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Sunderland College

Sunderland College provides a wide range of academic and vocational courses for school leavers and adults ranging from Foundation Learning, BTEC to A-Level's.  The college offers a range of higher education qualifications, some in partnership with Universities of Sunderland and Teeside.

Sunderland College also offer Apprenticeships and information is available from the Apprenticeship Team on 0191 511 6000 or email

Sunderland College is dispersed over the city by four campuses:

  • Bede Campus, Durham Road, Sunderland SR3 4AH
  • Hylton Campus, North Hylton Road, Sunderland SR5 5DB
  • Washington Campus, Stone Cellar Road, Washington NE37 2NH
  • St Peter's Campus, Charles Street, Sunderland SR6 0AH

Criteria for access
Sunderland College welcomes learners who have a disability and / or learning difficulty and will ensure, in line with its commitment to the Equality Duty under the Equality Act 2010 and the new (Special Educational Needs) Code of Practice 2014, that there is suitable access and appropriate and adequate support for individual students where necessary.

Many students need additional help so they can succeed in their chosen courses of study.

In many cases under the new Code of Practice, recommendations for support strategies will be outlined in Individual (0-25yrs) Education and Health Care Plans (EHCPs).  The college working in partnership with relevant agencies (e.g. Local Authorities) is proud to fulfil its statutory duties to make extra provision for those individuals with more complex learning needs and disabilities.

Sunderland College is therefore committed to developing a unique learning plan for all of its learners in order that each individual gets the most out of their college experience.

Universal services
Sunderland college is a universal service but entry requirements and criteria apply for come courses and applicants are advised to contact the college directly.

Targeted services
Sunderland College offers a Foundation Learning Programme which is a flexible learning programme designed around your needs.  The College will plan your learning and give you the support you need to gain the skills and qualifications you need to progress to your identified positive destination.  This could be a Level 1 or Level 2 vocational course, an Apprenticeship or Internship or to gain employment.

The Foundation Study Programme is made up of the following elements:

  • Personal Social Development
  • Functional Maths, Functional English and Functional ICT
  • A range of vocational choices at Entry 2, Entry 3 or Level 1 including Catering, ICT, Recycling, Motor Vehicle, Retail, Looking After Children, Looking after the Elderly, Land and Environment, Enterprise and Starting Your Own Business

Some students will also follow a programme designed to develop the following:

  • Communication Skills
  • Independent Living skills
  • Volunteering skills
  • Peer Mentoring skills
  • Community Awareness and Travel Training

Teaching groups are small in order to ensure all students receive appropriate levels of support in the classroom.  Where there is an identified support need, Learning Mentors will work alongside teaching staff and support students both in and out of the classroom.

We also work closely with Connexions, The Future's Team and a range of employers in order to prepare students for employment after college.

Specialist services - The College Learning Support Service

Under the co-ordination of the college Learning Support Service a range of specialist support is also available for students with more complex support needs including those with:

  • Learning Difficulties and / or Disabilities
  • Physical Difficulties and / or Mobility problems
  • Medical Conditions
  • Sensory Impairments
  • Specific Learning Difficulties (e.g. Dyslexia, Mental Health, Autism Spectrum, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties

The Learning Support Service will continue to collate information on disability and / or learning difficulties via EHCPs or from individual learner declarations and distribute relevant information accordingly and within an appropriate timescale for adjustments to be made.

All full time and part time students are entitled to (additional) learning support and there is a wide range of specialist support available including:

  • Access arrangements for exams
  • Learning Mentor support
  • Personal Care
  • Teaching materials in alternative formats (E.g. Braille, large print, audio, coloured overlays, specialist software
  • Support from Communicators / Readers
  • Help with access and mobility
  • Educational Psychology
  • Specialist tutorial
  • Group support in class
  • 1 : 1 support outside of classroom
  • Independent travel training.

Who to contact

0191 511 6000

Where to go

Sunderland College
Bede Campus
Durham Road

Local Offer


Sunderland College caters for young people with identified learning difficulties and or disabilities from the age of 16 with an Education Health and Care Plan.

For details of what Sunderland College can offer young people can be found in the SEND Information Report.  An extract of that information is below:  

The transition into college can start in their last academic year at school; this could be either year 11 or year 13.

Once an application has been made, the young person would be invited to attend an admission interview to discuss their chosen course of study; their current support need; and enable them to see the facilities on offer to further ifnorm their choices. 

Parents and carers are always welcome to visit Sunderland College before making a decision about a placement. Once a placement is agreed, the college staff will work with you to support your child in this transition period.

For those young people who require a more focused transition, e.g. young people with more complex medical needs, college staff would link with school staff to gather additional supporting information on both the academic and support needs of the young person. The information gathered would lead to an individualised and comprehensive transition plan.


The curriculum and students' timetable will be individualised to the needs and abilities of the young person.  Students will be given appropriate support in order that they experience success and feel safe.

Teaching staff will use a range of creative teaching strategies to engage all students in all areas of the curriculum.  Students follow a programme that enables them to achieve qualifications where appropriate for the work they are able to produce.  For those learners with an EHCP programmes can also be non-accredited and specifically produced to develop and progress identified skills.

Specialist resources, services and expertise

Under the co-ordination of the College Learning Support service a range of specialist support is available for students with more complex support needs.

All students are entitled to (additional) learning support and there is a wide range of specialist support available.

Depending on the need of the individual student, Sunderland College has access to a wide variety of services.

All students have a personalised curriculum offer which gives them access to a broad and balanced curriculum with access to specialists such as Speech Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist. Together with a range of other professionals each of these teams work closely with our learning support staff to ensure the progammes they develop meet the needs of your child.


Contact Name
Michael Hall - Head of Learning Support
Claire Daly - Curriculum Manager, Directions Provision
Contact Telephone
0191 511 6000
Sunderland College SEN Local Offer
Local Offer Age Bands
16-18 (Transition into Adulthood)
18-25 (Young Adults)
SEN Provision Type
Sunderland City Council and Together for Children Sunderland do not recommend or endorse any providers or services listed. Please read our full Disclaimer here.
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