EMS for Specific Learning Difficulties

An Enhanced Mainstream School (EMS) is a mainstream school which provides support and outreach to other schools and settings in their area and, in most cases, has a number of places reserved for statemented pupils with specific types of special educational needs.

North Yorkshire local authority has a network of 27 Enhanced Mainstream Schools for special educational needs (SEN) and social, emotional and behavioural needs (SEBN).

  • 5 enhanced primary schools for Communication and Interaction
  • 5 enhanced secondary schools for Autism
  • 7 enhanced secondary schools for Specific Learning Difficulties
  • Alverton Enhanced Early Years Provision for Specific Language Impairment
  • 9 enhanced primary schools for Social, Emotional and Behavioural needs

The enhanced mainstream schools provide support and outreach services based around the requirements of children and young people with specific types of SEND who require additional and different support to make progress in a mainstream school environment. The EMS are 'centres for excellence' within their specialist area.

Specific learning difficulties is an overarching term for a number of associated learning difficulties which can appear across all ability ranges and with varying severity or significance. These may include difficulty in learning to read, write, spell or manipulate numbers or problems with the speed of processing information, memory or coordination.

Cognition and Learning

There is a network of seven enhanced secondary schools for across North Yorkshire supporting children and young people with difficulties in the area of cognition and learning.

EMS for Specific Learning Difficulties


Area covered

Contact details

Barlby High School

Sleby, Sherburn, Tadcaster

01757 706161

Easingwold School

Easingwold, Northallerton, Stokesley, Thirsk

01347 821451
(ext. 154)

Graham School

Filey, Scarborough, Whitby

01723 366451
(ext. 225)

Lady Lumley's School

Central Ryedale, North Ryedale

01751 470046
01751 472846

Richmond School

Bedale, Catterick, Swaledale, Wensleydale

01748 828122

Rossett School

Boroughbridge, Harrogate, Knaresborough, Ripon

01423 564444
(ext. 351)

Upper Wharfedale School

Mid Craven, North Craven, South Craven

01756 753474

These enhanced schools have additional specialist staffing and receive support from the local authority in making specialist provision within the school and in providing support and outreach to other schools and settings in their area.

They form part of a flexible range of specialist provision which is able to meet the needs of some children with high need specific learning difficulties and also to develop the capacity of its community of local schools, by sharing expertise in specific learning difficulties and breaking down the preconceptions associated with the various conditions.

The enhanced mainstream schools for specific learning difficulties each provide outreach support to primary and secondary schools in their area.

The schools have additional physical provision (a base room) and specialist resources and facilities around the school to support the education of children and young people with specific learning difficulties.

The specialist provision provided by 'enhanced' mainstream schools enables higher levels of specialist support to be available and better opportunities for children and young people with SEN to be educated with, and alongside, their mainstream peers.