Ethos and values


St. John’s College provides education, therapy and care to young autistic people (aged 16-25 years), many of whom have learning disabilities and other complex needs. Based in Brighton, we offer autism training across the region and sector.

St. John’s College improves lives by making a practical difference to those using our services and we embrace their unique diversity. Our core mission is to enable our learners to achieve aspirational goals and to live their lives to the full. Recognising the complexity and scale of this task, we focus our work around five placement outcomes which inform and guide all that we do:

  • We promote wellbeing, the basis of effective learning
  • We develop communication, the basis of engagement in society
  • We focus on skill development, the basis of a productive life
  • At all times we promote independence, a fundamental human right
  • We passionately believe that all our students can be employed, in some form, during their lives.


We aim to be a regional and national leader in transforming the lives of young people with complex learning needs through an innovative, evidence-based and compassionate approach to learning. This means that we:

  • Continually strive to strengthen the positive impact we have on our learners, transforming their lives, as well as our own, through our work
  • Aspire to become known as an organisation that makes a difference and to be a valued member of the local and regional offer by working in partnership with other providers
  • Continually strive to innovate and find new and more effective ways to educate, enable and serve our learners and their families
  • Sustain rigour in our work by holding high standards and expectations for both our learners and for ourselves; celebrating our successes but learning when things don’t go as planned
  • Approach our work with compassion by acknowledging the whole person, working with integrity and care; accepting young people where they are, and moving them forward, without sacrificing standards or expectations
  • Recognise that our staff team are our most precious asset and strive to support and develop their skills and talents
  • Strive to be a sustainable college that has a positive impact on our communities and the natural world.