The voice of specialist further education

Expanse Learning Leigh College

Expanse Learning College offers education, training and support to young people through offering a range of innovative learning pathways.
Students taking part in Boccia promoting a Healthy Living, Sport and Wellbeing curriculum.
Expanse Learning Leigh College logo


Expanse Learning Leigh College
Leigh Sports Stadium
Sale Way
Greater Manchester


  • Expanse Learning Wigan College
    Orrell Lodge
    Orrell Road
    Greater Manchester
    WN5 8HJ
  • Expanse Learning Outdoor Activities Centre
    Dean House Farm
    Lafford Lane
    WN8 0QA
  • Expanse Learning Construction Centre
    Tyrer Avenue
    Worsley Mesnes
    Greater Manchester
    WN3 5XE
  • Course Length (weeks):
  • Residential or Day:
  • Start Time:
  • Maximum Number of Students:
  • Age Range:
    16 – 25


General Description

Expanse Learning is a non-residential independent specialist college who offer a range of education pathways within a Preparing for Adulthood curriculum for 16-25-year-old young people.  Our strength based approach, recognises that every student is individual with their own strengths, assets, gifts and talents.  Our curriculum is designed to build on this by delivering core activities on site, in the community and with employers. This develops each students capial in terms of knowledge, skills and behaiviours, improving their personal  resilience, independence and health.  Our team of educators, pastoral staff and healthcare professionals provide quality education, personal care and medical support enabling students with a wide range of needs and capacuty to undertake a Study Programme aimed at developing personal skills; work related skills, English and maths via one of four pathways, dependent on their individual need and identified EHCP outcomes:

  • Preparation for Adulthood Programme
  • Workskills Programme
  • Enhanced Work Experience Programme
  • Supported Internships

Our College Programme will stretch and challenge students to achieve accredited and none accredited outcomes, undertake work related learning activities and develop confidence and understanding whilst meeting their career / independent living aspirations. We work with every student in a person-centered way to enable students to be in control of their own lives, offering structured teaching alongside emotional and practical support so that they can develop their knowledge, skills and behaviors and maximise their independence in that:

  • They are empowered as individuals to have maximum control over their life, are able to make informed choices and become the best person they can be.
  • They are connected within their local neighbourhood, build and maintain friendships and actively participate within and contribute to their local community.
  • They understand and engage with relevant support services to promote their quality of life and to ensure that they are happy, healthy and can keep themselves safe.
  • They understand and are able to access relevant housing provision with the right support and environment.
  • They are financially secure and can successfully manage their income in ensuring that their personal budget is utilised to the maximum benefit for them individually.
  • They have direction and purpose in planning for the short, medium and long term future. 

Catchment Area

We are a regional provider with College bases in Wigan, Leigh and Upholland, from which we deliver to students from Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire and Merseyside.  


College programme has been designed to develop our students in terms of their knowledge, skills and behaviours and enabling them to become as independent as possible, whilst understanding and participating in the the world of work, becoming self sufficient, managing their health and engaging fully within their community. The College programme will support achievement of each students’ EHCP objectives via mapping individualised short, medium and long term accredited / none accredited success targets that reflect their aspirations.

The College curriculum has core themes of work related learning, personal & social development, skills for independence, functional maths & English and work-related learning which will stretch and challenge students to develop knowledge, skills and behaviours and make informed choices and decisions that will support a transition into a pre-planned destination for the next year.

Students will be able to make informed decisions on which sector they would like to work in and how / where they want to live in the future. They will be taught to memorise knowledge and practice skills that will enable them to progress into employment and plan future living arrangements with family and local authority. 

Students will participate in regular Information, Advice and Guidance activities,  building to a transition into wider employment or independent living opportunities in the future. Students will undertake enterprise work, internal  and external job roles, and community and employer visits to develop industry knowledge and understanding of paid / unpaid work and further education / care.

Students will be taught good health management, working with expanse staff and specialist partners, participating in both practical and theory sessions covering topics including  keeping active and healthy, managing health appointments and understanding relationships. Students will also be taught how to keep active and safe and enjoy the community   and keeping themselves safe online.



Specialist Facilities

We have centres based in Leigh, Wigan and Upholland, all of which are fully accessible, are equipped with sensory spaces, personal care facilities, specialist adaptive equipment and state of the art IT resources. All the centre have functional classroom space, sensory rooms, access to safe outdoor spaces and sports facilties. 

We have worked extensively with students and partners in terms of research, feedback and co-production to understand from their perspective what they want to do and we have designed our College programme activities to be innovative, creative and engaging for students. We have an established team of experienced and skilled staff to support students with a wide range of complex conditions, including behavioural challenges and learning disabilities.

We provide a comprehensive programme for individual clients ‘which delivers interactive PSD, Independent living, health, employability, and community activities on and off site, all of which is co-produced  with students and mapped to support achievement of clients individual personal targets. Students can access a wide range of activities generally, which include; Social Events, Maintaining Health and Wellbeing,  Enterprise, Independent Living, Health, Photography, Film Club, Video Games Club, Arts and Crafts, Enterprise, Sports and Leisure, Charity Focused events, Community Trips, Shopping, Cinema, Bowling, Travel Training, Communication, Calculation, Volunteering and Employment. Examples of typical on and off activities are detailed below:

Cultural and Religious: Develop understanding of wider community, coming together, world foods, festivals.

Recycle, Create and Re-invent: Gain an understanding of recycling and sustainability, how to avoid creating more waste for landfill; shop for items to re-use, recyclable materials .

Travel Training: Develop independence, understand and recognise dangers, recognise safe places, journey planning, how to travel alone, develop greater control, bus, train, tram, take advantage of opportunities in their communities.

Publicity and marketing group: Research skills, confidence building, photography, connecting with families and the public, understanding technology, learning computer skills.

Focused groupwork: Discuss topics, politics, local news, economy, environment, poverty, genders to develop listening skills, participate and share experiences.

Arts and crafts: Develop hand eye co-ordination, concentration, manual dexterity, crafts that are rooted in native cultures, holidays, special occasions, family traditions which develop creative skills, creative expression and teamwork.

Shop cook and eat: Develop money management, shopping in the community, understanding food hygiene, recognising labels and instructions, teamwork, team building, using assistive equipment, taking ownership of their work area, creating shopping lists, understanding health options, kitchen assessments.

Understanding friendships and relationships: Develop capacity to solve problems, understand relationships, family dynamics, friendships, mutual action between people, being honest and taking control of our lives.

Health and well-being group: Understanding personal health and well-being, attending and making appointments, work sheets, exercise, hospital, doctors, stress levels, external support, sleeping patterns, physical, emotional, mental, social health.

Enterprise work: Connecting with community connecting, planning events, finances, record keeping, volunteering, teamwork, customer service skills.

Life skills: Understanding and practicing safety in the home, safety in the community, budgeting skills, speaker events, fire brigade, police, decision making, problem solving, creative thinking, resilience and coping skills, communication, taking on challenges, recognising impacts of their actions, making decisions, health and safety.

Physical well-being group: health walks, gym, swimming, active living.

Personal welfare: well-being treatments, beauty and skin care, nail art, foot spa, treatment packages, hair styling.

Music: Understanding music, X-factor,  Launchpads got talent, planning, social interaction, communication, understanding equipment.

Dance: Group sessions, interaction, communication, promoting health, independence, and positive behaviours; Club Atmosphere inclusive night club.

Volunteering and Employment: building knowledge and understanding of the world of work. It provides a range of work options and experiences, including internal jobs, vocational tasters, enterprise activities and offsite work placements with employers.


Other Information

Over 6 years, Expanse Learning Group have developed strong working relationships with a wide range of partners acoss the north west for the benefit of our students. We understand that students with SEND/SEMH need extensive support from a wide range of partners and that their professional, specialist input is crucial to the success every student’s education and transition to a planned destination. Our  relationships are reciprocal in nature, and each partners involvement and input will vary dependent upon the student’s age, academic ability, developmental stage, socio-economic situation, social/emotional needs, special educational needs and determined status.

To ensure Expanse Group remain at the cutting edge of SEND provision, we work closely with other partners including Karten Trust and Warrington Disability Partnership amongst others.  We liaise with partner services to commission specific interventions including Care/therapy services: SALT/OTT/CAMHS; Medical: GP’s, NHS, Specialist Teams. 

To develop organisational capacity and expertise and better meet the needs of our students Expanse learning Group are members of various national partnerships including National Autistic Society, NASEN, NATSPEC, NASS and the Anna Freud network. Staff at all levels attend meetings, forums and training events, alongside which staff access a wide range of online resources.  

> Our expertise

> Our curriculum

> Our specialist services


Students taking part in Boccia promoting a Healthy Living, Sport and Wellbeing curriculum.
A student learning about digital technology during a trip as part of their Creative Media and Digital Production programme
Two students and Teaching Assistant working as a team to enable a fully inclusive learning experience to support independence.

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