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Newfriars Education Academy

Welcome to Newfriars College, which was formerly Blackfriars Further Education department.

Newfriars College provides outstanding education, care and specialist support for young perople aged 16 – 25 years. We currently have 142 students on roll.

This College provision offers a highly differentiated programme of study for students with moderate to profound learning disabilities, neurological conditions, autism and associated communication and sensory impairments and young people with physical needs.

Flexible and personalised courses allow students to develop skills which will help them to access the wider community, travel and develop independent living skills and move into further education or employment. We offer a holistic learning environment with specially trained staff to support the needs of our young people.

How does the setting know if young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my young person may have special educational needs?

All Students within the College have an Education, Health and Care Plan and this details their individual needs. Staff within the College setting are skilled in providing an appropriate programme of study integrated with any additional needs such as sensory; communication; medical and physical needs. We have excellent links with health and social care and provide a personal service to all of our families

How will the setting/setting staff support my 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 specialist and highly trained teaching assistants.  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 College is effectively supported and monitored by the ‘Shaw Education Trust’ and 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 Academy Council meets termly and sub committees meet regularly.

The College is monitored by HMI Ofsted Inspectors. In house data and monitoring systems ensure we are providing a challenging education system for all Students. This is shared with parents on a regular basis.

How will the curriculum be matched to my young person’s needs?

All Students are assessed and have access to a personalised Transition programme prior to entering the College. During the first half term staff will establish a starting point for each child or young person using a wide range of assessment tools. This helps us to develop an appropriate, personalised programme of study for each Student. Where appropriate advice is sought from other agencies such as health professionals including the college nurse, clinical psychologists, occupational therapists, speech and language and sensory impairment teams to give an holistic overview of the Student’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.

We have a wide ranging curriculum with access to excellent facilities on our large campus. Students have the opportunity to develop their work related skills on our preparing for employment or vocational pathways which include ICT, hospitality and  catering, sport, performing and creative arts, land based studies and  health and social care. Most importantly, we want our young people to thrive and choose their own personal pathway.

How will both you and I know how my young person is doing and how will you help me to support my young person’s learning?

 In order to monitor progress of individual Students staff maintain records of continual assessment based on observations in various settings and these are used to inform future planning and individual Student programmes. The progress of Students is recorded on the in-house Data Tracking system and progress is compared against national expectations. Individualised support is put in place for any Student 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 College Council and Shaw Education Trust central leadership team.

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 College at any time to discuss their child’s progress.

What support will there be for my 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.

Students 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 Students 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 Students.

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 Students 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.

Students 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 Student 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 in care.  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, music therapist, clinical psychologists  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).  Where appropriate, there is close liaison with Social Services, Local Support Teams and Respite providers.

What training have the staff supporting young people with SEND had or are having?

Staff receive appropriate training to support the learning and individual needs of all students.  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 College Improvement Plan.  Individual professional development is identified with staff through staff appraisal.  Staff are updated on any mandatory training necessary; eg administration of medication, behaviour management and manual handling.

How will my young person be included in activities outside the classroom including College trips?

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.

How accessible is the setting environment?

The physical environment of the College reflects the needs and abilities of the student population.  The vast majority of College buildings are fully compliant with Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).  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 College identifies a specific piece of equipment will support the student to access the curriculum it will be provided by the College.  For students with a sensory impairment the necessary equipment is gained through either Sensory Impairment team or individual resources.

How will the setting prepare and support my young person to join, transfer to a new setting or the next stage of education and life?

There are planned transitions between feeder schools and our college led by experienced and supportive staff.  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 ongoing provider.  If appropriate, staff will visit the new provider to share information.

How are the setting’s resources allocated and matched to 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 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. As a special College we have enhanced teacher Student 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  needs. 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 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. College provides 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.

Who can I contact for further information?

Each class has a teacher and at least one teaching assistant who would be the first point of contact between home and College.

Home/College communication books are used where appropriate or on request.  All College staff will have a role in your child’s

education and can be contacted with concerns and queries.  The Head of College (Rob Millington) and Leadership team are always

contactable.  You are encouraged to contact them by phone, in person or by email if you have any concerns.  It is advisable to arrange an appointment to ensure that the appropriate person is available.

Medical concerns can be discussed with College nurse.

Initial enquiries about College admission can be made through the College office who will direct you to the appropriate person.

Staffordshire’s Local Authority will be able to give you any advice you require on provision within your area which will meet the needs of your child.



Who to contact

Contact Name
Mr Rob Millington
Contact Position
01782 987180


Where to go

Castle Grove off Newhouse Road
Stoke on Trent
ST2 8BH Get Directions (This link opens in a new tab)
Last updated: 06 May 2020
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