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Staffordshire County Council services

Castles Education

What we do?

Our vocational/alternative provision programme was devised due to a number of school-based enquiries.  We insist that all students attending our programmes commit to and are entered for a minimum of English and maths GCSE. It is an expectation that depending upon need and desired outcomes that all our students complete a science GCSE and functional skills English and maths. We have been successful in offering additional recognised qualifications in food hygiene (as we like our students to prepare their own lunches) and work based learning which covers health and safety compliance etc. Furthermore we encourage all our students to be active and healthy by joining in a weekly physical activity, and engaging in elements of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme. As our courses can be delivered by Castles or on behalf of a Local Authority or school we can offer both part and full time provision.

Work-based learning forms a huge part of our offer. All students are interviewed prior to commencement to allow us the opportunity to ascertain interests and likely post 16 destinations. Work placements are arranged by our staff, monitored and checked to ensure insurance and safeguarding compliance. The placements are bespoke and can be offered to students for one, two or three days per week.

We also provide tutors for students struggling to engage in a traditional school curriculum. Out tutors are comfortable working on a 1:1 basis delivering a variety of subjects to GCSE or other qualification status.

Both our vocational/alternative programme and tutoring are bespoke to students and schools and can be offered in isolation or as a combination.

Who can use your service?

Pupils struggling to engage with the curriculum and pupils at risk of exclusion.

Age range/key stages covered:

Our courses are predominantly offered to pupils in Key Stage 4.  However, we have had significant success with pupils at Key Stage 3.  Work placements can be arranged for any student of fourteen years and above.  We are happy to provide tutors to both Key Stage 3 and 4 students where deemed appropriate.

Are there any costs?

Costs vary dependent upon requirement.

How do we refer?

As we offer our provision on behalf of schools and local authorities, we are happy to accept referrals of students who have been allocated Education Health and Care plans. As with all students referred, the induction process is robust and thorough. It is crucial that the family school and ourselves are confident in the provision that we provide is suitable and can provide the desired outcomes. After scrutinising the referral documentation, we insist on a face-to-face meeting with all students, families and the school to discuss the make-up of a bespoke programme.  

What happens when I become an adult?

A post-16 pathway must be agreed and arranged for all students that are in our care. Castles staff are happy to accompany students to college interviews and assist in the production of high quality academic and vocational portfolios. As many of our courses, include a vocational and extra-curricular element we are able to significantly supplement post 16 applications and portfolios.

How do I find out more? 

For further information please email  or call 0161 914 9185 and ask for James Tipping.

You can also visit our website.


We are on Staffordshire County Council's list of alternative providers for part-time alternative provision and tutoring. 

Who to contact

Contact Name
James Tipping
0161 914 9185
Castles Education website

Other Details


Referral Details


Other notes


Local Offer

Needs Level
SEN Provision Type
Last updated: 13 Mar 2019
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