New SEND provision at Peaks Campus – Q&A

6th March 2024

TAGS Peaks

  • The Sheffield College is developing a new post-16 offer for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The provision will open to students in September 2024 and will be based at the recently-vacated Peaks Campus.

    Parents of prospective students have lots of questions about the new provision. Below is a list of questions we have received, and responses provided by the College. If you have a question that isn’t listed here, please get in touch and we will add it on!

    Who is the new provision for?
    The provision is aimed at High Needs students – that is, students who require additional support costing at least £6,000 per year. As such, it is expected that students will have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan. However, where a prospective student does not have an EHC plan, they can still apply and will be assessed by one of the college’s EHCP Coordinators.

    How many places will there be?
    There will be 100 new high needs places from September 2024 at the Peaks Campus.

    How many days a week will students attend?
    There will be a 4-day offer across all the discrete High Needs programmes, both at Peaks and at Hillsborough. The day will start at 9.30am and end at 3.15pm, but students can come in up to 45 minutes earlier and take part in activities led by the Personal Tutor team.
    In addition, the College are working with partners to create optional 5th day activities focussed on the development of employability skills required for supported work.

    What kind of courses will be offered?
    Students will be able to choose from the following study programmes, both at Peaks and at Hillsborough:

    • Pathway to Personal Progress: Designed as a supported first step to post-16 education and a college setting. The intent of this study programme is to recognise personal growth and engagement in learning.
    • Pathway to Independent Living: Designed for students who would benefit from learning and further developing the skills that will prepare them for their future and adult life.
    • Pathway to Supported Work-skills: Designed for those who would benefit from further learning and developing skills that will prepare them for work.
    • Pathway to Supported Internships: Pre-Internship and Internship study programmes designed for those who are preparing for the transition to adulthood and work.

    The College will offer a supported transition that includes meeting staff, visits to the campus and taster sessions in order to help students find the most appropriate pathway for them.

    What will the supported internship options be? Will they be bespoke or only with certain partners/providers? If only certain providers, who will these be with and what sort of opportunities for the young people will there be?
    We will be running two Supported Internships in September. One will be based at Peaks and one at Hillsborough. We will be working with DFN Project Choice and we will also be running a more bespoke model with a range of smaller employers. The bespoke model will be skills based and matched to the young person’s aspirations. This year our young people have undertaken work placements with Amazon, NHS and internal work placements within our catering department, estates and Student Central.

    We will also be running a pre-internship programme for young people to prepare them for their progression onto the Internship and ultimately into employment. This study programme involves the development of employability skills and a smaller work placement. This year, work placements have included Asda, Food Works and a local leisure centre.

    We work with Opportunity Sheffield and other support employment organisations and support our young people to attend job fairs, events and engage in industry talks and visits to support their transition from post 16.

    What levels will students be working at?
    The majority of provision at Peaks is planned to be from pre-entry through to level one. Students will work towards a Functional Skill or GCSE qualification, which is level 2, where appropriate. The provision is designed to support individual student’s preparation for adulthood and enable students to progress into supported work. Additionally, the provision also enables appropriate students to progress in our mainstream provision, but still supported as a high needs funded student. Currently 50% of the college’s funded high needs students study on mainstream programmes ranging from entry level to level three, including A-Levels in our Sixth Form at our City Campus, with many progressing onto Higher Education. Our team of Transition and Progression Coordinators will consult on applications to ensure we can support each student to succeed.

    What kind of facilities will the Peaks Campus have?
    There will be a sensory space, an independent living suite and a gym. All indoor spaces will be fully wheelchair accessible. Outside space at Peaks is limited, however wheelchair accessible learning and recreational spaces are available and will be developed further. The college is working on a capital project to update existing facilities and install some new ones too. For example, a wet room is being created on each floor.

    What kind of provision will students’ progress onto?
    Some Peaks students may remain at Peaks Campus to develop further in this quieter environment or to access the Supported Internship programme, others will progress to the provision at the Hillsborough Campus. (A specialist Travel Trainer will be based at Peaks Campus to help students develop independent travel skills and support any transition to Hillsborough campus). Some students will progress into a mainstream full-time study programme at The Sheffield College or with other providers. Others will leave college and progress into supported work in the city.

    What kind of support roles will be available to help students?
    The college is investing in several new roles designed to support students at Peaks and Hillsborough campuses. There will be support for independent travel training, staff specifically employed to support student’s health and wellbeing and ensure that such needs are being met, and advocates who will work with students outside of the classroom to support their confidence and help them to progress to their full potential. There will also be all the usual support through roles such as the Transition and Progression Coordinators who help applicants transition into college and support progression, and next steps at college or beyond. EHCP Coordinators will ensure that EHCP reviews are completed and updated as well as ensuring that Learning Support Assistants are deployed to support students in their learning.
    Students on Supported Internships will benefit from specialist Job Coaches who will support students in their workplace as required.
    External organisations are also co-locating on college campuses to provide further support, for example related to health and supported work.
    Students will also benefit from all aspects of the wider college support and activities such as safeguarding, careers guidance, sport and enrichment, work-related activity, learning resources and student finance as needed.

    Where can I find out more?
    The College will be hosting several online sessions to answer questions and to give families an opportunity to speak to staff, along with presentation events at college and in schools. To register your interest, please email: and cc:

    Email addresses to contact staff: Academy Director for Pre-Technical and Skills for Living and Work Curriculum Manager for Pre-Technical and Skills for Living and Work Head of SEND and ALS