The majority of pupils in West Dunbartonshire are supported in mainstream schools. In addition, there are five specialist educational establishments or bases for children and young people who have additional support needs.

At present there are several options for education outside mainstream schools.

More information on choosing and finding a school for your child is available on Education Scotland's Parentzone under 'My School'.

Children aged 0-3 years

The Kilpatrick Early Years Service (KEYS) offers education to highly dependent learners aged 0-3 years.

KEYS offers the following services:

  • sessions for children who require specific care for additional support needs
  • children with medical needs who require regular input from nursing staff
  • access to resources for children from mainstream early years establishments
  • outreach home link for very young children not yet ready for placement in any early years establishment
  • outreach support for early years centres with regard to children under three who attend their centres
  • drop-in facility for parents/carers and children under three with identified needs - The KEYS club.

Children are referred to this service through the Pre-School Assessment Team.

School aged children

Kilpatrick School provides education to highly dependent learners at primary and secondary age.

These pupils require small classes and regular input from nursing staff. Pupils may have a shared place with a mainstream school. School staff offer an outreach service so pupils can remain in mainstream secondary schools.

Cunard School offers an education for 20 primary pupils whose needs mean they cannot remain in mainstream schools.

Cunard helps these children to gain important life skills by encouraging and supporting positive behaviours. Pupils may have a shared place with a mainstream school.

The Choices Programme

This programme aims to provide their pupils with the necessary skills for life and work.

It uses an informal setting to allow S4 pupils to learn about themselves and develop vocational skills. The programme offers specialist support for pupils who have difficulties in mainstream schools.  It gives an education to 24 full time and five part time pupils.

The curriculum offers a mix of activities. These are based on reading, writing and mathematics, as well as health and wellbeing.

Secondary schools refer pupils through the Multi Agency Consultation Group and using the Choices admissions process.

Language and communication units / bases

Two services within the council offer specialist education to children with autism or other language needs.

The Language and Communications Unit offers places to 24 primary pupils. They are supported in small classes in a modified environment and curriculum. Some pupils share placements with mainstream schools.

The Communications Base offers similar provision for secondary pupils with autism. These pupils are supported in a base within the extended Support for Learning provision of Vale of Leven Academy.

Placements outside West Dunbartonshire Council

Placements for some children with specialist needs are found within other local authorities or from independent providers.

Independent providers

  • Spark of Genius
  • Mirren Park
  • Ardfern

Provision provided by other authorities includes:

  • Clippens School
  • Hazelwood School
  • Merkland School

A list of schools used by WDC can be provided on request. Please email Karen Fitzpatrick.