James Brindley Academy provides education to children and young people who are either hospital in-patients or pupils unable to attend a mainstream or special school by reason of their mental health needs and/or Autism (ASC).

Hospital pupils may be from Birmingham or other Local Authorities, pupils in teaching centres must be from Birmingham Local Authority catchment area, defined by home address postcode, unless agreed by Birmingham in advance of placement.

For most pupils their placement at James Brindley is time limited with an anticipated return to mainstream, alternative or post-16 provision. This varies depending on the nature of the medical needs and associated recovery.

It is essential that a referral to James Brindley is part of an integrated support plan for a pupil which is underpinned by the work of all professionals involved and has clear goals or outcomes for return to school, or other provision.

To view our Referral and Admissions Policy please download the policy at the bottom of the page.

Admissions Criteria

Our Referrals and Admissions policy details the criteria for each of our provisions/sectors. You can access our Referral and Admissions Policy here.

When should a referral to James Brindley be made? 

Referrals should only be made once the pupil’s home school has exhausted all strategies to aid the pupil’s inclusion within their home school. Evidence of ‘reasonable adjustments/ graduated approach’ as depicted by the Equality Act 2010 / SEND Code of Practice should be provided within the referral documents by the home school.

What information is required to support the referral? (Pupils without an EHCP) 

Before making a referral to JBA is it expected that schools have exhausted all strategies and resources in an attempt to keep the pupil engaged with mainstream education. Our referral form lists the types of supporting information that our referral panel would expect to see. 

Birmingham Local Authority’s ‘SEND Support Provision Plan’ is a means by which schools can identify pupil needs and address these on an ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ basis. If the pupil’s needs are so significant that they are having difficulty coping in mainstream education, schools should be using an SEND Support Provision plan to identify and address the issues concerned, identify whether additional resources are required to support the pupil in mainstream school and to identify if a referral to an alternative provision is required. If, after the plan has been implemented and reviewed, the pupil is still unable to engage then one outcome might be a referral to JBA.

From January 2020 our referral panel will be looking for SEND Support Provision plans to have been implemented by schools before a referral is made to JBA. You can find a template of the plan here and a copy of the plan with guidance here.

Parent/Pupils Consent

It is essential that the pupil and parents/carer/guardian are fully aware that this referral is being made and that personal and sensitive information is being shared with James Brindley. We ask all referrers to confirm that they have discussed this referral with the pupil and parent/carer and that they are in agreement with the referral being made. If the pupil is not currently registered with James Brindley we may require the referrer to obtain further information from relevant professionals if required.

Who can make referrals? 

Once all strategies have been exhausted by the home school, including engagement of appropriate professionals (e.g. Educational Psychology, Mental Health Practitioner), a referral can be made to James Brindley as detailed below:

  • It is recommended that the pupil’s school co-ordinates the referral, completes the referral form and sends it to James Brindley along with the required supporting information from school and relevant health and/or social care professionals.
  • We also accept referrals from Local Authorities and, where the pupil is out of school, from other relevant professionals.
  • We cannot accept referrals directly from parents/carers.

How do I make a referral? 

You can download a referral form by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.

As well as the completed referral form, you will need to send additional supporting information as requested in the referral form.

All forms and supporting information need to be sent to our central referral email address:

All referrals are processed by the Transitions Team. If you have any specific queries please see our Frequently Asked Questions section below or contact the team on 0121 666 6409 Ext: 2124 or via the above email address.

Who decides if the pupil gets offered a place? 

We have a referral panel that meets every Monday (during term time/excluding bank holidays) to consider all referrals received. The panel consists of at least 2 members of the Leadership Team and the Transitions Manager. The panel makes the decision as to whether pupils are offered provision by assessing the referral information provided against our Referral and Admission criteria and taking other supporting information into account.

How long does it take for James Brindley to make a decision? 

We aim to hit the following targets:

  1. Acknowledge receipt of the referral within 2 working days.
  2. If additional information is required we aim to review the referral information provided and contact the referrer within 5 days of receipt of the referral before taking to our referrals panel.
  3. Provide the referrer with a decision within 15 working/school days of receiving the referral. This can be affected if we do not receive all relevant supporting information that is required by the referrals panel in order to make an informed decision.

How will the referrer be informed of the decision? 

  • The referrer will be contacted in writing by email.
  • If the pupil is offered a place the referrer will receive an email detailing the next steps.
  • If the pupil is not offered a place the referrer will receive an explanation as to why this decision has been made and, where possible, be directed to other appropriate provision.

Can I appeal the decision? 

You can appeal the panel decision by putting your concerns in writing and emailing them to the Chair of Governors (via the Company Secretary) -

Are all pupils sole registered to James Brindley? 

Dovedale is the only teaching centre where all pupils are solely registered to James Brindley.

At Key Stage 3 – The majority of pupils will remain dual registered with their home school as the aim would be to support pupils to move back to mainstream provision as soon as their health allows.

At Key Stage 4 – The majority of pupils will remain dual registered with their home school as the aim would be to support pupils to move back to mainstream provision as soon as their health allows, however, it is recognised that pupils may have longer term placements in KS4 and remain until they have completed year 11/GCSEs.

Short Term Provision – All pupils will remain dual registered with their home school.


How long does the referral process take?

We aim to provide referrers with a decision within 15 working days of receiving the referral, however this can be delayed if we do not receive the supporting information requested as part of the referral.

Is James Brindley a primary or secondary school?

Please refer to the teaching centre pages for more information.

Can I visit the school before a referral is made?

Ideally, we need to review the referral information before any visits are arranged.

Does James Brindley provide transport?

No, but pupils can apply to the Local Authority for assistance. Parents/Carers would need to complete forms and supply supporting medical information. Our staff can assist with completing forms if required.

I can only attend part time. Is this possible?

This is only possible if there is specific supporting information from medical professionals stating that, for health reasons, the pupil is unable to attend on a full time basis.

Can I be taught at home?

Teaching within the home is only provided in exceptional circumstances where there is clear medical evidence stating that the pupil is unable to access teaching away from the home.

How long with my child be at the school?

The length of placements can vary and the aim is always for pupils to access mainstream provision whenever possible. Some pupils do stay with us for long term placements if this is deemed as being in their best interests.

How big are the classes?

Please refer to the teaching centre pages regarding group sizes.

Do I have to wear a uniform?

No. James Brindley does not have a uniform.

Does my child need to have an Education, Health and Care plan to get into James Brindley?

Dovedale is the only teaching centre where an EHCP is an essential requirement. If the pupil is attending the KS3/KS4 Centre and it is clear that they may require a high level of support whilst with us or when they move into Post-16 provision, we may ask their home school to begin this process.

What is your catchment area?

We accept pupils that live within Birmingham Local Authority. We can accept pupils from outside of Birmingham, but this would need to be agreed with Birmingham Local Authority before a place could be considered.

What support will my child have access to?

Please see each centre for detailed "Parent & Pupils" info.

How is the school day structured?

Please refer to the teaching centre pages for more information.