View

primary schools in Brighton, secondary schools in Brighton, schools in Brighton

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