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Local Offer

Hugh Baird - Thornton College

The College is a specialist centre for Liverpool City Region-based students (16+) with learning disabilities and levels of vulnerability that require them to undertake their further education in a supportive environment.

It is a partnership between Sefton Local Authority and Hugh Baird College and provides education and life-enhancing skills development for students who could not access further education in a mainstream environment.

The majority of our students progressed to Thornton from the main SEN schools in Sefton and we work closely with these schools to ensure that we get to know the students before they start at the College. The staff are all experienced, specialist teachers and support teams and we provide a welcoming, supportive and adult environment. At Thornton College, the intention is that all students have a sense of belonging in a challenging and forward-thinking setting.

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What will I learn?

At Thornton College, we actively promote student self-confidence through participation in timetabled classes and a variety of extra-curricular activities. We have excellent facilities:  a multimedia room, a horticulture area, a kitchen, a small hall for indoor sports and drama and even a small apartment which will help you learn to live as independently as possible. Your classes will include:

  • Maths for everyday life – including managing money, time and measuring
  • Reading, Speaking, Writing and Listening
  • Art
  • Drama
  • Home Management
  • Everyday Living Skills – including being out-and-about in the community
  • Work Skills
  • Enterprise

And these are all individually tailored to help you achieve a qualification in Life Skills.

All students will stay at Thornton for between 1 and 3 years – depending on their needs – and you will have the chance to enjoy supported work placements and visits to other colleges, if this is a possible opportunity  that might suit you when you leave.

What support will I get?

We recognise that all of our students learn in different ways and our classes and teaching reflect this through delivering imaginative and innovative lessons.

The teaching staff work closely with our experienced and qualified support teams. All our classes have timetabled support workers and the team of Care Assistants are also there to help with any social and personal care support that you need. From application, we work with your school so that all your support needs will be met at Thornton and we work alongside other support agencies to make sure that will be happy and progress at the College.

What days of the week will I attend?

You will have a similar week to your school and attend Monday to Friday from 9 – 3.30pm. A typical day will be:

  • 8.50am: Arrival at College
  • 9 – 12pm: Morning lessons (with a break at 10.30 – 10.50)
  • 12 – 12.45pm: Lunch
  • 12.45 – 1.30pm: Enrichment Activities
  • 1.30 – 3.30pm: Afternoon lessons (with a break from 2.30 – 2.45)
  • 3.30pm: Home time!

How do I apply?

In the first instance, all potential students are referred to Thornton by agreement with their school. If you think Thornton is for you, please speak to your head of year or head teacher at your school. They will discuss possible opportunities and help you to complete the application form.

Who to contact

Contact Name
College Administrator
0151 934 4811

Where to go

Thornton College
Edge Lane
L23 4TF

Local Offer

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?

All students attending Thornton College have an Education, Health and Care Plan. This indicates that they have already been assessed and outcomes for progression identified.

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

Once we are made aware that your child/young person is interested in attending Thornton College we will invite you to visit us and speak to staff. If your child/young person is allocated a place at the college, we will work closely with their present setting to arrange a smooth transition.

We will use all the information identified in the young person’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC), to ensure that all their needs are met. We offer small group sizes with a team of experienced and skilled lecturers and support staff to ensure that the support we offer meets the needs of each individual student both in the classroom and beyond.

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

The curriculum offer will be dependent on the outcomes identified in each students’ Education, Health and Care plan and their aspirations for the future. We offer an individualised curriculum to suit each learner. Our offer will focus on developing independent learning, life skills and preparing for adulthood. Where appropriate, learners will spend time on work placement.

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?

Each student is monitored closely with regular reviews to assess progress against the targets set. We have two Parents Evenings each year and EHC review meetings are held annually. We welcome regular contact with parents/carers and are available to discuss the progress of your young person at any time.

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

Thornton College focuses on the overall wellbeing and progress of each learner. We have close links with Hugh Baird college and access all the support services on offer. All of our student have a designated pastoral tutor who will meet with them daily. Throughout the year, we invite in health and well-being specialists to offer sessions which enhance our provision.

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

A speech and language therapist is on site weekly and we also provide support from Autism Initiatives and NHS physiotherapists.



What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND have had or are having?

All staff are experienced and undertaken regular training. This includes First Aid, Administration of Medicine, Health and Safety, Safeguarding, Prevent, Moving and Handling, Makaton, Autism Awareness and Makaton.

Our Speech and Language Therapist provides regular training, throughout the year, to enable all staff to promote communication skills with all students.

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

We provide regular trips and visits to the local community and beyond. This includes visits to museums, parks and other places of interest. All students visit local shops and cafes on a weekly basis.

Our team of support staff will ensure that all of our students are able to take part in sessions that take place outside of the classroom.

How accessible is the setting/school/college enviroment

Our inside and outside environment is accessible and we have purpose built bathrooms/restrooms on each floor for students who have mobility difficulties.

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

We liaise closely with local Further Education Colleges and arrange visits to them throughout the year. If your young person decides that they are going to join one of these, we will support a smooth transition period. We also have links with local social care providers and will provide transition visits to them if necessary. At EHC review meetings, we will establish the aspirations of your young person and ensure that we provide the necessary curriculum and opportunities for them to achieve their goals and provide the necessary transition process.

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

We will use the outcomes identified in the EHC, and regular reviews, to guide how we allocate our resources.


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

Once it has been confirmed that your young person is joining Thornton college, we will liaise with their current setting and review the information in their EHC Plan to decide the best possible pathway for them. This will include the amount of support needed in and out of class and any specialist resources which may be necessary.

How are parents involved in he setting/school/college? How can I be involved?

We have two Parents Evenings each year, and you will of course be invited to the EHC annual review. We also hold a number of events to which family and friends are invited. Parents/carers are welcome to contact college at any time.