|6-7 The Cloisters
Sunderland, GBR, SR2 7BD,
|Average class size||5|
|Student to teacher ratio||3:1|
|Hours in school day||7|
ESPA College is part of European Services for People with Autism in Tyne and Wear England. The college provides various services for people on the autistic spectrum. However, the college management team is based in a separate building to that of the company, clearly established that they are in many ways a differing service. It educates young people aged 16–18. It was recognised in a 2002 OFSTED report as providing a "good, targeted curriculum for the autistic".
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 used twice per week, once to set the target, and once to review.
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 managed by a lead team of four people: Chris Pickup is the Acting Principal, Sara Everett is the Deputy Principal, Patrick Cahill is the Quality Manager, and Mike Smith is the Admissions, Placements & Transitions Manager. Pauline Shannon is the College Manager for Tasker/Westfield, which is also regarded as a senior role within the college. Each site has its own management structure which will include a site co-ordinator & duty management team.
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 close to Grangetown, whilst Westfield & Tasker are located just outside of Sunderland city centre. 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.