What we offer

We offer a range of imaginative teaching strategies and flexible learning options to meet the unique needs of students with autism.

Full and part-time day places.

Learners may study for up to 3 years across all three college sites. The programme starts in September and follows a 38-week academic year.

Full and part-time residential places.

We also offer 38, 50 and 52-week residential placements and specific respite placements. We can be flexible with start dates depending on each individual’s circumstances

Specialist Traineeships.

We offer a bespoke 2-year pre-vocational training programme delivered by autism specialists. This unique scheme offers combined practical work experience with essential employability skills to better prepare trainees for future employment. All of the learning and training activities are presently based around the award winning Autism4Heroes performing arts projects however we are planning towards developing different traineeship models based on individual learners’ skills and aspirations.

Partnership Placements.

We can also work in parntership with other agencies such as General Further Education Colleges; each partner delivers their specialism facilitating a bespoke programme that meets all learning needs.

University Support Programme.

ESPA has successfully supported former students to make the transition into higher education with continued support from ESPA College staff. We also have a formal arrangement in place with Sunderland University to provide Mentoring and Note-taking support to some of their students with a diagnosis of ASC. Our highly skilled and experienced staff help them to navigate their way through this exciting, yet demanding experience. We are able to provide our autism specific support in any North East University through the College or Domiciliary Support Agency.

Social and vocational placements.

These bespoke placements are generally funded by Social Services and are designed for students who would benefit from developing their personal, social and employability skills.


Some students can be offered planned or emergency respite during holiday periods.

We can also develop additional tailored, innovative and person-centered packages of learning and support designed to meet the specific educational or social needs of specific individuals.

View our Prospectus


See our Ofsted report


Outstanding procedures for safeguarding
Partnership working is outstanding
Care, Guidance and Support are outstanding
Charity Commission Care Quality Commission Ofsted Positive About Disabled People Investors In People Mindful Employer