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