The voice of specialist further education

St. John’s School & College

A specialist college providing quality education for young adults with autism and/or learning disabilities and complex needs.
Enjoying Brighton seafront.
St. John’s School & College logo


St. John’s School & College
17 Walpole Road
  • Course Length (weeks):
  • Residential or Day:
    Residential and day
  • Start Time:
    Start throughout the year
  • Maximum Number of Students:
  • Age Range:
    19 – 25


General Description

St. John’s College is a specialist further education college for autistic learners (16-25 years), based in Brighton & Hove. We have day and residential learners.

St. John’s is a place where learning is shaped around the hopes and aspirations of students. Courses are tailored to meet learner goals, supported by our highly skilled staff team who respect students' choices and lifestyle.

Catchment Area



Our comprehensive curriculum provides a full range of exciting, challenging and meaningful learning experiences (both accredited and non-accredited) that prepare each student with relevant vocational and personal skills that will significantly impact on their future lives.

Our focus on vocational skill development is delivered through theoretical and practical learning activities along with highly relevant work experience placements within the college departments and community organisations. We hold high expectations for our student cohort with respect to the development of their employability skills and have dedicated staff who actively identify and manage a wide-ranging work experience programme. Students are supported to increase their work skills using strategies such as systematic instruction and job coaching techniques. 

Maths, English, communications and ICT are embedded throughout the college timetable and within the residential setting. Students undertake PSHE, life skills, physical recreation activities and community access. There are a variety of lunchtime clubs, awareness days, educational visits and events planned throughout the academic year that students may choose to participate in. 

Students are supported to access local mainstream colleges in order to expand their learning experience and to promote further education opportunities. 

Specialist Facilities

St. John's students access a variety of well-equipped learning environments that meet individual needs and intend to inspire continuous learning. These include a theatre for performing arts, creative arts and media facilities, a music and recording studio, a craft workshop, a print studio for enterprise projects, garden areas and biodome for the development of horticulture skills, an in-house cafeteria and deli kitchen, providing work based learning opportunities in catering. Outdoors areas include an all-weather sports pitch, hardcourt area, outdoor gym, specialist bikes, access to community swimming pools and leisure centres. There are three onsite learning pods dedicated to students who have difficulties in learning as a member of a group. Students are supported in their learning across the waking day curriculum with bespoke support strategies and resources including communication aids, talking mats, now and next boards, visual references etc. A car valeting company provides a weekly work placement for small groups of students, a number of employers who we work with regularly have a good understanding of the needs of our students and are proactive in adapting and accommodating their environments to maximise learning outcomes.

There are seven residential houses: three located onsite, three in the city and one in Seaford, all of which are resourced according to the needs of the peer group. There are sensory rooms and resources throughout the education and residential provision.  

During their journey at St. John's, students are supported by our qualified and experienced wellbeing team, who provide speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, positive behaviour support, nursing and counselling. Access to additional external services such as psychiatry and psychology are arranged on an individual basis.

We have a dedicated transition officer who supports students and families in identifying and visiting potential services for their future lives. A multi-disciplinary team prepare students for life beyond St. John’s.

> Our expertise

> Our curriculum

> Our specialist services


Enjoying Brighton seafront.
Communication via talking mats
Working on life skills

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