Newfriars College provides outstanding education, care and specialist support for young people aged 16 – 25 with a wide range of special educational needs and disabilities. We currently have 155 students on roll. The College provides a highly differentiated programme of study for young people with flexible, bespoke and personalised courses which allow our students to develop skills which will help them to prepare for adulthood, access the wider community, develop independent living skills and move into further education or employment. We offer a holistic learning environment with specially trained staff and resources to best support the needs of our young people. We continuously strive to “Transform the lives of Young People with Special Needs through Collaboration, Innovation, Partnership and Celebration”.
Our vision is to be a world-class centre of academic, personal and social achievement, where staff work together to ensure students receive the highest standards of education and care, and the best people want to come to learn, work and research.
Our Values which underpin everything that we do are:
Safe, Inclusive, Compassionate, Innovative and Improving.
- Provide an outstanding educational experience for students with special educational needs by continually building on the expertise and experience of the staff.
- Provide a welcoming college in a happy and supportive environment for each student where individual achievement, success and the joy of learning is celebrated by staff working as a team for the well-being of all.
- Enabling each student to develop a positive sense of worth and self-esteem by nurturing their skills in vocational and leisure activities to increase their capacity and capability to build bridges overcome barriers and live and work as adults within our society.
- Enabling each student to achieve their full potential by providing a challenging, self- motivating and encouraging broad and balanced curriculum that is continuously, thoroughly and systematically assessed, but tailored to the individual need of each student.
- Creating a caring environment where everyone is treated with dignity and respect and each individual valued for their own unique talents.
- Provide a positive ethos that is supportive, challenging and inclusive for all members of the college community.
- Create a pleasant physical environment, enabling all students to succeed.
- Provide a broad and balanced curriculum that is appropriate to the needs of all students.
- Ensure that students feel safe, secure, and valued.
- Enable all students to make a positive contribution.
- Prepare and encourage students in the transition from college to adulthood
Who to contact
- Contact Name
- Mr Rob Millington
- Contact Position
- Head of College
- Secondary E-mail
- Newfriars College Website
A hard copy of this statement is available from the College office upon request – Tel No: 01782 987180 or
Where to go
- Newfriars College
- ST2 8BH
The physical environment of the college reflects the needs and abilities of the student population. The college building is fully compliant with Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). Any future building programmes will also be fully DDA compliant. The facilities available to students comprise of spacious, well resourced teaching areas that include Interactive Whiteboards and computers that are complimented by a range of specialist accessibility devices and software packages, where disabilities are catered for allowing access to the Curriculum to all. All facilities and buildings/rooms on the site are totally accessible for all wheelchair users – hoists and overhead tracking in place.
Current Facilities include:
- IT Suites
- Community Café
- Creative Art Studio
- Performing and Visual Arts Department
- Student Common Room and Dining Area
- Fitness Suite
- Physiotherapy room
- Multi Sensory Areas
- Meeting Rooms
- Sports Hall / Performance area
- Hydrotherapy Swimming pool
- Manufacturing Room
- Extensive Grounds
- Horticultural areas
- Rebound Therapy
- In total there are 19 specialist classrooms which are fully accessible.
Seven new classrooms, hygiene suites, office space, specialist generic teaching space and 1:1 small group teaching spaces have recently been created. A multi-functional gym/teaching space and sensory gardens will also be added to the facilities on offer. This will not only add enhanced facilities and resources, but also ensure that we can meet the demand of the local area as we are over- subscribed on applications for places on a yearly basis.
- Referral Details
Newfriars College will admit students where the College is named in the Educational Needs (SEN) or Education Health and Care (EHC) plan. Please ring the College on 01782 987180 to arrange a visit.
Prior to naming the College in the EHC plan, the Local Authority will have consulted with the College in line with their statutory obligations. A Transitions team will work with local educational providers to ensure the College is the most appropriate provision for the young person.
The College will provide the Local Authority (LA) with information that will be used to contribute to the LA's Local Offer – this will outline the needs of the students for which they are best able to provide, along with details about the organisation and the curriculum offered.
Admission Criteria and Arrangements
Places will usually be taken up at the start of the academic year but, if agreed with the Head of College, places can be accessed at any time of the year particularly in order to best meet Education Health Care plan and where it is considered that the College can best meet the young person’s needs.
Considerations will always need to be given to the existing profile and needs of current students.
These will be by arrangement with the LA, the Head of College, and the multi-agency team working with the young person.
The physical environment of the school reflects the needs and abilities of the student population. ALL of school buildings are fully compliant with Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). However, there are some buildings within a partner school which have graded listed status. Within these, reasonable adjustments have been made to ensure all students have equal access to all educational opportunities. This might be achieved by relocating rooms. Any future building programmes will be fully DDA compliant.
When required, a translation service will be used to support carers/parents. Letters and documents can be translated into the chosen language.
If specialist equipment is required to support physical mobility and positioning it is usually procured through Physiotherapy Services. Where the school identifies a specific piece of equipment will support the student to access the curriculum it will be provided by the school and remain the property of the school. For students with a sensory impairment the necessary equipment is gained through either Sensory Impairment team or school resources.
- Other notes
All teachers/instructors are qualified at the appropriate level to deliver their areas of responsibility and/or subject specialisms. There is a team of qualified support staff; with the aim that all staff are trained to at least NVQ Level 3. We have access to a wide range of other professionals to support and advise on individual student needs: eg: Behaviour Management, Sensory Impairment, Educational Psychology, Speech and Language and Occupational Therapy. Where students have a physical disability, physiotherapy is available on site. Referrals, where necessary, can be made to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Adult support Teams. Where appropriate, there is close liaison with Social Services, Local Support Teams and Respite providers.
There is a fully inclusive approach to all enrichment and out of College activities including educational visits and a host of work experience opportunities. Parents are consulted about the range of activities which will be available to support the curriculum. A home learning sheet will give suggestions of activities which parents/carers can provide to support the planned learning within College.
All Students will have the opportunity to access a variety of work experience and supported internships.
Residential educational visits will be offered to students at key times throughout their College life.
On admission, signed parental permission is obtained for educational visits and residentials. We also have excellent links with other
Organisations including the National Citizenship who offer residentials and outward bound activities.
‘Reasonable adjustments’ are made where necessary to ensure equality of access to the range of activities available.
There is a comprehensive work experience and travel training programme at Newfriars. We offer supported internships and an exciting partnership with the Royal Stoke hospital called Project SEARCH. Project Search is an employment focused education programme which aims to give young people with learning disabilities the opportunity to develop employability skills and get hands on experience in the workplace. The overall aim of project Search is paid employment and a sustainable and enjoyable career. Our team at the Royal Stoke hospital will happily meet with interested students and their families to discuss further.
- Contact Name
- Rob Millington
- Contact Telephone
- 01782 987180
- Secondary Contact Email
- Local Offer Age Bands
- 16+ years
- Needs Level
- What kinds of SEND does the school provide for?
The College provides education, care and support for the following:
- Aquired brain injury
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Communication difficulty
- Hearing impairment
- Medical condition
- Mobility - non-wheelchair user
- Mobility - wheelchair user
- Moderate learning difficulty
- Profound and multiple learning difficulty
- Severe learning difficulty
- Visual impairment.
- How does this setting know if their children/young person needs extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?
All pupils within the school have an Education, Health and Care Plan and this details their individual needs. Staff within the school setting are skilled in providing an appropriate programme of study integrated with any additional needs such as Sensory; Medical, Communication, Cognition and learning, Social and Emotional difficulties, Autism and Physical needs.
- How will the setting support my child/young person?
Students will be allocated to a class based on age; ability; need and emotional needs. Each class has a teacher who has a pastoral role and they are supported by at least one teaching assistant. Some students have 1:1 support. Where individual needs are more complex additional support would be allocated.
As part of the transition process parents and carers will be given an opportunity to meet staff who will be supporting their son or daughter.
The Academy is effectively supported and monitored by the ‘Academy council' whose members are drawn from a wide range of interests and services including the Shaw Education Trust, commercial sector, parents and staff. The governing body meets termly and sub committees meet regularly.
- How will teaching approaches and the curriculum be matched to my child or young person's needs?
All pupils are assessed and have access to a personalised Transition programme prior to entering the school. During the first half term staff will establish a starting point for each child using a wide range of assessment tools. This helps us to develop an appropriate, personalised programme of study for each pupil. Where appropriate advice is sought from other agencies such as School Nurse, S< and Sensory Impairment Teams to give an holistic overview of the pupil’s needs to ensure that appropriate support is given.
This information is used to inform the appropriate programme of study and accreditation routes to support personalised, highly differentiated programmes of study.
- How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support their learning?
In order to monitor progress of individual pupils staff maintain records of continual assessment based on observations in various settings and these are used to inform future planning and individual pupil programmes. The progress of pupils is recorded on the in-house Data Tracking system and progress is compared against national expectations. Individualised support is put in place for any pupil not making expected progress and progress is monitored each term. Ongoing achievements; good attendance and achievements outside of the College are celebrated in assemblies.
Educational achievement and progress is overseen and monitored by the Senior Leadership Team, Shaw Education Trust and Academy Council. All information about progress are regularly shared with parents and students. This can be via open mornings or evenings, letters, home school diaries and reports.
The College is effectively supported and rigouroulsy monitored by the Shaw Education Trust and Academy Council, whose members are drawn from a wide range of interests and services. These include memebrs from the Shaw Education Trust, commercial sector, local education establishments, parents and staff. The Academy Council meets termly and sub committees meet regularly. Internal Assessment data and monitoring systems ensure we are providing a challenging education system for all students. This is shared with the Shaw Education Trust, the Academy Council, students and parents on a regular basis. The senior leadership team have embedded a fixed line management schedule for senior leaders in academies and a scheme of delegation which is an organisational delegated authority framework. The Shaw Education Trust have implemented a a robust system of financial management and orgainsational management which is managed centrally.
The College is also monitored by HMI Ofsted Inspectors. The school and sixth form have been graded as ‘outstanding’ in the last four ofsted inspections. In September 2017 the 19-21 high needs provison at Blackfriars in partnership with Stoke-On-Trent college was graded as outstanding.
Opportunities are offered to parents to discuss their child progress on a regular basis for instance Parent’s Evening or Open Events but parents are invited to contact the school at any time to discuss their child’s progress.
- What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall wellbeing?
Each class will have a lead teacher responsible for pastoral support who will be the main point of contact for parents/carers. Where appropriate detailed Care Plans or Individual Behaviour Plans will be written with the support and approval of parents/carers. This will be shared with staff working closely with your child. Working with parents and carers advice and, where appropriate input from, a range of professionals including the College Nurse/Physiotherapist/Speech Therapist/Psychologist/ Sensory Impairment Team/Occupational Therapist/Other will be sought.
The College follows a strict policy on the administration of medication and any staff administering medication will have undergone the appropriate training.
Pupils with more complex needs will have individual Health Care Plans formed in partnership with health care professionals.
The College has in place an Intimate Care Policy that is closely adhered to by all staff for all pupils who require this level of support.
Staff employed within College are all subject to an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring process before they come into contact with pupils.
Risk Assessments are undertaken for all teaching areas and activities which may be seen as having any risk attached.
There are Named Designated Personal for Safeguarding, all pupils are aware of who these are. There is a detailed Safeguarding Policy for Children and Vulnerable Adults on our website and a paper copy is available on request from the College office.
Attendance is monitored closely on a daily basis with absences followed by a phone call. Good attendance is celebrated and rewarded. Any unauthorised absences are referred to the Education Welfare Officer.
Pupils with more challenging needs may have personalised education programmes or timetables to help support engagement with the curriculum. Parents and carers are partners in any such interventions. Exclusion is only used as an absolute final resort.
There is an active Student Council that has representation from every group within the College; membership is democratic with every pupil having a vote. Meetings of the College Council are facilitated by College staff and minutes are available for all students to access. Leadership members actively support this and the College Council take an active role in the appointment of new staff.
- What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?
All teachers/instructors are qualified at the appropriate level to deliver their areas of responsibility and/or subject specialisms. There is a team of qualified support staff; with the aim that all staff are trained to at least Level 3. We have access to a wide range of other professionals to support and advise on individual student needs: eg: Behaviour Management, Sensory Impairment, Educational Psychology, Speech and Language and Occupational Therapy. Where students have a physical disability, physiotherapy is available on site. Referrals, where necessary, can be made to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Adult support services. Where appropriate, there is close liaison with Social Care, Local Support Teams and Respite providers.
- What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND have had or are having?
Staff receive appropriate training to support the learning and individual needs of all students. We have a wealth of experience at our college. Some of the staff have worked in the SEN sector for over 25 years and we have professionals who support in other schools due to their knowledge and expertise. We are part of our teaching school which helps us lead the way in professional development opportunities and promote good and outstanding practice, nurture talent and develop leadership in order to achieve excellence for our pupils.
All new staff follow a structured and thorough induction programme which includes the opportunity to shadow staff undertaking a similar role. Continuing Professional Development for staff (CPD) is fully embraced and supported by leadership. There is a planned programme of staff development which is linked closely to student need and the School Improvement Plan. Individual professional development is identified with staff through staff appraisal. Staff are updated on any mandatory training necessary; eg administration of medication, safeguarding, behaviour management and manual handling.
- How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?
There is a fully inclusive approach to all enrichment and out of College activities including after College clubs. Parents are consulted about the range of activities which will be available to support the curriculum. A home learning sheet will give suggestions of activities which parents/carers can provide to support the planned learning within College.
All pupils will have the opportunity to access a variety of College clubs, and we have over 18 enrichment activities on offer. Some of these include performing arts, dance, sport, cooking, outdoor pursuits, photography and construction.
Residential educational visits will be offered to appropriate groups of students at key times throughout their College life.
On admission, signed parental permission is obtained.
‘Reasonable adjustments’ are made where necessary to ensure equality of access to the range of activities available. We try and offer at least two residential each year.
- How accessible is the environment?
The physical environment of the college reflects the needs and abilities of the student population. The college building is fully compliant with Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). Any future building programmes will also be fully DDA compliant. The facilities available to students comprise of spacious, well resourced teaching areas that include Interactive Whiteboards and computers that are complimented by a range of specialist accessibility devices and software packages, where disabilities are catered for allowing access to the Curriculum to all. All facilities and buildings/rooms on the site are totally accessible for all wheelchair users – hoists and overhead tracking in place
When required, a translation service will be used to support carers/parents. Letters and documents can be translated into the chosen language.
If specialist equipment is required to support physical mobility and positioning it is usually procured through Physiotherapy Services. Where the College identifies a specific piece of equipment that will support the student to access the curriculum it will be provided by the College and remain the property of the College. For students with a sensory impairment the necessary equipment is gained through either Sensory Impairment team or College resources.
- How will the setting prepare and support my child/young person to join the next stage of education and life?
There are planned transitions between feeder College and new College placement. The close liaison between staff, parents and students ensures all appropriate information is shared. This enables the receiving College to have a full and current picture of student need and exchange of relevant documentation to support this. Visits are arranged to ensure students are familiar with their new learning environment. Prior to entry careful consideration is given to matching individual needs with existing groups of students to ensure compatibility.
Transition Reviews are held at key points in a students’ educational life. This will involve a multi-disciplinary team to ensure the appropriate transition routes are explored. As part of this process parents and students will have the opportunity to meet with a representative of the Careers Service who will enable informed choice to be made. Where appropriate, the College will support transition visits to the next provider. All relevant information will be shared with the on-going provider. If appropriate, staff will visit the new provider to share information.
Learners follow individual pathways throughout their time at college which encourage them to begin with a clear focussed outcome. Over 20 different qualifications at Entry level 1 – Level 2 are offered by both qualified and unqualified teaching staff who have a wealth of expertise and
We have excellent links with mainstream colleges which are used to enable students to go out as part of a small group or as an individual to pursue day or half-day courses determined by the interests of individual students. This further prepares students for mainstream college and employability, and strengthens our local offer.
- How are the setting's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?
All budgets identified for supporting student need are allocated to ensure all areas of the curriculum are appropriately resourced. An amount of the budget is reserved for securing resources to support individual student needs to access the curriculum and provide enrichment activities.
- How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
Level of support for individual students is identified through their Education Health and Care Plan: parents and students are an integral part of this process. We have enhanced teacher pupil ratios to support the needs of our students. When Exceptional Needs are identified, additional funding can be applied for to provide additional staffing to support this level of need. Funding is agreed by a Local Authority panel on application. This is a temporary funding allocation for as long as the exceptional need exists. Progress is closely monitored to ensure appropriate levels of achievement are being made. Where expected progress is not being made, intervention strategies will be implemented.
- How will we be involved in the decisions about the learning of our children and young people?
Newfriars has an open door policy and regular review meetings with parents. There is also a regular parent forum and drop in sessions for parents.
- How are parents involved in the setting? How can I be involved?
College has an ‘open door policy’ and actively encourages parents to become involved in all aspects of College life. We provide a range of events to which parents are invited to become involved in. This may include social events, training or advice sessions and progress review meetings.