Curriculum / Prospectus / Classes

The curriculum intent comes directly from the College’s vision and mission:

Our vision is ‘Transforming Lives’, for young adults with Special Educational Needs and Disability.

Our Mission is to empower young adults to live fulfilling lives using person centred approaches built on respect, innovation and sustainability; to respond to the changing needs of disabled learners, preparing them for adulthood; and becoming judged in all areas as outstanding.

Most learners attend College three days each week and each learner follows the curriculum model best suited to their needs and aspirations, as stated in their Education and Health Care Plans (EHCPs):

  • Model 1 Pathway: Learning for Living (Pre-Entry M1-M8)
    Progression Focus: developing life skills and the ability to make choices.
  • Model 2 Pathway: Preparing for Adulthood (Pre-Entry M4-M8 / Entry Level 1, 2 and 3)
    Progression Focus: increased independence and development of employability skills for voluntary work.
  • Model 3 Pathway: Preparing for Employability (Entry Level 1 – Level 2)
    Progression Focus: increased independence and preparation for paid employment

The curriculum at Birtenshaw College is based on the Preparing for Adulthood outcomes:

  • Employment
  • Independent Living (choice and control over their own lives)
  • Friends, Relationships and Community
  • Health

Throughout the curriculum learners will be supported to meet their sensory and self-regulation needs, develop communication and social interaction skills, develop levels of independence in the skills of daily living and personal care, develop decision and choice making skills and develop functional skills in English and maths.


We believe that disabled young people have a right to work – we want employment to be seen as a key part of their life.

All learners are able to access a range of internal work experience opportunities to have a real life experience of a workplace and to gain a realistic view of what employment involves. Opportunities include

  • Catering and Hospitality
  • Land-based studies
  • Animal care
  • Administration
  • Maintenance
  • Housekeeping, and
  • Reception duties

A person-centred approach is taken to identify and build relationships with employers in order to provide meaningful external work placement opportunities for learners, based on their individual skills and abilities. As well as improving independence and social skills, learners are supported to gain transferable work-related skills to improve their chances of gaining successful employment when leaving Birtenshaw College.

The College is currently working towards the Work Experience Quality Assurance Standard accreditation in order to assess current provision, and identify where and how it could be improved.

Information, Advice and Guidance

Birtenshaw College has achieved Stage 2 of the Quality in Careers Standard. This is the national quality award for careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) in schools, colleges and work-based learning. It is fully aligned with the eight Gatsby Benchmarks for “Good Career Guidance” and fully complies with the Department for Education’s ‘statutory guidance’. Clare Foster, Head of College, leads the Careers Programme at Birtenshaw College. You can contact Clare by email to or by telephone 01204 602330.

Staff at College provide impartial advice to help learners and their families make informed decisions. This can be done formally at review meetings or through informal chats and Preparing for Adulthood meetings. Birtenshaw College has a Service Level Agreement with Connexions who deliver impartial advice and guidance to learners and their families.

The purpose of the Careers Programme is to enable learners to develop their self-awareness and to raise their aspirations and motivation which will enable them to make a smooth and successful transition from College to adulthood. Our Careers Policy is available to view here.

Provider Access Statement

Learners access a variety of opportunities and events which are integrated into our careers programme and the wider curriculum. These are delivered internally, with input from external providers where appropriate.

External providers interested in coming into College should contact Clare Foster, via email, to discuss the nature of the visit and identify the most suitable opportunity. Once a visit has been agreed, we will provide an appropriate room to facilitate the visit, along with any equipment requested by the provider where it is available. Providers are welcome to leave a copy of their prospectus or other relevant course literature for display at our College which will be available for learners to access.

Destination Data


(% of Leavers)


(% of Leavers)

Continued at Birtenshaw 37.5% 44%
Enrichment Service (Birtenshaw) 0% 22%
Adult Social Service Provision 62.5% 28%
Community Based Supported Voluntary Work Placement 0% 6%


The following qualifications are offered at Birtenshaw College:

  • ASDAN Personal Progress
  • ASDAN Employability
  • BTEC Pre-Vocational Study
  • BTEC Entry to Vocational Study
  • BTEC Vocational Studies
  • City & Guilds Skills for Working Life
  • Edexcel Functional English
  • Edexcel Functional Maths
  • Edexcel Functional ICT

Individualised, non-accredited learning programmes are provided for learners which recognise and record progress and achievement.