Cambian Dilston College

Specialist further education college for young people with learning difficulties/disabilities, autism and complex needs
The logo of Cambian Dilston College S41 status


Cambian Dilston College
Dilston Hall
NE45 5RJ
  • Course Length:
    From 38 weeks to 52 weeks per year
  • Residential or Day:
    Residential and day
  • Course Dates:
    Mainly September but throughout the academic year if places are available
  • Maximum Number of Students:
  • Age Range:
    16 - 25 years



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. We also offer short breaks and outreach placements.


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 facilities include a refreshments kiosk in the local train station, community café and lunch clubs.

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

  • > Our expertise

    We have expertise in meeting the needs of students with:

    • Severe learning difficulties
    • Behavioural difficulties
    • Autism spectrum disorder
    • Expertise in meeting the needs of students who have specific learning difficulties
    • Moderate learning difficulties
    • Emotional 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 improve literacy, numeracy and/or communication 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
    • Registered with the Care Quality Commission / Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales

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.