In 2017, the Government invited Local Authorities to make a case for the building of a new Special Needs School in their area. This was a highly competitive process and only a small number of proposals were approved. One of the successful applications was from Herefordshire for the building of a new 16-19 Special Needs College that would provide the highest quality of teaching and learning, support students in other mainstream settings and be a resource hub for staff working with children and families with SEND. In addition, the new college would offer high quality information and guidance, provide an inclusive community facility outside school hours and enable internship and work experiences.

The next step for Herefordshire was to identify an organisation that would turn this high quality, ambitious vision into a reality. The selection process, carried out jointly with the government, chose Barrs Court to run the new college. Barrs Court already ensures that its students get an “outstanding quality of education” (OFSTED 2011,2016,2019) and this decision means that they would get an environment to match the quality of teaching.


Barrs Court will ensure that Beacon College provides an outstanding quality of education, in a state-of-the-art building

Together with Herefordshire LA, Barrs Court will ensure that The Beacon College becomes a key part of the County’s strategy, as a centre of excellence and focal point for the SEND community. Students will achieve maximum personal independence and active community participation. 


Broadlands Primary School on Prospect Walk, Hereford was closed in 2015 and moved to remodelled buildings on the neighbouring high school site. The primary school buildings were very poor quality and expensive to repair, maintain and run and, since 2015, the site has been “mothballed”. This site’s closeness to the county’s 3 colleges and a high school was ideal from an educational point of view. It was also good from a practical point of view as it was already owned by the council and as it was previously used as a school it had “education use” as a planning designation. This meant that work on the new building project could start with far fewer delays than elsewhere.

More details including a fly-through – The Beacon College | Barrs Court Special School and College (