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Ambitious College uses a person-centred approach to assessment. Assessment is an intrinsic part of the learner journey in the college. At Ambitious College staff believe that young people should be involved in their assessment. It is a process that is ‘done with’ learners, as opposed to ‘done to’ them. 


The purpose of assessment at Ambitious College is to:

  • provide a context in which learners with autism can demonstrate what they understand
  • provide motivation, challenge, and encouragement to learners to ensure progress
  • develop learners understanding of what he/she needs to do to progress
  • provide baseline measures to ensure that teaching and learning challenges our learners and gives us the appropriate starting point from which to measure progress
  • inform planning and target setting
  • track and monitor learner progress
  • evaluate the effectiveness of interventions
  • gather and report information for learners, parents, colleagues, and outside agencies.

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Read the latest about our work, and read personal stories, by our learners or relatives and staff.

When do we assess?

Pre-enrolment assessment involves the learner, parents or carers, and other professionals involved in the young person’s life. It is a process that supports the learner, parents, and carers to make an informed decision about whether they want to proceed with the referral process and for the college to make an informed decision as to whether we can best meet the young person’s assessed need.

The pre-enrolment assessment process usually involves attendance at one of the college's parent open days, completion of a professionals questionnaire, a parent or carers questionnaire, and a visit to observe the young person in their current educational provision, home, or both. 

From this, the College Admissions Panel (consisting of the Senior Leadership Team) will make a decision to offer a place or not.

Initial (or baseline) assessment usually takes place in the first six weeks of the academic year. We assess learners' current skills set in order to make sure we have a solid foundation from which we can measure progress. We also take account of what is set out in the learner's most up-to-date Learning Difficulty Assessment, 139A or Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

Formative assessment is an ongoing assessment of learning. It is used to support learners to understand their strengths and areas for improvement. This is a continuous process in the college. Staff take daily notes to share with parents and carers in the handover at the end of a college day. Monthly trans-disciplinary team meetings also take place to discuss how learners are progressing against the targets set out in Individual Learning Plans.

Summative assessment is an assessment of learning. It is used to assess a learner’s progress after a set period of time. The results of summative assessment inform the setting of new smart targets and also informs the learner’s annual person-centered review meeting.

Here, you can read our Assessment Policy.