Adrian Sugden
Adrian Sugden

New principal for Henshaws


A North Yorkshire college which caters for students with specialist educational needs and disabilities has appointed a new Principal.

Adrian Sugden has extensive experience in specialist education and has worked across the north, including Bradford, Nottinghamshire and Darlington, with young people with a range of special needs and disabilities, including autism and Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs.

He has been part of Leadership Teams for the last 14 years and Headteacher or Principal in his last three organisations, successfully leading schools to improve their rating from Requires Improvement to Good.

Adrian, who lives in Leeds, also has a son with autism so has a particular insight into the needs of autistic students, for whom Henshaws has specialist provision.

Adrian said:

The College is amazing and is a fantastic resource. I am very excited about the prospects for the future and am determined to continue making improvements for the benefit of our students and their journey to increased independence.

The College, which briefly had to suspend provision for a small number of students last year to ensure their care needs were met, has also appointed a new Head of Care, Rosie Stapylton. Rosie, who has worked in the care sector for more than 20 years, has extensive experience of supporting people with complex physical needs and learning difficulties.

Henshaws Ofsted inspection took place in November. Ofsted assesses education across a range of criteria, including effectiveness of leadership and management; provision for learners with high needs; quality of teaching, learning and assessment; personal development, behaviour and welfare; and outcomes for learners.

The latest Ofsted report describes the College as “a good provider”, where “governors, leaders and managers have high aspirations for their students” and “staff work in partnership with parents and carers very effectively to support students to make good progress”.

It stated that all staff worked together to instil a culture of inclusiveness at the college and promoted tolerance and respect very effectively “Students benefit from a very good range of therapeutic services.” “The therapy is well planned to ensure that students are supported in the most appropriate way to make progress.” Staff had good links with employers which meant that all students on supported internships and employability programmes could access high-quality work placements.

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