Cambian Dilston College

Cambian Dilston College is a specialist provider for young people with Autism Spectrum Disorders, learning disabilities and complex needs.
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The logo of Cambian Dilston College S41 status


Cambian Dilston College
Dilston Hall
NE45 5RJ
  • Course Length (weeks):
  • Residential or Day:
    Residential and day
  • Start Time:
  • Maximum Number of Students:
  • Age Range:
    16 – 25



General Description

Cambian Dilston College provides further education for learners with moderate to severe learning disabilities including autism, complex medical needs, developmental disorders, behavioural/emotional difficulties and communication difficulties. Cambian Dilston College offers a wide range of specialist interventions, tailored approaches and proactive options for learning including providing a total communication environment. 

Catchment Area

We offer residential placements for students nationally and day placements for local students. We recruit staff from our local area including Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle and Durham.


At Cambian Dilston College there is the opportunity for all learners to participate in a full and active curriculum including flexible routes to accredited qualifications from pre-entry to Level 2. The launch of our new study programmes offers three distinct routes to learning: Skills for Work; Skills for Independence; Skills for Communication and Wellbeing. There are five strands of curriculum: Physical Wellbeing; Emotional Wellbeing; Citizenship; Functional Skills; Preparation for Transition. All study programme pathways and curriculum areas are holistically underpinned by the RARPA (Recognising and Recording Progress and Achievement) principles. As part of their course, learners are offered the opportunity of work experience supported by a dedicated Job Coach. Work experience placements continue throughout the year allowing learners time to prepare and settle into their placement and apply learning from their college course to the work environment.

Specialist Facilities

Cambian Dilston College is set in beautiful countryside, providing a range of vocational learning environments including working café and bakery, vocational learning kitchen, horticulture and estates management, forest school, workshops for pottery and woodwork, ICT, creative arts including drama.  Our Sensory room offers learners a place where they can fully relax and increase or decrease their sensory experience.

Off-site work experience placements are undertaken within our local community and allow students to gain a real life experience of the world of work.

Accommodation on- and off-site, includes a superb community house that encourages community living.

Other Information

Here at Cambian Dilston College we have a comprehensive and experienced therapy team who are available to meet the therapeutic and behavioural  needs of all of our students. Our team consists of an Occupational Therapist, a Speech and Language Therapist, A Mental Health Practitioner and a Clinical Psychologist. 

  • > Our expertise

    We have expertise in meeting the needs of students with:

    • Severe learning difficulties
    • Asperger syndrome
    • Severe autism spectrum disorder
    • Autism spectrum disorder with associated challenging behaviour
    • Behavioural difficulties
    • Autism spectrum disorder
    • Expertise in meeting the needs of students who have specific learning difficulties
    • Moderate learning difficulties
    • Communication difficulties
    • Epilepsy and/or associated neurological conditions
  • > Our curriculum

    We offer:

    • A programme to help students to look after themselves more independently
    • Opportunities to develop strategies to promote appropriate behaviour
    • A transition programme into supported or open employment
    • A transition programme into independent living
    • Opportunities to experience real work situations
    • Opportunities for students to participate in community activities and to learn about citizenship
    • Opportunities to follow vocational courses
    • Opportunities to follow vocational qualifications
    • Opportunities to improve literacy, numeracy and/or communication skills
    • A specialised land-based curriculum
    • A hospitality and catering curriculum
    • A personal development programme
    • A social skills programme
    • A programme to enable students to learn more about themselves and how to form relationships
    • Opportunities to prepare for further training after college
    • Opportunities to take part in a wide range of social, leisure and sporting activities
    • Opportunities to explore a range of living options after college
    • Opportunities to improve communication skills such as the use of Makaton, Bliss, symbols or objects of reference
    • Opportunities for work experience
    • Opportunities to prepare for work after college
    • Opportunities to use and develop information technology skills
  • > Our specialist services

    • In-house speech and language therapy
    • In-house occupational therapy
    • A range of therapeutic services
    • Specialist orientation and mobility training to enable independent travel
    • Specialist staff to meet personal care requirements
    • Waking night residential staff
    • Residential provision extending beyond the academic year
    • Specialist training to enable independent travel
    • Registered with the Care Quality Commission / Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales
    • 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.