Whittington Road, Gobowen, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY11 3JA
Mrs Meryl Green
16 – 25 years
ASD, BESD, LD, MLD, PhysD, PhysImp, PMLD, SLD, SPLD
Derwen College, in Shropshire, provides vocational and independence training for 16 to 25-year-olds with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The College creates opportunities for people with SEND to learn the skills and confidence needed to progress toward their future aspirations.
Derwen College, which has its main site in Gobowen, near Oswestry, is a vibrant and exciting residential and day College with a determination to enable young people to achieve their goals. Graduates from the award-winning further education college are proud to contribute to their communities, with many achieving the skills necessary to leave home and secure employment or further training.
The majority of students follow vocational pathways in Horticulture, Performing Arts, Hospitality and Food, Retail and Enterprise, Business Support and Enterprise or Sports and Fitness.
Many students work in the College's visitor 'Marketplace' where students learn work skills in a garden centre and shop, café, restaurant, print shop, charity shop and a small training hotel, all of which are open to the public. As students' skills develop, the College partners with businesses to provide meaningful external work placements.
A 'Learning for Life' pathway supports students who aren't yet work-ready to develop teamworking, communication and social skills. The college has also launched a bespoke Nurture programme which supports students with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities (PMLD) to transition to adulthood.
Residential students at Derwen enjoy a unique college campus-style experience, which parents often compare to university life: a busy social life; shared living experiences; and the chance to meet new people and enjoy new experiences away from home, are as vital to students' learning as preparation for work.
Day students are also supported to enjoy independence learning and active social life in addition to their learning pathway or programme.
The College has three smaller satellite sites for day students at Ludlow, Telford and Walford, near Shrewsbury. Here, students from specialist and mainstream education - some of whom have become previously disengaged from education - are enabled to learn work and independence skills for the future.
Students at Derwen College benefit from a full timetable of sport, health and wellbeing activities, including an exceptional Duke of Edinburgh's Awards programme.
Derwen College is proud to achieve outcomes that exceed the national average for people with SEND - including progression into paid employment, voluntary work, further training, increased independence and supported living.
Students go on to achieve things that they, and their families, never thought possible.
Derwen College also offers Short Breaks respite care for over 18s, offering the same expertise, facilities and experience to guests with SEND. Bespoke care packages run for 51 weeks a year including day trips, social activities and independence skills.
Derwen College is proud that its ground-breaking provision has won impressive accolades, including The Queen's Awards for Enterprise for Promoting Opportunity. This year, the College has also won a Natspec Award 2022 for 'Pathways into Employment', two SEND Awards for 'Support into Employment' and 'Inclusion in Higher and Further Education'. However, it is hearing from students and families who have achieved and surpassed their aspirations, that makes the College team feel that their mission is accomplished.