Birtenshaw College

Birtenshaw College is part of Birtenshaw, a charitable organisation set up in the 1950’s to support disabled children.
On work placement at a hairdressers.
The logo of Birtenshaw College


Birtenshaw College
323-325 Crompton Way
  • Course Length (weeks):
  • Residential or Day:
  • Start Time:
  • Maximum Number of Students:
  • Age Range:
    16 – 25
  • Other Locations:



General Description

Birtenshaw College provides specialist further education for young people aged between 16 and 25 with physical disability, including complex health needs and / or learning disability, including Autism Spectrum Conditions.

The College was established in 2014 initially in partnership with Bolton College in response to the lack of local further education opportunities for young adults with a disability who are over the age of 19 and have difficulty in accessing mainstream college courses because of the level of support they need.

The college achieved independent status in Summer 2016 which provided the opportunity to offer a wider range of courses to a greater range of people, working with local authorities across the North West.

Birtenshaw College provides a unique further education opportunity to young adults with a disability, providing a structured programme which works to develop skills for independent living, literacy and numeracy and work-based vocational skills, and offers therapeutic learning activities.


The Birtenshaw College curriculum is structured around our Total Communication approach where we view every behaviour as communication and work to ensure that we understand what the young person wants or needs and provide effectively to meet those needs.

Each student will access an individualised study programme delivered by qualified staff who are trained and experienced to meet the specific requirements of young adults with the most complex of needs.

Study programmes are accessible, motivating and are delivered at a level that will include progression and may lead to accreditation.

Specialist Facilities

Birtenshaw College is a fully accessible and autism-friendly college for young adults with a disability .

Facilities at the College are tailored to ensure that young adults with a disability receive the same access to social, education and work opportunities as other young adults with every learner receiving an individually tailored study programme.

The College is set in spacious grounds which cater for land-based activities providing opportunities for outdoor learning through horticulture, animal care, habitat management and small-scale woodwork.

The college has a catering kitchen and small community café enabling learners to access a range of work related learning activities on and away from the college site.

  • > Our expertise

    We have expertise in meeting the needs of students with:

    • A wide range of physical disabilities
    • Autism spectrum disorder with associated challenging behaviour
    • Profound and multiple learning difficulties
    • Epilepsy and/or associated neurological conditions
    • Communication difficulties
    • Expertise in meeting the needs of students who are blind or visually impaired
    • Expertise in meeting the needs of d/Deaf students
    • Behavioural difficulties
  • > Our curriculum

    We offer:

    • A personal development programme
    • A programme to enable students to learn more about themselves and how to form relationships
    • Opportunities to improve literacy, numeracy and/or communication skills
    • A programme to help students to look after themselves more independently
    • Opportunities to experiment with sound, touch, smell and sight in order to aid learning
    • Opportunities to take part in a wide range of social, leisure and sporting activities
    • A specialised land-based curriculum
    • Opportunities to follow vocational qualifications
  • > Our specialist services

    • Specialist staff to meet personal care requirements
    • A range of therapeutic services
    • Sessions to improve posture and mobility
    • Extensive use of assistive and adaptive technologies
    • In-house medical provision
    • Residential provision linked to the academic year

Prospectus Request

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The S41 symbol next to most of the colleges in the directory means that they are on the Secretary of State’s Approved List.

This list, developed as part of the Children and Families Act 2014, means that some parts of the Act apply to these independent institutions. This includes specialist colleges.