Secondary Pupil Support Service


A warm welcome to our website. Since our formation in 1999, we have worked with our partner schools and families to support young people in the Post Primary Sector in Belfast. Our service has been rated as ‘outstanding’ by the Education and Training Inspectorate.

We offer a range of services to our 17 partner schools with the aim of maintaining young people in mainstream education, over 90% of the young people people we work with stay in their mainstream school to complete their education.

Our programmes, both in the Link Centre and in our partner schools, are delivered by our experienced staff, made up of Specialist Teachers, Youth Workers and Behaviour Support Assistants. The wellbeing of our young people is always our paramount concern.

We are always available to discuss our service, so please feel free to contact us.


Mr Tommy Finn

Senior Teacher in Charge

Our Context

In 1999, following a review of discipline in schools by the Department of Education, The Secondary Pupil Support Service (SPSS) was established by the former Belfast Education Library Board (now EA), at The Link Centre, Belfast.

The service provides advice to mainstream post-primary schools on the management of their 11-16 year old pupils with Social Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties. SPSS includes the facility to provide in-school pupil support and/or part time placement at the Link Centre.

Who We Are and What We Do: At the Link Centre and on Outreach

Who We Are and What We Do: At the Link Centre and on Outreach

The Secondary Pupil Support Service (SPSS) provides advice to mainstream post-primary schools on the management of their 11-16-year-old pupils with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. SPSS includes the facility to provide in-school pupil support for pupils and groups and/or part time placement at the Link Centre. This service aims to ensure that young people experiencing Social, Emotional or Behavioural Difficulties have a range of support in place with the aim of maintaining their place in mainstream school and to gain opportunities for success both in school and in varied contexts such as work experience.


• Provide substantial Outreach Programmes to schools across the city of Belfast that include individual support and group work programmes

•Offer part-time shared placements with mainstream schools

•Offer additional support programmes that include complementary therapies and / or emergency curriculum support; a young women’s group; a young men’s group; world of work opportunities

•Run a vibrant Home Link Programme to involve parents/those with parental responsibility in aspects of day to day activities with their children;

•Have a high success rate (98.17% June 2018) of reintegrating pupils to their referring school post-referral

•Are located in Belfast city centre with proximity to training organisations and ample, free parking.

Mission Statement

The Secondary Pupil Support Service, in partnership with the school, the home and other agencies, works to enable children who have social, emotional and behavioural difficulties to improve their life chances and enhance their educational outcomes by providing high quality outreach interventions in schools and part time additional support programmes at the Link Centre


Reflecting our commitment to Community Relations, Equality and Diversity (CRED), SPSS provides a safe, caring, purposeful and culturally integrated environment, in which young people, their parents and families feel valued and respected as individuals.    The Link Centre community is the ideal forum for improving relations, welcoming difference and allowing young people from across the city of Belfast to engage positively with each other

SPSS members of staff inspire young people by being positive role models and by promoting holistic development through relevant learning opportunities matched to individual needs.

High expectations and optimistic attitudes encourage our young people to experience success, acquire transferable social skills and form the meaningful relationships that help them to meet with the responsibilities and challenges of everyday life.

Staff Aspirations

  • Treat all others consistently and with respect.

  • Have realistic expectations of others and be viewed by others as approachable and open-minded.

  • Make no assumptions about the knowledge or understanding of others.

  • Openly acknowledge the contribution of each member of the work team:

  • Encourage an attitude of goal-sharing and common purpose

  • Communicate clearly, confidently and assertively.

Our Team

Mr T. Finn - Senior Teacher in Charge
M McStravick - Senior Clerical Officer
M Beecher
J Bradley
C Cahill
J Crothers
S Donnelly
D Gilgunn
C Hughes
P King
G McCann
C McKenzie
J Montgomery
E Phoenix-Kelly
V Stark

For information on our recent ETI inspection please click on the following link:

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You can also request from a member of staff to view:

•Complaints Policy
•Document Retention Policy
•ESD Policy Encompassing CRED
•E-Safety Policy