The voice of specialist further education

Sheiling College

Specialist college for young adults with severe, moderate or complex special educational needs including autistic spectrum disorders.
Students off-site visiting work experience provider
Sheiling College logo


Sheiling College
The Sheiling Ringwood
Horton Road, Ashley
BH24 2EB
  • Course Length (weeks):
  • Residential or Day:
    Residential and day
  • Start Time:
  • Maximum Number of Students:
  • Age Range:
    19 – 25


General Description

Young adults (19-25 years old) with severe and moderate special educational needs, including autistic spectrum disorders. We offer accredited learning qualifications at Entry 1, Entry 2 and Entry 3. Each student’s personalised curriculum is tailored to ensure they develop the wider skills, knowledge and independence they need to progress and achieve their aspirations for the next steps in their adult life. 


Catchment Area

We are a regional college situated close to the New Forest, on the Hampshire Dorset border, however we do have capacity to support learners from outside of our region for residential learners. 

Day students are typically from local areas including Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole. This can extend to areas such as Southampton, Salisbury and Blandford Forum, dependent on the learner's capacity to manage the commute to and from college each day. 



The Sheiling College use an individualised and differentiated curriculum for each student tailored to meet the very specific needs of individuals. Learning outcomes are established and written into a study programme drawing from identified outcomes in EHC Plans, thorough initial and baseline assessment tools and in consultation with the student and/or advocates of that person to identify aspirations. This falls into curriculum areas which are inclusive of the steps in preparation for adulthood and EHCP domains.

The aim of the college is to support young people to acquire and develop the specific skills they will need to reach their aspirations for their future adult life. This will be achieved using a holistic, co-created bespoke curriculum that informs an individualised Study Programme across six core domains;

  • Communication and Interaction
  • Functional Skills
  • Vocation and Work
  • Community Integration and Relationships
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Independent Living Skills.

We have a vocational programme, running alongside and integral to the individual study programme; the implementation of which is supported by the Work Experience Coordinator. Our aim over the three year programme is to provide each student with a range of transferable vocational skills, which are specific to an individuals planned destination, skill set and aspirations.

Throughout the three year programme, students will be introduced to a variety of vocational opportunities and living placements to support them in identifying their preferences as they prepare for adulthood.Sheiling College prides itself on working closely with future vocational and living placements and uses this to great advantage when supporting one of our learners as they transition into their future adult life.

All learners will be placed on accredited qualifications that compliment and work alongside their identified prirorities for learning. These qualifications are offered at levels Entry 1, Entry 2 and Entry 3. 

Specialist Facilities

We have a range of in house therapies available for learners to benefit from;

  • Positive behaviour support - We have an onsite dedicated and experienced behaviour support team who, when required, can offer support directly to each student that we support. In addition, this service embeds Positive Behavioural Support strategies to the wider staff team.
  • Speech and language therapy - Sheiling College practices Total Communication as an inclusive and integrated approach across all subject areas and settings. By using a variety of Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) including high tech and low tech devices, such as the use of PODD (Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display) communication book and PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) we are able to support learners with their understanding and expression.
  • Occupational therapy - Occupational Therapy interventions at Sheiling College focus on sensory processing and integration, adapting the environment, modifying tasks, and teaching skills which encourages the student to increase their participation in and performance of daily activities.

Where appropriate and deemed to be beneficial, learners will also have the opportunity to trial and be introduced to alternative therapies such as music, massage, eurythmy, colour light, and transformative art counselling.  

Sheiling College (19-25) have a purpose-built Vocational Hub with dedicated working kitchen areas, a training café, retail space, office skills area. This serves as a stepping stone to acquiring skills at various stages of vocational progression and development. 

Other onsite facilities include therapy building, gym hall, drama/multipurpose hall with stage, heated indoor swimming pool, traditional green woodworking area situated in our forest, outdoor and indoor craft workshops, eurythmy building and half-acre kitchen garden.

Other Information

We have two large residential houses, both of which provide accomodation for 38 weeks of the year.  These offer a Waking Day Curriculum where activities are shared and learners are supported to engage in learning new and meaningful life skills. The context of this homely environment allows learning and personal development opportunities to be linked to Individual Study Programmes

College students benefit from regular access to leisure pursuits and community engagement. As part of their weekly timetable, students are encouraged to visit a variety of familiar and unfamiliar places including shops, museums and cafes. There is also regular opportunities for money recognition, money management skills, the opportunity to practice travel training, social skills and communication skills. Regular opportunities to generalise the skills that the students learn on campus, allows them to apply these in real life scenarios in the wider community. 

All students will have access to an independent careers advice and guidance service. This is provided by Ansbury Guidance a company with 20 years of experience of providing high quality careers guidance. The Advisers work with the Sheiling College to aim to equip its young people with the skills and information vital for making appropriate choices and a successful transition onto a career pathway. 

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Students off-site visiting work experience provider
One of our college houses nestled in our beautiful site
Students using in our vocational hub to make and serve cakes for charity
Student working in a classroom

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