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Sheiling College

Sheiling College is part of the Sheiling Special Educational Trust, which is a registered charity and non-profit making company. 

Sheiling College is an Independent Specialist College for young adults aged 19-25 with severe learning difficulties, moderate learning difficulties, complex learning difficulties, autistic specturm conditions and communication difficulties. 

The college provides an inclusive, uplifting education and care environment that meets the needs of the whole person. These goals are at the heart of our provision and their attainment is assisted by the picturesque natural setting and the community style of Sheiling College. In the context of a safe and welcoming setting, learning experiences and opportunities are real-life based, all of which help Sheiling College to be an innovative and effective provider.


The Sheiling Ringwood
Horton Road
BH24 2EB
01425 482448
01425 479536
Contact Name
Joanne Stevens
Contact Position
PA to Head of College and Administrator
See Journey Planner on right-hand side of this page, where you can view bus, car and train routes from your location.
Area coverage
Pan Dorset
Times Available:
24 Hour/Waking Day Curriculum.
School Term Only
From 19 years  to 25 years .
Contact provider directly for costs
Special Provisions:
Visual impairment
Toileting Hygiene
Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Behaviour, Emotional & Social Difficulty
Cerebral Palsy
Chromosome Deletion
Downs Syndrome
Emotional needs
Eating and Drinking
Global Development Delay
Hormone Deficiency
Hearing Impairment
Learning Difficulty
Speech, Language & Communication Needs
Physical Disability
Motor impairment
Multi-Sensory Impairment
Renal failure
Medical Condition, including Allergies
Social Communication Difficulty
Severe dietary needs
Caters for Special Diets:
Special diets can be provided for
Referral Criteria:
Via Looked After Children Teams
By Solicitor
Via Independent Living Team
Via School
Via Social Services
Via GP or other health professional
By Parents or Family
Referral Procedure:
Our admissions process normally firsts involves a visit by parents/carers for an informal discussion and tour of Sheiling College. If wishing to pursue a placement, parents will be asked to complete an application form. Senior members of the education and care staff from Sheiling College first assess the student at the student's school and/or home and then at an assessment visit to Sheiling College. The assessment visit to Sheiling College involves an overnight stay if the applicant is requesting a residential placement. Each placement is carefully and individually considered and the selection of students takes into account the needs of the existing students and the rural nature of our provision. 2 If it is determined by the Sheiling College Leadership Team that Sheiling College can meet the student's needs and that a place is a avaliable, then: • An assessment report will be written and submitted to the relevant local authority representative(s). • An offer of a placement at Sheiling College will be sent in writing to parents and a copy sent to the relevant local authority representative(s). • Fees will be calculated and submitted to the relevant local authority representative(s).
Languages Spoken:
British Sign Language


Schools Extended Local Offer Response

How does the setting/school/college know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?

Set in a stunning sustainable and eco-friendly 40-acre site close to the New Forest and the Dorset coastline, the natural surroundings of our college provide a rich, enabling and therapeutic learning environment for up to 42 students, aged 19-25, who have special educational needs. We specialise in supporting and educating students with severe, complex and moderate learning disabilities, autistic spectrum conditions and communication difficulties. Typically, students at Sheiling College are studying either Entry 1, Entry 2 or Entry 3 Level. Sheiling College offers an individualised and flexible approach to placements: termly residential, weekly residential and day placements. All our placements are 38 weeks per year, however, we also offer some additional respite services for our students. We provide our students with a wide range of learning opportunities which match their needs, interests, skills and aspirations. This allows each student to discover and realise their full potential and increase their independence and confidence for adult life.

How will early years setting/school/college staff support my child/young person?

Our group sizes are 5 to 6 students and staffing in lessons comprises a Teacher, Teaching Assistants and Support Workers. Education support levels are typically 1 member of staff to 1 student or 1 member of staff to 2 students. As the teacher and TAs are consistent in each group, strong relationships and rapport are quickly established. Every student is educated and cared for as an individual. This means we can support students to develop their independence and provide a pathway for transferring these into the wider community. Students at Sheiling College make important choices about their own learning, social life and about the direction they want their life to go in. We are committed to supporting students to make these choices by helping them experience new things. We use a person centred planning approach to help students make decisions about their own life and learning. Students are supported by teachers, TAs, house co-ordinators and care support workers. The college has the benefit of a team of on-site therapists, including speech and language, occupational and physiotherapy. Students access these therapies individually or in small groups, depending upon their needs. In addition, complementary therapies are offered on a 1:1 basis.

Residential students are supported by house co-ordinators and support workers to live in a ‘home from home’ setting, where there are many opportunities for sharing social time, having fun and relaxing in addition to learning independent living skills. Communication is supported through the use of Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display (PODD) Books, as well as individualised systems such as Objects of Reference. We use a wide variety of interactive and technology based systems that run on iPads and tablets. Social stories and adapted books are used to enable students to understand the process of interacting and responding in an appropriate manner. Elements of the TEACCH system are used throughout the college. The college adopts a positive approach to behaviour and staff are all trained in PROACT-SCIPr-UK which uses proactive methods to avoid triggers that may lead a student to present behavioural challenges in order to get their needs met. It aims to enhance a student’s quality of life and give them the skills to communicate their own needs.


How will the curriculum be matched to my child's/young person's needs?

To enable students to progress, they will work on a programme consisting of an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) that uses RARPA (Recognising and Recounting Progress and Achievement) as well as accredited learning. The study programme also includes work experience, enrichment acivities and therapeutic support. Our tailored curriculum allows students to learn through things that inspire and motivate them. Students are empowered to develop skills, confidence and independence but also their own sense of self, which is respected and prized no matter what their level of ability or disability. Our curriculum is enriched with sensory rich activities, social and cultural activities. Our community hosts concerts, plays and other performances throughout the year, along with celebrating various festivals and events. These provide additional opportunities for students to improve their confidence and social skills and provide a predictable rhythm and routine to their time at college. 

How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child's/young person's learning?

Regular communication is of upmost importance to the college; we work hard to build relationships with parents and carers. Residential students can keep in touch via phone, weekly letters, email and Skype. Both parents/carers and authorities are kept closely informed about a student’s progress and well-being. Each student will have an annual review meeting and Individual Learning Plans are sent home and reviewed regularly. The student’s review meetings will be structured around their aspirations and needs. We support our students to reflect upon their progress and to make choices about their way forward at college and for when they eventually leave.

What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall well being?

Staff are highly trained in all aspects of communication, behaviour support, health, personal care and safeguarding, ensuring every student is safe, happy and successful at the college. Clear routines, celebrating the rhythms of the seasons, along with taking part in household practicalities, help our students make a meaningful contribution to the college community. A secure routine means students also know what to expect and this helps manage their anxieties. Our multi-disciplinary team (teaching staff, residential staff, speech and language, occupational therapy, our on-site nurse and Behaviour Support Co-ordinator) meet regularly to assess strategies and current support levels.

In-house student meetings allow students to have a voice with regard to their day-to-day activities and the running of their house. With parents’ consent, we support students further with complementary medicines and therapies; these holistic approaches help us ensure we treat each student as a whole person and not just meet their immediate need.

What specialist services and expertise are avaliable at or accessed by the setting/school/college?

Specialist Services: Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Positive Behaviour Support, Transformative Art Counselling, Music Therapy, Eurythmy Therapy, Colour Light Therapy, Massage Therapy. Expertise: Complex Learning Difficulties, Severe Learning Difficulties, Moderate Learning Difficulties.

What training have the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had? Are any being trained currently?

Staff train to the highest standard in order to fully support students in all aspects of their education, care and behaviour. Sheiling College conducts a compulsory and detailed induction programme for all staff. Staff are all trained in the following:

• Student Welfare • Safeguarding • Total Communication • Signalong • PECS, Picture Exchange Communication System • PROACT-SCIPr-UK Theory & Practical • Equality, Diversity & Inclusion • Mental Capacity Act, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards • Epilepsy Awareness • Sensory Integration • Manual & Minimal Handling Techniques • Health and Safety • Food Hygiene • First Aid • Dysphagia Awareness
(eating and drinking safety) • Online Safety

As part of CPD, Teaching Assistants are supported to gain Supporting Disabled Learners Qualification and residential staff are supported to gain Health and Social Care Qualifications.

How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?

Our 40-acre grounds, with many acres of grassy open areas and woodland, mean that learning outside the classroom is an integral part of the curriculum. We also benefit from an on-site swimming pool, gymnasium and large capacity hall with stage. Our students actively engage in estate work, horticulture, a large kitchen garden, craft workshops, woodwork workshops, small animal care and off-site farming activties. Neighbouring us are Moors Valley Country Park and Avon Heath Country Park which are ideal for walking and cycling. Ringwood is a short walk away and the stunning beaches of Bournemouth, Boscombe, Southborne and Mudeford are all within easy reach. The college programme maintains regular life skills leisure trips within the local area, as well as attending theatre productions and concerts in Bournemouth and Salisbury. Students have opportunities to undertake work experience in the local community. All students have access to Independent Careers Guidance.

We are situated next to the Lantern Community, with their café, shop and bakery and the rich resources of the New Forest and Dorset coastline are fully accessed via our curriculum.

How accessible is the setting/school/college enviroment?

The rural nature of the estate and college buildings and houses limits the physical and organisational adjustments that can be made to accommodate students with certain physical disabilities. These would be considered and fully assessed at the time of application. If required, we would access the Local Authority translation service for students and parents for whom English is not their first language.

How will the setting/school/college prepare and support my child/young person to join the setting/school/college or the next stage of education and life?

A full assessment of a prospective student’s needs is made by senior staff and a personalised programme of transition developed, with students making visits to the college to become familiar with the setting and staff, including an overnight stay for residential placements. After starting at the college, there is a further 12-week assessment period, followed by a first term review, to ensure the appropriate level of care and support is in place.

Each student’s study programme is designed to enable them to achieve their desired post-college destinations. The college starts the ‘transition out’ process early and works with other social care providers and potential work placements.

How are the setting's/school's/college's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?

A dedicated team of on-site therapists sets us apart from many SEND provisions, providing assessment to indentify if any specialist equipment is required. The college works with the student and seeks to identify an appropriate funding source.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?

Before a student starts at Sheiling College, an assessment of the level of support and provision they require is made and agreed by the college, parents/carers and placing authority. A 12-week assessment review allows for any adjustments to be made to this initial plan. Internal reviews and the Annual Review of a student’s progress mean that changes to the level of support or provision can be made when required.

Are your staff DBS Approved?
Do you have a First Aid Policy?
Do you have Public Liability Insurance?