Special school
Behind Kershaws Tannery, Water Street, Cheshire, SK1 2BP


From 14 to 19 years old


Building Opportunities is a service which is run by Ashcroft School. We offer students aged 14 to 19, who have struggled with the traditional school or college placements, opportunities to enter one of the fastest growing industries – construction.

We have developed a provision offering a number of construction based vocational activities. These offer students the opportunity to gain industry recognised qualifications at levels 1 and 2 in a range of specialist areas. The centre is registered to deliver Ascentis and BTEC qualifications which allow us to design tailored packages to meet the needs and interests of each individual student.

Not only do we focus on gaining skills, we incorporate relationship building, personal growth and development in the context of a strong real world work ethic as well as teaching complementary skills such as IT, technical literacy and numeracy skills. By delivering core learning around personal development, students not only gain experience, they gain interpersonal skills too – opening up even more opportunities! 

Contact name

Building Opportunities

Contact phone

0161 475 0788 or 0161 283 4832

Venue notes

Building Opportunities is an outreach provision of Ashcroft School, an independent BESD School run by the Together Trust, a leading specialist education, community and care provider. We are located close to Junction 27 of the M60 behind Kershaws Tannery and easily accessible by public transport. Parking is available to the left of the building, which is where you will find the entrance to Building Opportunities.

Opening times

Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm (Term time)

Needs a referral?


Referral details

We welcome contact from parents, carers, students and other professionals who are seeking placements at Building Opportunities. This gives us the opportunity to explain more about ourselves and to answer any questions that you may have. Referrals are usually initiated through the Headteacher by the referring agency and formal referrals from: - ; Local authority teams / mainstream schools- ; Social workers - ; Residential care homes or fostering services - ; Virtual school teams Following an initial discussion, a prospectus and an enquiry form will be sent. The forms need to be completed by the referring agency and returned to Ashcroft School accompanied by the Statement of Special Educational Need, most recent education report, the IEP, to if the child is in care, their Personal Education Plan. We work closely with the referring agency at every stage of the student's education until they are ready to leave to attend further education, or move into a work placement. Further information regarding admissions to Ashcroft School can be found by searching ‘Ashcroft admissions' on www.togethertrust.org.uk. For more information or to arrange a visit please contact our reception on 0161 283 4832 or email us at enquiries@togethertrust.org.uk
Ofsted URN: 106162

Ofsted rating


Local Offer details

Building Opportunities is perfect for students who are interested in practical activities. We work with schools, academies and studio schools, free schools, special schools, PRUs and local authorities to provide opportunities for individual students or classes to spend half/ whole days with us and undertake programmes of study, resulting in Level 1 and Level 2 outcomes in ‘Construction and the Built Environment'. At Building Opportunities we work with students in a way that enables them to understand the benefits of hard-work and dedication by giving tailored advice and quality support, providing a backdoor route into academia. If you would like further details on any of the options available, please contact us on: 0161 475 0788 or 0161 283 4832 or visit http://www.togethertrust.org.uk/ https://www.youtube.com/user/Thetogethertrust

How do you identify special educational needs and disabilities?

Building Opportunities is a vocational education centre and students attending this provision are usually on roll at another school. Students normally attend the centre for 1 or 2 sessions a week. The centre also caters for some students to attend on a full time basis where the student demonstrates an aptitude for this subject and it meets their needs. The centre is provided with a risk assessment for each student and a copy of their SEND that is retained securely along with any other appropriate documentation that may be relevant so that all staff can identify the specific needs of each student. The ‘Head of Centre' works with schools, families, carers and agencies either directly or indirectly to help the organisation meet the needs of each student. All interested parties are encouraged to be involved in improving the experience for the student. Staff support levels for students are based upon the needs of the individual student. All staff concerns and student progress are discussed with the main school. Any concerns by parents, carers or other external agencies can be raised directly with Building Opportunities or with the main school. All safeguarding issues that occur are reported to the main school and documented in accordance with the commissioning school's policy. This information is passed on to the relevant authority via the commissioning school.

How do you support a child with extra needs?

The educational programme for the centre is agreed with the main school. The planning and delivery of the curriculum is undertaken locally at the centre under the direction of the ‘Head of Centre'. Students will normally work with the same members of staff and support workers during their time at the centre. Staff will work closely with representatives from the commissioning school to ensure that the needs of the student are met. Our centre measures its effectiveness based on the attendance, wellbeing and progress made by each student. The Governors of Ashcroft School are involved in the running of this centre.

How do ensure a child’s education meets their needs?

Building Opportunities offers a customised education package to meet the needs of individual students. Initially students are assessed to determine their initial level of capability. Once this has been determined, students are introduced to a range of projects designed to develop their practical skills and improve their understanding of any related communication and mathematics that are relevant. When students have had an opportunity to develop construction skills they are encouraged to design and develop their own projects with support from staff who ensure that the projects are appropriate to development and progress. Student progress is monitored and progression onto formal qualifications is determined by the staff at the centre when a student has reached an acceptable standard.

How will we know my child is progressing?

The staff from Building Opportunities will discuss progress with the commissioning school. Staff will be happy to discuss your child's progress with you, but they do not hold progress evenings as such. Arrangements can be made for parents to visit when a student is in attendance and we have found this to be beneficial to students where they can demonstrate some of the skills gained and show the projects they are completing. Students are also encouraged to take their completed projects home where this is practicable, providing them and their families with a permanent reminder of their success. The Centre usually holds two open days each year, one in early September and the other in June where we encourage everyone interested in our construction provision to attend. An opportunity is provided to talk to all the members of staff, see what facilities are available and undertake a skills workshop. Parents can provide us with their email addresses and we will contact them when open days are scheduled. Students can and do gain accreditation which is recognized by the building trade giving them an opportunity to gain a college placement or go into work placements and apprenticeships.

How will you support my child’s overall wellbeing?

Building Opportunities is part of Ashcroft School (which is part of The Together Trust). This is a specialist provision for students with emotional, social and behavioral difficulties. Building Opportunities staff adopt a range of techniques to improve the attendance, behavior and engagement of students and have expertise in teaching students with these difficulties. The safety and wellbeing of all staff and students is paramount and high expectations are expected within this environment. Students who demonstrate an inability to act in a safe manner are normally referred back to their commissioning school. The centre has facilities for both males and females and has staff qualified in first aid, however they do not normally dispense medication. If this is needed it will be carried out by a member of support staff accompanying the student.

What specialist services and expertise are available?

There is a tutor with building qualifications and experience together with a QTS qualified teacher and teaching assistant. All the staff members have many years experience in construction activities.

How are staff trained on extra needs?

Building Opportunities is part of Ashcroft School. This is a specialist provision for students with emotional, social and behavioural difficulties. Staff at the centre regularly attend meetings held at the school and receive planned training and update sessions throughout the year as part of the school's CPD program. Staff are further encouraged to undertake additional qualifications as part of their own CPD.

How will you support my child's needs?

A full risk assessment would need to be completed for students requiring additional support related to their physical needs and to establish what modifications within the working environment were needed for them to access tools and machinery safely. The building is accessible for a wheelchair but there are no disabled toilet facilities within the centre itself. There are disabled facilities in the centre next door which is also run by the Together Trust and is linked by an adjoining door.

How do you support children when they start and leave?

Students are normally expected to attend a pre-attendance session where they are introduced to all the staff members and shown around the facility. They are made aware of the choices they have and can discuss any preferences they may have and what pattern of attendance would help them. We have found that some students once settled, increase their timetable as they develop confidence and motivation. During their time with us we identify possible routes via direct employment, further education studies or possible apprenticeships. Contact is maintained with all interested parties to provide information to help in the decision process.

What support can I expect for my child?

This would be discussed with the main school when the referral has been received.

How will I be involved in my child's education?

We would encourage parents to maintain regular contact with the main school. In this way we can work as a team to ensure that everything possible is done to improve the wellbeing and development of your child.
Updated: 09/01/2019