Our Outreach & Personalised Learning Service (OPLS) forms part of the graduated model of provision at Highfields to ensure all students receive a regular education. The provision of teaching and support via OPL S serves as a ‘last resort’ measure for a very small minority of primarily KS4 students who are not accessing education. The broad criteria for students to be placed with OPLS is as follows:

  • Children with entrenched inactivity – <20% attendance over 3 months as rule of thumb
  • Children with the most complex mental health needs, as evidenced by specialists
  • Children under threat / serious risk if attending elsewhere, as evidence by specialists

The placing of students on this programme is only made where there is substantial legal and/or specialist medical evidence that the student will not be able to engage regularly in education within the main site – the placement is only made with agreement of parent/carer.

The contacts for this area are:

  • Mrs Jones, Director of Outreach – sarah.jones@highfieldscollege.org.uk
  • Mr Biggar, Assistant Director of Teaching & Learning – adam.biggar@highfieldscollege.org.uk
  • Mr Knott, Assistant Director of Teaching & Learning – jonathan.knott@highfieldscollege.org.uk
  • Mrs Devine-Hayes, Designated Mental Health Lead – kelly.devine-hayes@highfieldscollege.org.uk


The aims of area are as follows:

  • Provide intensive 1-to-1 teaching / access to education for students who have persistent non-attendance and/or repeated episodes of high-agitation and conflict within the main building.
  • Provide a time-limited intervention of ‘focused respite’ in terms of breaking cycles of conflict, often rooted in high-anxiety and fight responses – particularly where this cycle is currently entrenched and exacerbated by negative peer groups.
  • Formulate a programme of mentoring that will make inroads into a young person’s perspective of themselves, others and the value of learning.
  • Provide the opportunity for our most disengaged students to have regular contact with a school professional with expertise in SEMH – allowing for their welfare to be regularly monitored and where necessary, for the referral on to other agencies.
  • Establish / re-establish working relationships between staff at Highfields and the young person.
  • Establish / re-establish working relationships between school professionals, family and any outside agencies.
  • Provide an alternative educational environment that will likely lead to more successful outcomes in terms of a young person’s welfare, continuity of experience of education and the achievement of some qualifications rather than no qualifications.
  • Provide a regular contact with Highfields staff who can assist with research, correspondence and decisions around careers.

Please visit here for the vision statement.


Outreach refers to the educational provision provided where the teacher / mentor goes out to the local community of the student to meet them to undertake learning activities. Personalised Learning refers to the programmes offered. Our Personalised Learning Centres are where students struggling to access the main site attend for sessions. The Outreach and Personalised Learning Service at Highfields College is funded at a much higher-level per student in order to reach those students and families who are most struggling to access and engage with education.

The Personalised Learning Centre is two connected classrooms where we teach English, Maths, Science, PSHCE and Careers to KS4 students =- students are generally taught 1-to-1, in pairs and in small groups. A number of teachers work here, some permanently deployed and some visiting from the main site.

How? When? Where?

Students are referred into the Outreach & Personalised Learning Service via an internal referral form. From there, a 1-to-1 programme of delivery is devised by Mrs Jones and Mr Biggar in agreement with the student, parent/carer and any other involved parties. This agreement is based on the following principles:

  • Teaching and other support will take place in one of our Personalised Learning Centres in the town centre or in a safe, CCTV-monitored, public building within the locality of the student’s home (this will usually be a library or café). Prior agreement will have been made with the managers of the building for this to take place.
  • The student, parent/carer and school will sign a ‘working agreement’ outlining expectations, acceptable conduct and commitments.
  • The student will meet for a regular slot for an agreed amount of sessions each week. This will not be full-time as this is a resource-limited facility given the much higher costs of teaching 1-to-1 compared to group teaching (between 4 – 8 times the cost of an average Highfields College teaching group).
  • The focus will be on English and Maths in the first instance, with each student’s curriculum offer built-up from there.
  • A log will be kept of all sessions.
  • Where the working agreement is being repeatedly broken / not fulfilled, this will be referred to the Directors / SLT and any regularly involved agency – an education planning meeting will be called to review to the provision in place. Highfields reserves the right to withdraw this provision at this point.
  • All students on this placement have a ‘build up’ plan to extend their time in education.

The students follow a specific curriculum which is outlined here: Curriculum Overview 23 – 24 – Outreach & Personalised Learning

More detailed summaries of schemes of work for KS4 can be accessed here: Subject Summaries.