Older students benefit greatly from the extensive and considered vocational opportunities the school provides.

Ofsted Education inspection report, May 2022

Vocational Learning focuses on preparing young people for the world of work. Young people focus on learning vocational skills in different areas such as housekeeping and land-based, depending on their individual skills and interests. The focus here is on learning the skills and then being able to apply them into work experiences and placements both on and off-site. 

Our Vocational Skills Area of Learning contains two key programmes of skill acquisition, each focused on employment sectors, in which young people develop skills and experiences based on their pre-existing skillsets and interests. Young people can access different sub-programmes of each of the two programmes. A team of specialist staff ensure all young people access a range of experiences, on-site and off-site, to practice and develop their skills.

These programmes of learning are:


  • Orchard
  • Ground maintenance
  • Grounds gardening
  • Plant nursery


  • Customer service including reception and retail
  • Housekeeping including commercial laundry
  • Conference services including room set up and porterage
  • Food and beverage incorporating our bakery, a café and barista training

Under each programme of learning there are skills to be learnt. These are selected based on the individual’s level of understanding and what is achievable for them. To support the learning, skill steps are used by the staff team to offer a consistent approach.

All young people regardless of which vocational pathway they follow will also be taught Readiness to Work skills to prepare them for entering the world of work. These are skills such as manual handling, wearing PPE, focus and productivity among other topics.

For more details about vocational skills, see pages 10-11 of our prospectus

For example:

Area of learning: Vocational Learning

Programme of learning: Hospitality - Food & Beverage

Learning focus: Weigh ingredients

I can statement: I can cooperate to follow recipes and add premeasured ingredients to the dough mixPriors Court Learning Framework Pyramid

Why vocational skills learning is important

Only 32% of autistic adults in the UK are in any kind of paid employment, despite over 80% stating a clear wish to work. Just 16% are in full-time employment, and for autistic young people with complex needs, the current expectation is that they will never enter the world of work.

This significantly reduces their independence, increasing the risk of social exclusion and mental and physical ill-health. We want to change the employment outlook for autistic young people.

Find out more about our curriculum

To find out more about what young people learn at Prior's Court, please contact Annette Robinson, Education and Care PA.

Email Annette See all areas of learning See our policies and key documents