Queen Alexandra College

QAC supports people with a wide range of disabilities including visual impairment and autism
The logo of Queen Alexandra College S41 status


Queen Alexandra College
Court Oak Road
B17 9TG
  • Course Length:
    38 weeks per year
  • Residential or Day:
  • Course Dates:
    Courses start in September, however we may be able to accommodate new starters throughout the year dependent on programme choice
  • Maximum Number of Students:
  • Age Range:
    16+ years



General Description

Queen Alexandra College (QAC) is a national residential College that supports a diverse range of student abilities and needs. 

Based in Birmingham, the College has been at its current location since 1903 and offers an innovative, holistic approach to learning and support. We welcome students who come to our College from all over the country – as well as many who are local to us.

In addition to supporting people who have a visual impairment, we offer support and guidance for students with autistic spectrum conditions, those with moderate to severe learning difficulties, students with physical disabilities and those with other needs.

Ultimately, we have a great mix of students which adds to the wonderful atmosphere here in College. Class sizes are small and support levels high.

The College has a team of specialists on site who are able to support students, including Speech and Language Therapists, a Visual Impairment Training Officer, Educational and Clinical Psychologists, Counsellors, Mentors, a Braille Tutor, Occupational Therapy and Sensory Support, a Dyslexia Tutor, Healthcare Professionals including a Physiotherapist, Rehabilitation and Travel Trainers and a Personal and Sexual Health Education (PSHE) Lead. 

Catchment Area

We are a national provider, accepting learners from across England and Wales. 


At QAC your learning is planned around your individual needs, interests and ambitions. Our curriculum covers a wide range of programmes including Preparation for Life at entry level and a range of vocational qualifications to level 3. We have a dedicated Employment Pathways curriculum including LEAP (Learning, Employment and Progression) programmes and a supported internship study programme could also be followed, which involves spending the majority of time with an employer in a real job role.

Subject areas include Art and Design, Creative Media Production, Health and Social Care, Horticulture, Hospitality, Information Technology, Motor Vehicle Studies, Performing Arts, Powerchair Football, Retail and Customer Service, Sport and Trades.

If you need a phased transition back into education following previous difficult experiences, our Access to College programme provides bespoke specialist support initially away from campus.

Enrichment programmes help you to develop your self-esteem, confidence and independence. Our residential curriculum develops essential skills for personal development such as independent living and social skills.

Upon completing your time at QAC, you might choose to progress to mainstream further education, higher education, training or employment. Some students may also choose to move on to our ‘Independence Plus’ supported living programme. 

Specialist Facilities

Facilities include new buildings with the latest technology, a fitness centre, state-of-the-art sports hall, sports field, sensory room, onsite travel training area, library and student centre. 

Other Information

Some students choose to move onto our ‘Independence Plus’ supported living programme. Clients on this programme still need support and the aim is to deliver a service that provides you with the means to live independently/semi independently into the distant future. Funding is usually provided through a Direct Payment Personal Budget in conjunction with housing benefit for accommodation.

QAC Enterprises consists of a wide range of businesses that raise money for the College and provide excellent work opportunities for students. All Formats transcription services provide a specialist service transcribing documents into a number of alternative formats suitable for people with a visual impairment.

QAC is the UK distributor of Revolution Advantage Carbon Fibre canes and organiser of Sight Village – the premier event for blind and partially sighted people, bringing together leading providers of products and services all under one roof.

Autism Central is a free exhibition of products and services organised by the College for individuals, carers, families and professionals. The annual event showcases the diverse range of information and support that is available to people with autism in Birmingham and beyond. Alongside the exhibition there is also a topical programme of workshops and seminars throughout the day. 

  • > Our expertise

    We have expertise in meeting the needs of students with:

    • Expertise in meeting the needs of students who are blind or visually impaired
    • Asperger syndrome
    • Autism spectrum disorder
    • Severe autism spectrum disorder
    • Autism spectrum disorder with associated challenging behaviour
    • Behavioural difficulties
    • Emotional difficulties
    • Expertise in meeting the needs of students who have been affected by abuse or personal trauma
    • Mental health needs
    • Communication difficulties
    • A wide range of physical disabilities
    • Moderate learning difficulties
    • Severe learning difficulties
    • Epilepsy and/or associated neurological conditions
    • Expertise in meeting the needs of d/Deaf students
    • Expertise in meeting the needs of students who use British Sign Language
    • Multi-sensory impairment
    • Expertise in meeting the needs of students who have specific learning difficulties
    • Prader-Willi syndrome
    • Acquired brain injury
  • > Our curriculum

    We offer:

    • Opportunities to follow vocational courses
    • Opportunities to follow vocational qualifications
    • A performing arts 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 attend local further education colleges with support
    • 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
    • In-house occupational therapy
    • Specialist orientation and mobility training to enable independent travel
    • Specialist training to enable independent travel
    • An understanding of the importance to young people of deaf community and culture
    • Guidance and counselling services
    • Help with finding suitable long term provision
    • Specialist staff to meet personal care requirements
    • Waking night residential staff
    • Registered with the Care Quality Commission / Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales
    • In-house nursing services
    • Residential provision linked to the academic year

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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.