St. John’s College

Providing skills and qualifications that will contribute to a fulfilling and purposeful life.

St. John’s College

Providing skills & qualifications that will contribute to a fulfilling & purposeful life.

Based in Brighton, St. John’s College offers autistic young people (16-25 years), specialist education and expertise to help them gain the knowledge and skills they need to achieve significant life enhancing outcomes.

We aim to provide a stimulating learning environment that promotes the development of personal interests and abilities and prepares our young people for greater independence and autonomy over their future lives.

Using a range of well-equipped on-site facilities and by accessing our vibrant local community, learning is made fun, relevant and progressive. Our young adults are encouraged to follow their passions and/or to try new learning activities so that aspirations for the future are sculptured and realized.

A specialist multidisciplinary team of staff, who offer a range of expertise and experience, support learners throughout their placement with us, and work hard to meet individual’s needs, guiding them toward the right future for them.

At St. John’s College, young people will:

  • have an individualised study programme comprising of English, mathematics, vocational learning and community work placements
  • receive high-quality teaching and learning and assessment by a team of teachers with subject specialisms
  • be supported by experienced keyworkers, in education and residential settings
  • achieve learning outcomes under five key learning areas: wellbeing, communication, skills, independence and employability
  • make progress and achievement towards their individual EHCP outcomes
  • work towards and achieve relevant qualifications at various levels from Entry Level 1 all the way through to Level 2 in English and Maths, vocational subjects such as: horticulture, catering, performing arts, IT & creative media, PSHE, Life Skills, enterprise, supported employment and personal progress
  • supported to access qualifications at local mainstream colleges, where appropriate
  • undertake functional skills learning (Maths, English, IT and Communication) embedded throughout all learning activities
  • receive indirect and direct support for learning from a range of therapists including occupational, speech and language, physiotherapist, psychology and behaviour assistants, and medical staff
  • access to a safe and inclusive community that aims to exemplify British Values; democracy; the rule of law; individual liberty; respect for all and tolerance of those who are different
  • have individual progress tracked and recorded in order to reflect and celebrate learning achievements that can be shared with parents and carers and presented at Annual Reviews
  • have access to a variety of professional learning environments that reflect learner needs including: onsite café, deli preparation kitchen, professional theatre, music and recording studio, dedicated area to develop life skills, practical enterprise workshop, outdoor sports facilities including all-weather playing area, hard court area for basketball, tennis, bike riding and outdoor fitness gym equipment
  • have access to a comprehensive range of work experience placement in and around the city of Brighton which is responsive to young peoples’ interests, talents, and work aspirations
  • be given information advice and guidance throughout their placement to support their decision making and planning of their future destinations.

Maths, English and ICT

English and Maths are at the heart of everything that we do at St. John’s College.

Our functional skills team deliver bespoke small group sessions tailored to an individual’s needs, EHCP outcomes, and focused on overcoming barriers. English and Maths levels of students are assessed prior to starting at the college and all young people work towards English and Maths qualifications. ICT is delivered in a functional and embedded manner across the curriculum.

How it works

Achievement continuum

Young people at St. John’s College have a wide range of abilities and skills and are assessed on the achievement continuum, at entry levels, and at levels 1–2.

Qualifications range from awards and certificates in personal progress, entry level functional skills qualifications up to level 2 and GCSEs. Generally, learners progress from one level to another every year/year and a half.

Functional skills

Our functional skills team set an English and a Maths target every half term for each individual to work on throughout the curriculum, in the community, in the workplace, and in our residential placements.

All education, therapy and care staff document and monitor progress in English and Maths on .

Evisense is our online digital portfolio, which enables staff, students and parents to celebrate progress, share good practice, communicate around support strategies and plan the next steps.

English and Maths calendar

We have a college-wide English and Maths calendar, where staff are asked to focus in on one or two areas each week.

All staff promote the themes in a fun and creative way, embedding them in sessions and as they move around the college. This supports young people to transfer their skills between different sessions and into different areas of their lives.


If you are interested in a placement at St. John’s, please contact our Admissions Team.

Young person profile

St. John’s offers an inclusive environment for young people whose learning, social, emotional and/or communication difficulties are sometimes too complex for many mainstream educational settings to support.

Many children and young people at St. John’s have complex diagnoses – their needs do not always fit into a single or simple diagnosis. Therefore, all children & young people are individually assessed, and their programmes individually designed to meet their specific needs. We support a wide range of young people with additional and specific needs.

We support young people from 16-25 who:

  • find communication and interaction difficult
  • have complex behaviours
  • struggle with their social and emotional functioning
  • may require personalised community-based programmes of study.

In addition, some of our young people are also managing issues around gender and sexual identity and we have considerable experience in supporting them to these understand issues.

Alongside autism, some have a hearing and/or visual impairment.

Some require residential provision up to, and including, 52-week provision.