Award for ‘future-focused’ college

Posted on August 8, 2022

Harrison College Wins Prestige Award – News (

A college has won a prestigious accolade for helping to prepare students with autism for the world of work.

Harrison College, Doncaster, has been awarded the title Specialist College of the Year in the Corporate Livewire Prestige Awards.

The college is a specialist business, enterprise and employability education provider for post-16 students with special educational needs.

The Corporate Livewire Prestige Awards recognise small and medium-sized organisations that have proved to be the best in their sector over the past 12 months. Shortlisted companies support their nomination with evidence of their work, positive feedback from clients, information on previous accreditation and recognition, as well as highlighting the most outstanding parts of their businesses. Judges base their decisions on service excellence and quality, innovative practices, value, ethical or sustainable methods of working, as well as consistency in performance. With Harrison College they recognised that it offered a “challenging and future-focused environment placing the aspirations of students at the centre of everything it does”. They said: “The teachers at Harrison College strive daily to help students accomplish a secure and prosperous future, focusing on preparing them for adult life.”

The college has grown from three students on roll in 2019 to more than 60 by the beginning of the new term in September 2022, with their cohort hailing from across South, West and North Yorkshire, Doncaster, Sheffield, Rotherham and Wakefield.

Judges said they were particularly impressed with the efforts made by the dedicated team to help students overcome barriers to achieving.

“Through their establishment of trusting and positive relationships in a safe and supportive environment, they have been able to unlock their students’ potential and have seen incredible progress in a short space of time,” judge said.

“Learning support and inclusion specialist staff work alongside students and an employer mentor to ensure a coherent and bespoke strategy and support plan is devised. This ensures the teaching and learning opportunities are relevant and focused in the skills and qualities each student needs to thrive.”

Harrison College principal Gemma Peebles said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive this award which is recognition of the tireless efforts of our passionate staff and hardworking, committed students.

“Our college is a special place. We are constantly driven by the progress we witness in students who arrive often desperately lacking self-esteem but leave proudly showcasing their new-found confidence and skills to become valued members of the local workforce.”