Newfriars College

Newfriars College is a Specialist FE College for young people aged 16 – 25 with a wide range of special educational needs and disabilities
A student in a wheelchair in a maths lesson


Newfriars College
Castle Grove off
Newhouse Road
  • Course Length (weeks):
  • Residential or Day:
  • Start Time:
  • Maximum Number of Students:
  • Age Range:
    16 – 25



General Description

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. The College provides a highly differentiated programme of study for young people with flexible, bespoke and personalised courses which allow our learners 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 first-class provider of academic, personal and social achievement; where the college team work in partnership with our learners and their families to ensure they receive outstanding education and care. A centre of excellence for learning, preparation for adulthood and research.

Catchment Area

We are a regional provider, accepting learners from Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Cheshire East and other local authorities in the surrounding area.


Our learners are at the heart of everything we do. Their curriculum is highly personalised to support them in achieving their ambitions and aspirations. Each learner's education, care and support is provided by our dedicated, skilled and friendly staffing team. We offer multiple opportunities to learn in the community through a range of partnerships with local employers, services and businesses.

We provide highly differentiated and stimulating learning pathways to enable young people to gain employment and/or independence, confidence, self-esteem and daily living skills. We offer a holistic learning environment with specially trained staff and resources to best support the needs of our young people.

As a Post-16 establishment, we offer a variety of vocational and academic courses to meet the needs and ability of our students. All students have access to a bespoke curriculum pathway, which comprises a range of externally accredited courses from Entry Levels to Level 2 (GCSE) and/or our bespoke College certificated 'Step Up' courses developed to enable learners to achieve their EHCP and Preparation for Adulthood outcomes. 

Our innovative and highly successful Project Search Supported Internship Programme in conjunction with the NHS, offers young people ready for employment internships in the workplace which has enabled young people to secure ongoing employment in a range of support services roles from hospitality to portering.

We are very proud of our curriculum, our work experience/employability offer and our breadth of enrichment opportunities. The curriculum is tailored and personalised to the interests and abilities of each individual student. Excellent working relationships are in place with local colleges and training providers to ensure that opportunities are part of an inclusive approach. Learners at Newfriars College are extremely well supported towards the next steps in their lives and education. 

Specialist Facilities

Students at Newfriars College benefit from a recently constructed Multi-use games area, a swimming pool, gymnasium, physio room and performing arts studio. We have extensive facilities to support daily living skills including two fully furnished kitchen/cafe areas. We offer a breadth of therapy and support services including a College Nurse, clinical psychologist, educational psychologist, music therapy, daily physiotherapy, Speech and Language advice, VI and HI support advice, music therapy, hydrotherapy and swimming and rebound therapy. We access a wide range of community based facilities and real-life working environments including a garage, farms and a woodland to complement and enrich our curriculum offer.

Other Information

There is a strong network of support for parents and carers, and the college works collaboratively with range of multi agencies to proactively safeguard all of our learners. The College has strong employability links with approximately 25 local employers, offers supported internships and in 2018 established a ‘Project Search’ employability programme with the University Hospital North Midlands and Sodexo.


  • > Our expertise

    We have expertise in meeting the needs of students with:

    • A wide range of physical disabilities
    • Asperger syndrome
    • Autism spectrum disorder
    • Moderate learning difficulties
    • Severe learning difficulties
    • Profound and multiple learning difficulties
    • Epilepsy and/or associated neurological conditions
    • Expertise in meeting the needs of students who are blind or visually impaired
    • Expertise in meeting the needs of d/Deaf students
    • Multi-sensory impairment
    • Expertise in meeting the needs of students who have specific learning difficulties
    • Communication difficulties
  • > Our curriculum

    We offer:

    • Opportunities to follow vocational courses
    • Opportunities to follow vocational qualifications
    • A performing arts curriculum
    • A specialised land-based curriculum
    • A hospitality and catering curriculum
    • A personal development programme
    • A social skills programme
    • A programme to enable students to learn more about themselves and how to form relationships
    • Opportunities for students to participate in community activities and to learn about citizenship
    • Opportunities to prepare for further training after college
    • Opportunities to explore a range of living options after college
    • A programme to help students to look after themselves more independently
    • Opportunities to prepare for work after college
    • Opportunities to experience real work situations
    • Opportunities for work experience
    • Opportunities to improve literacy, numeracy and/or communication skills
    • Opportunities to use and develop information technology skills
    • Opportunities to develop strategies to promote appropriate behaviour
    • Opportunities to improve and develop communication skills through the use of Alternative and Augmentative Communication aids
    • Comprehensive support in the learning and use of Braille and/or Moon
    • Opportunities to improve communication skills such as the use of Makaton, Bliss, symbols or objects of reference
    • Opportunities to experiment with sound, touch, smell and sight in order to aid learning
    • A transition programme into independent living
    • A transition programme into supported or open employment
    • Opportunities to take part in a range of business activities
    • Opportunities to take part in a wide range of social, leisure and sporting activities
  • > Our specialist services

    • Extensive use of assistive and adaptive technologies
    • In-house speech and language therapy
    • A range of therapeutic services
    • In-house physiotherapy
    • In-house psychology services
    • Sessions to improve posture and mobility
    • Specialist orientation and mobility training to enable independent travel
    • Specialist training to enable independent travel
    • Specialist staff to meet personal care requirements
    • In-house nursing services

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The S41 symbol next to most of the colleges in the directory means that they are on the Secretary of State’s Approved List.

This list, developed as part of the Children and Families Act 2014, means that some parts of the Act apply to these independent institutions. This includes specialist colleges.