Leeds Academies

I am very proud to be the Headteacher at Pivot Academy Leeds

Cheryl Lotherington
Headteacher, Leeds

We are an independent special school operating over three sites in very close proximity.

We have our core provision for learners with Autism, complex social interaction needs, emotional challenges and other learning needs.

We have our nurture provision for those that require a very bespoke offer tailored to their needs, abilities and interests.

Finally, we have our LINKS provision for learners who have emotional based school anxiety (EBSA).

All our staff are highly trained and are dedicated to meeting the individual needs of the learners with relationships being key and dare I say ensuring fun and enjoyable activities too.

I am also a mother of three girls one of which is autistic and has ADHD so I really appreciate both the joys and the challenges of our families.

Finally, I am also the owner of Buddy our school dog. Buddy is a chocolate Labrador who loves going for walks with our learners.

Please do take a moment to read our fantastic inspection reports and come to visit us, to see for yourself what a lovely school we are.

Pivot Leeds Upper

Pivot Leeds (Upper school 11 - 16) is a short walk from the lower site and caters for KS3 & KS4 learners with space for up to 33 young people.

In common with the lower school, we provide support for young people who may have a wide range of complex needs. We teach students in small groups with a high staff to pupil ratio. Our core subjects are English, Mathematics, Science and PSHE, and we also offer PE, Food Technology, Art, Drama, Health and Social Care, working towards GCSE and vocational skills exams in years 10 and 11. Learning can take place offsite, and our learners can experience activities such as horse riding, boxing and gym work.

Key Stage 3 and 4

Between 11 and 16 years old

Leeds Lower

Our Leeds Lower school offers a therapeutic nurture based provision for learners with Autism, complex social interaction needs, emotional challenges and other learning needs. Trauma informed practice and approaches are embedded throughout our provision to support the wellbeing of our learners. We follow the principles of the Autism Education Trust (AET) as our guide for best practice. We place the young person at the centre of all we do, recognise each of our learners are unique with different experiences and offer a pathway to reflect their individual need and allow for success. All of our learners have the potential to succeed and to enable them to do so we believe in setting high aspirations for them and supporting each of them to achieve their individual goals. Our aim as a school is to allow our young people to experience and understand the world around them, enable them to achieve to their full potential and equip them with the tools they need to play a successful role in the world beyond school.

Key Stage 2 and 3

Between 7 and 11 years old

Leeds LINKS (Learning, Inclusion, Nurture, Knowledge, Social Mobility)

Pivot Leeds LINKS (Learning, Inclusion, Nurture, Knowledge, Social Mobility) is aimed at learners in KS3 and KS4 who have an EHCP and experience Emotionally Based School Avoidance, they may also be neurodivergent. The LINKS curriculum is designed to support learners both on and off-site. The academic curriculum is delivered by an online provider plus Pivot staff. The courses studied ranges from Functional skills to GCSEs. Learners can participate in English, English Literature, Mathematics, Science and optional GCSE’s. PSHE is delivered by Pivot staff utilising the PSHE association framework and our planned PSHE Curriculum.

Key Stage 3 and 4

Between 11 and 16 years old

Alongside their education, learners have access to:

  • Climbing
  • Trampolining
  • Horse Riding
  • Animal Care
  • Computing
  • Horticulture
  • SMSC
  • Theatre Visits
  • Museum Visits
  • And so much more.

Because Children Deserve Better, we give them the opportunity to find their ‘thing’. With access to a wide variety of extracurricular activities, our students develop new skills, experience their potential and explore their prospects.

Find out our Term Dates for this year

In the recent ISI inspection report, Pivot demonstrated ‘significant strength’ in Leadership and Management.

Leeds Academies

The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) recently inspected Pivot and noted that Leadership & Management were a significant strength of the organisation: Directors, Leaders and staff work relentlessly in the best interest of the pupils' wellbeing.

See Report Here

The ISI framework resonated more with our visions and values. At the core of the inspection are four areas:

  • Pupils physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing - this is fundamental to our way of working.

  • Pupils education, training and recreation - this means we have a curriculum that meets our pupils needs.

  • Leadership and management with the overarching responsibility of leadership and management to actively promote the wellbeing of pupils. Pupils social and economic well being and contribution to society which fits with our preparing for adulthood curriculum focus.

  • The ISI main focus is to ensure that the wellbeing of young people is paramount and is at the centre of the framework and also the new inspection regime. Pivot embraced this supportive and inclusive approach were we worked collectively with ISI to support the whole of our school community.


Students have been supported by us this year alone. Academic year 22/23.


Exclusions or suspensions


Of the KS4 learners passed GCSE Maths and English Language in the academic year 22/23

Travelling via public transport?

Here’s how to reach us.

Bus route

Train & Bus times/routes may vary. All times are estimates.

There are currently no routes via Train to easily access our academy

Check out our Kirklees academies, see how you can apply or view our online resources.

Working together with

Our partners are essential to our success, sharing our vision and values as we collaborate to achieve our goals, and provide the best opportunities for the children.

Operation Encompass is a police and education early information safeguarding partnership enabling schools to offer immediate support to children experiencing domestic abuse. Please click here to find out more.