Panmure St Ann’s provides educational and social work services for up to 76 third, fourth and fifth-year pupils with social, behavioural and educational difficulties.
It was set up in the 1970s for pupils who could not maintain a full-time place in mainstream school but has never been officially classed as a “school”.
If councillors vote to change Panmure St Ann’s status next year, it will allow the service to operate full-time and offer a greater range of subjects.
Headteacher Angelina Lombardo said: “Being confirmed as a school would allow us to develop a Rolls-Royce model of alternative education.
“I feel the young people who attend Panmure St Ann’s should be receiving everything that they’re entitled to and not just a part-time curriculum.”
She added: “I think Panmure is an amazing service. The most important thing about Panmure is our relationship with young people. Panmure is a place where young people can come to feel secure enough to have opportunities to succeed socially and educationally.”
Even once it becomes a school, pupils would still register with their catchment mainstream school and be referred to Panmure where required. Panmure currently offers Standard Grades in English, maths and history, as well as short courses.
It is estimated that Panmure would receive around an extra six referrals from S1 and S2 next year following the change. Panmure, which is based on the Cowgate, provides a service for more than 60 youngsters.
Mrs Lombardo added: “Recently a young person came back to let us know that she was about to start a degree in law – that was our first person at an early age to go to university, but hopefully not our last.
“We do have some real success stories and we’re looking forward to taking that forward.”