About us

“Students’ self- esteem and confidence is boosted very effectively through the supportive and encouraging environment”

(Frank Price, March 2016)

we, us

“Student’s behaviour in the centre is excellent”

(Frank Price, March 2016)

The Willow Tree Centre provides a safe and stimulating working environment for learners and all staff ensure students experience a rich and exciting curriculum tailored to their specific needs. Staff ensure a multi- sensory approach to learning, they provide a Total Communication Environment to facilitate communication for all, and they follow strategies as outlined in individual student Behaviour Support plans or ASD plans. Students are encouraged to be as independent as possible in their learning by establishing routines and schedules. They are empowered in their learning through the negotiation of an individual success criteria, adapted to each student’s level of understanding.

We believe that the most important factor in the development of students is the relationships between staff and student.  Therefore students are always spoken to with respect.  All students are consistently treated with respect and dignity. Students are praised and encouraged for good behaviour, real effort and for making positive choices. This is always modelled by staff interactions.

The Willow Tree Centre opened in September 2015 and previous to this students were educated at The Bridge Special School. The transition for the students was very successful due to the bespoke design of the building alongside the employment of familiar staff from The Bridge School. The Local Authority commissioned a staffing structure to include a Head, Deputy Head, Learning Facilitators and Learning Support Assistants (LSAs). All staff receive extensive specialist training prior to undertaking their roles to ensure they can meet the individual needs of learners. Specific training includes; MAPA, Manual Handling, Risk of Aspiration/ Dysphagia, Makaton, Level 2 Food Safety, AAC, PECS and TEACCH. Statutory training is also undertaken by all staff e.g. PREVENT, Safeguarding etc. Additional training is undertaken by identified staff (Specialist Learning Facilitator) to safely administer medication as appropriate to student need and provide emergency first aid. All training is refreshed as appropriate. 

The students are taught in small classes with a high staff/student ratio. They are taught in a whole class, small groups or one to one contexts as appropriate to individual needs and the curriculum.  The Willow Tree was designed to include additional bespoke classrooms which provide a highly specialised and personalised approach for some learners in response to their needs. Specialist resources/ approaches are used in these classrooms and the staff have consistent access to members of the Management Team throughout the college day.

For more information contact:email address 04

Head of Willow Tree Centre – Sarah Jones

Contact 01952 642325
Mobile 07920 007726
email: sarah.jones@tcat.ac.uk