About The Summit Centre

The Summit Centre is an award-winning alternative provision centre based at Queen Elizabeth’s Academy, separate from the main academy. Students access the Summit when they have been referred by their school or local authority (LA), primarily because they are out of education due to illness, exclusion or other reasons. Places at The Summit are directly commissioned in this way rather than through applications by parents and carers – most students will remain on roll at their mainstream school and the school/LA will organise their provision for their time at the Summit.

The primary aim of the Summit is to provide support and education for students who have disengaged from mainstream education due to a number of factors, including social, mental health or behavioural issues.

The centre provides a well-rounded education, providing students opportunities to gain qualifications and life experiences. There are a wealth of opportunities for students’ personal growth and development in a safe and secure environment, managed by qualified and expert staff. Many of the students who access the centre are able to successfully reintegrate into their mainstream setting and/or gain qualifications during their time at the Summit, with others re-entering education in more specialist settings.


The curriculum in The Summit Centre is engaging and varied, covering the core subjects of maths, English and science with a thread of literacy and numeracy running throughout the other subject areas. Students have the progress monitored and personal targets set, based on their previous attainment and future goals. Our expert qualified staff use a variety of teaching methods and support techniques to get the best out of all students, with our curriculum set out as below:

Key stage 3 provision

  • Maths
  • English
  • Science
  • Design technology
  • PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic education)
  • Drama
  • Physical education
  • Emotional literacy
  • Bespoke interventions
  • John Muirs award
  • Boxall profiling
  • ELSA intervention
  • Thursday enrichment programme

Key stage 4 provision

  • Maths (GCSE)
  • English (GCSE)
  • Science (GCSE)
  • Independent living
  • Food technology
  • Public services
  • Travel and tourism
  • Physical education
  • Design and technology
  • PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic education)
  • Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award – Bronze Award
  • Functional skills – numeracy
  • Motional
  • Friday enrichment programme

Students can enjoy learning musical instruments, taking part in our bespoke football lessons whilst also enjoying one day a week off-site exploring the local parks and the peaks with their mentors/class.

The Summit Centre gives parents and carers accurate information about how well their child is progressing, how they are doing in relation to the standards expected, and what they need to do to improve. This is supported by our termly ‘Attitude to Learning’ reports and progress reports. Parents are required to attend half-termly meetings to discuss their child’s progress and needs.

Additional support for students

Further to our core curriculum offer, there are a number of ways in which we engage students to provide them with education ‘outside of the classroom’, developing their personal skills, community awareness, communication and social skills.

Barriers to learning, social, emotional or mental health needs are identified at an individual level and students have specific learning plans to account for this so all staff can apply strategies to support individuals appropriately. Our strategies and resources include:

  • Star Reader – literacy support
  • Breaking down barriers workshops
  • Enrichment days
  • On-site anger management coach – group and individual sessions
  • On-site counsellor
  • Street Doctors – lifesaving training
  • Work experience
  • Youth Services workshops
  • Emotional literacy support – dedicated teaching assistant
  • Adventure training (Inclusive for all students)
  • PCSO support meetings
  • Careers workshops
  • Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) interventions
  • Boxall profile – assessment of children and young people’s social, emotional and behavioural development
  • Mainstream/special school transition support

Outside of the classroom

All students who attend the Summit Centre take part in outdoor education. Our key stage 3 students visits local parks and historical sites local to the centre. Over time as their confidence and self-esteem increase, students will travel further and eventually take part in their final DofE expedition, normally in the Lake District for four days and three nights.

Students gain a lot, personally and socially, from taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award and John Muirs Award. All key stage 4 students take part in this programme throughout their time in the centre. Since we have run this programme with students, there has been a demonstrable link in improved attendance and a significant decrease in negative behaviour.


The Summit Centre comprises of teaching rooms, social and outdoor spaces which allows for flexible approaches to teaching and learning. The self-contained building allows students to work on their personal goals without the pressure of being in the mainstream setting, but, where appropriate, certain of the Summit students will access the facilities at Queen Elizabeth’s Academy to enhance their learning and development.

Space is also provided in the centre for any student who needs time out from their studies if things become ‘too much’ for them. Staff will be aware of any potential issues and look for any visual clues, taking appropriate action to support students to be safe and deal with any situation sensitively.

The staff pride themselves on providing a stimulating and supportive environment, conducive to enabling students to reach their personal development goals.


All of The Summit Centre staff are experts in their fields and have experience and backgrounds of working within alternative provision settings and/or with students with behavioural and social problems. They are qualified in this field of education, and follow a programme of CPD to ensure their training and skills are up to date. This experience and these qualifications ensure that they can provide the best support to all students who access the centre.

We employ full-time teaching staff and higher-level teaching assistants to support all students, together with access to on-site behavioural experts and counsellors.

All support staff have unique backgrounds that we find help reassure and inspire our students. Currently, we have a semi-professional footballer, an ex-England women’s basketballer, a retired professional rugby player, ex-military instructors, an ARNA support worker, together with senior GCSE teachers. All these staff have a unique way of working with students and supporting their goals and aspirations.


For more information about The Summit Centre, please contact Mr Bradford via email here. If you work within a school or local authority setting and would like a visit to see our facilities and meet staff, this can be arranged through Mr Bradford too (subject to Covid-19 regulations).