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ESPA College

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Title: ESPA College  
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Subject: Argyle House School, Autism friendly, City of Sunderland, Interactive Autism Network, Action for Autism
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ESPA College

ESPA College
6-7 The Cloisters
Sunderland, GBR, SR2 7BD,
Type Independent Specialist
Established 1992
Status open
LEA Sunderland
Ofsted number 131872
Principal Paul Cook
Staff 150
Age range 16-25
Enrollment 100
Classes 15
Average class size 3
Student to teacher ratio 3:1
Language English
Hours in school day 7
Classrooms 20
Campus Urban

ESPA College is part of Education & Services for People with Autism in Tyne and Wear England. The college provides various services for people on the autistic spectrum. The college management team is located in the same buildings as the students. It educates young people aged 16–25. It was recognised in a 2010 OFSTED report as having good overall effectiveness.[1]

The College

Opened in 1992, the college has provided a unique educational experience for learners. All learners follow a tailor made curriculum, which is a programme of study and support specifically designed to meet the social, educational and emotional needs of the young adults that study there. Every learner has an Individual Learning Plan specific to their needs, which includes targets that learners refer to during their Record Of Achievement and Development (ROAD) target system; this is no longer used as was scrapped last year (2013) as was not working well.

ESPA aims to provide people with Asperger syndrome and other related disorders with an inclusive education. One aspect of this is protecting students with AS from neurotypical students who would engage in bullying and other forms of abuse, in mainstream environments.

The college is currently going through re-structuring (September 2014) and is currently managed by a team of four people: Lesley Lane is the Chief Executive, Paul Cook is the Principal, Sara Everett is the Deputy Principal( Changing job titles), and Mike Smith is the Admissions, Placements & Transitions Manager. Each site has its own management structure which includes college co-ordinators.

One College, Multiple Sites

ESPA College is split into five sites, named Ashleigh (a Hall of Residence), North Rye, South Hill, Tasker & Westfield (a Hall of Residence). South Hill is located at Cloisters and Tasker is located next door at the Elms, whilst Westfield is located on Mowbray Road opposite Sunderland High School. North Rye is located in Kenton, with Ashleigh being near to Fawdon.

Education and Services for People with Autism

As of 1 October 2008, ESPA College has slightly changed its name to reflect the practices of the colleges. It is now known as Education and Services for People with Autism rather than European Services for People with Autism.


  1. ^ GNN - Government News Network]

External links

  • ESPA College
  • Education & Services for People with Autism
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