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Does anybody have experience of Farleigh Further Education College in Frome (for Aspergers)?

(36 Posts)
countingto10 Sat 08-Nov-08 12:15:52

We are going to an admissions day in December as DS1 is leaving school next year. It is run by the Priory Group. I just wondered if anybody knows it or has a child who attended.


Marne Sat 08-Nov-08 12:20:19

Sorry no real experience but have heard good things about it, it might be worth asking on the sn board.

twoluvlykids Sat 08-Nov-08 12:22:14

work colleagues of mine have visited it and raved about it - completely fantastic, apparently.

countingto10 Sat 08-Nov-08 13:43:21

It's good to hear positive things. We don't have too many options for DS1 (it was the only one recommended to us for him) so lets hope they want him and we get funding smile.

Many thanks for the quick replys.

Candlewax Wed 12-Nov-08 02:13:17

Hi, I have visited Farleigh School and found it to be quite lovely. I have not actually visited the college as my ds is not yet 16. There is another post-16 place you could enquire about run by the Cambrian Group - Grateley House School - as they have a post-16 place there and that is really good by all accounts.

I do know that from year 9 Grateley start to introduce the children to college, one morning a week building up to a day, then two days etc. The children seem very happy with this arrangement.

I have visited Grateley so I can say also that it is a very pleasant environment for a child to be in.

countingto10 Wed 12-Nov-08 17:38:58

Thanks for that Candlewax.  I will make some enquiries about Grateley.My DS has been attending college one day a week with his current school and really enjoys it.

bigfatbump Tue 18-Nov-08 13:22:31

Farleigh FE is great (I have the opportunity to visit lots of SEN schools through work). They offer as much or as little support as needed, and students can start with full support which includes living in a house and havng all food cooked for you, to a hall of residence style arrangement where students budget for, buy and cook their own food. The students go to local collge with a support 'base' on campus which they can use as much or as little as they need. Staff from Farleigh man the base and support in lessons.

Grately is meant to be good too although I don't know it personally. The main difference is that Grately is registered as a school, so LA funded, whereas farleigh FE is LSC funded (and can be hard to get funding agreed iirc).

countingto10 Mon 24-Nov-08 20:39:12

Thanks BFB.  I know funding might be a problem - Connexions recommended Farleigh as did DS1's school.  He has been in "out of county" education throughout his school life.
 Not sure what we are going to do if Farleigh don't want him.  He wants to do animals/horticulture rather than academic based college work.  The nearest agricultural college to us is 2 trains journeys and a bus ride away (it is not the LSC problem/remit to get SN students to college).   I have checked with Farleigh and they do do animals/horticulture so I am keeping my fingers crossed smile.

flyingmum Thu 04-Dec-08 19:43:21

I'm watching this with interest Counting. My chap is in year 9 but wants to do horticulture and countryside management type things. His school at present don't have a 6th form (but it may happen but then again . . .) and they do day release at college. Although he doesn't board at the mo I would like him to once he gets post 16 as I think it would be good for all of us!

countingto10 Sat 06-Dec-08 21:31:09

Had his admissions day yesterday - it went very well and we were very impressed. They are given a one to one helper/assistant that go into the mainstream college with to help and then go back to the residence for independent living skills etc. They come home every other week. They can be at the college for up to 3 years and they are not expected to return to living at home when they have finished!!!!

Like your son flyingmum, my son wants to do animal management/countryside course and Wiltshire college have excellent courses and they are in partnership with Farleigh. If my son gets offered a place (and we get funding), he is likely to be based in Frome. He really enjoyed the day and really liked it there so we are keeping everything crossed grin.

They are extremely knowledgeable about Aspergers and very enthusiastic about what they do there.

Candlewax Mon 08-Dec-08 22:41:57

I hope he gets offered a place countingto10 grin

countingto10 Tue 16-Dec-08 17:45:13

Fantastic news - he's been offered a place!!!

Now to arrange the funding.......

lostsoul2006 Wed 31-Dec-08 16:03:19

Oh my god do not go for this school. They may look ok but they aren't. I begged them for help because I wasn't in control of my behaviour and I was aware of it. I got kicked out for harrasment. And since 2006 my life has been wrecked. They got me sectioned because they even got the police involved. I ended up in a hospital where there was violent people and now I'm in a care home where there is violent people. It wasn't helpful. If you'd like proof. Read my blog entries from 2006 at my website. type assgo in google and you'll find it.

countingto10 Thu 01-Jan-09 21:31:49

Thanks for your post Lostsoul. I have taken some time to look at your blog and, from my understanding, it seems that you would have liked to have returned to Farleigh.

From the admissions day we've been through, it appears that they have put procedures/structures in place so that, hopefully, a situation like yours doesn't arise again.

Best wishes for the future.

lizir Fri 20-Feb-09 19:49:59

Can anyone help us if they have had experience of Aspergers child moving from (small) special school to 6th form in the independent sector? The school we have found is the ONLY one doing the subject combination ds needs and taking into account the campus, facilities etc. we think it is the only way for us to go. However - how do we go about trying to get funding? Anyone know who is the first port of call? Local Parent Partnership says no chance of LEA help so would love to hear if anyone has achieved financial help from them. DS is statemented. Thanks. lizir

countingto10 Sat 21-Feb-09 18:03:46

Hi Lizir,

I know kids from my DS's school have gone to Stanbridge Earls and I think that is an independent school. Their fees are being met by the LEA.

I think it is the usual story, you have to prove no other school can meet his needs and neither can the local colleges.

Because I want my DS to go to Farleigh I have to go through the Learning Skills Council and am also having to prove the local colleges cannot meet his needs etc.

If he is already going to an "out of county" school and the LEA is paying for it, it should be slightly easier IMO.

We've also go to try and carry on getting funding from the LEA for my DS's transport to and from the college.

lizir Mon 23-Feb-09 10:27:46

Hi countingto10 - many thanks for all that. DS back to school tomorrow and then I feel a whole load of paperwork/phoning coming on! lizir

WetAugust Wed 25-Feb-09 21:58:54


My son went to Farleigh College for 3 years to sit GCSEs and A levels. No local FE College could support his needs so Farleigh was the only option. He was residential coming home every weekend although he could have stayed alternative weekends.

They produce fantastic outcomes both educationally and pastorally with a lot of emphasis placed on independence training. They encouraged a full social life with lots of activities. He’s now at Uni studying a Science degree.

Funding was secured from the L&SC council via Connexions and was a doddle compared to getting funding for a placement from the LEA.

Hope you get your funding confirmed soon.

countingto10 Sat 28-Feb-09 20:51:47

Thanks WetAugust.

It's reassuring to hearing you didn't have too much trouble with funding. We went to visit a local college yesterday (which is obviously not suitable) and they are going to put in their report.

I'm very glad your son had such a positive experience - my DS really wants to go there and I'm sure he will benefit from it in the same way as your DS.

It's just the waiting for confirmation of the funding........

WetAugust Sat 28-Feb-09 22:23:38

Hi Counting...

It was Conexions who made the application to the L&SC for funding. We had a specialist SEN Connexions PA rather than the normal Connexions PA. I provided him with all the reports I had accumulated over the years from psychs, school etc and he made a case for submission to the L&SC. We never even had to look around any mainstream FE as even Connexions acknowledged that would not an option.

If you any any difficulties with securing the funsing I suggest you ring Farleigh as they have lots of experience in assisting with this and they know the right people to talk to within Connexions.

Not that you'll have any trouble I hope.

countingto10 Sun 01-Mar-09 08:57:36

Hi again WetAugust,

Thanks for replying. Apparantly the LSC change their criteria quite often and now it is a requirement to visit and prove that local provision is not suitable (someone justifying their job I'm sure hmm). I'm hoping I don't have to jump through too many hoops and Farleigh seem quite confident of funding.

We've got a slight problem whereby my DS goes to school in a different connexions area to where we live so he has been seen and interviewed etc by one, very knowledgeable, lady and I'm having to deal with our local office about the funding and the woman hasn't even met my DS! She doesn't inspire me with confidence and I have told her that I don't feel she is particularly on my side. I also have a social worker who will put in a report as my DS does need a 24 hr curiculum (sp?) as his behaviour does impact on his much younger siblings.

Farleigh are very keen to have my DS(he fits in really well with their "type" of student) - no massive agression issues etc. just severe anxiety and major obsessions (to the exclusion of everything else grin).

Once again, thanks for replying. How well your DS is doing is making me even more determined to secure funding!

countingto10 Thu 09-Jul-09 18:36:09

Just to let everyone know we finally secured the funding for the college last week but only for the year as everything is transferring from the Learning and Skills Council back to the LEA and we will have to apply to them for the following two years' funding (at £70K + a year!!!) - they don't like to make life easy for us.

Anyway DS is very very happy and we are all pleased that he is being given this wonderful opportunity.

erinlondon Sun 15-Jul-12 11:24:16

Hi, Countinto10, I see that it is 3 years since this thread was started , but i am at the start of your journey, our lovely AS son has been accepeted into Farleigh FE Frome for septemeber 12, and I am having anxious times worrying if this is the right place for him and if they will meet a very shy, gentle aspies needs who has never been away from home. Please coud you update how your son got on and if it was a successful placement ?

juanmo1 Sun 09-Mar-14 16:12:28

Hello. I would be very interested to hear any recent views about Farleigh FE College. My son is nearly 17 and currently in a Priory Specialist school for Aspergers and high functioning autism and I hope he will stay there until he's 19. We are considering Farleigh as an option for FE if it seems like the right place and we can get my son to agree to a residential placment... My son is currently having 1-2-1 and finds even that very challenging as he has vicious circle of very high levels of anxiety and challenging sensory issues.. He will not leave the house apart from to go to school (brilliant he wants to go to school!!)... I'd be very interested to hear anyone's views. Thanks!!

Damselflyblue Sat 30-Aug-14 02:01:47

Hi juanmo1
my son has just started at Farleigh and has a very similar personality/profile/history to your son. I'll let you know!

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