Frequently asked questions

Young person practicing his physiotherapy on an exercise ballWho are we?

We are WESC Foundation – formerly the West of England School and College for young people with little or no sight. We offer education and support for young people from the age of 4 to 25 who are visually impaired and may have other complex needs.

What’s our history?

We’ve been providing education and care for young people with visual impairment since 1838.

Where are we?

WESC Foundation campus is situated on a large site on the edge of Exeter and offers a safe and pleasant learning environment as well as access to all the facilities and amenities of a large city.

What do we do?

WESC Foundation is a regional centre for young people with little or no sight, many of whom have other needs.

We pride ourselves on our specialist provision delivered by experienced professionals who work collaboratively to provide education, health, care, therapy and mobility/habilitation training to ensure that our learners receive the highest quality services and provision.

What kind of services do we provide?

  • The school for children from 4-16 years of age
  • The college for learners from 16-25 years of age
  • Outreach and advisory services for visual impairment
  • Training in Visual Impairment and Special Needs
  • Training for learning disabilities and sensory impairment
  • Workforce development and research

What kind of learners come to WESC Foundation?

We provide a personalised curriculum for each learner which is designed to meet their individual learning and care needs and to encourage them to thrive and achieve in a supportive environment. Our aim is to develop young people’s independence so that they can achieve academically and socially whatever their ability.

Some young people attending the WESC Foundation have severe and complex needs as well as visual impairment.

What is the reputation of the WESC school and college?

The WESC Foundation has an outstanding reputation for meeting the needs of young people with sight loss.

This has been gained in recognition of the highly specialised and personalised learning we provide linked to opportunities for wider and challenging experiences which develop life skills for independence. We work in partnership with local mainstream and other special schools to ensure varied learning experiences and to share best practice with other professionals.

Teaching, care, mobility, therapy and nursing staff work collaboratively to provide a holistic and extended curriculum to meet the needs of each and every young person.

What skills and experience do the staff have?

All of our staff are dedicated professionals with specialist skills in teaching, care, therapy and nursing. Staff work collaboratively to provide a holistic and extended curriculum to meet the needs of each and every young person in our care.

What other services do we provide?

Among other things we provide:

  • family support group
  • primary department
  • secondary department
  • wide range of nationally accredited qualifications from GCSE, ‘A’ Level to Unit Awards in partnership with mainstream colleges
  • high staff:pupil ratio
  • qualified teachers of the visually and multi-sensory impaired
  • specialist professionals in speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, music therapy, mobility, qualified nurses and care staff.
  • access technology including the latest aids for learning for both print and Braille users
  • specialist sensory environments
  • swimming and hydro-pool
  • outdoor education
  • community involvement
  • day and residential placements in an excellent recreational setting.

How do we involve parents and partners?

The full involvement of parents with their children’s learning, care and progress is highly valued and taken very seriously by all staff at the WESC Foundation as are the views of all key stakeholders. We hold regular meetings with parents and carers which helps them to be:

  • fully involved in the key developments taking place within the school and college
  • be full participants in the expression of opinions which contribute to these developments
  • provide a network by which parents, partners and staff can work collaboratively on projects which can improve and develop provision at the school and college.