Derwen College

Vocational and independence programmes building employability skills through real work experience
Derwen College
Whittington Road
SY11 3JA
The logo of Derwen College S41 status
  • Brief Description:
    Vocational and independence programmes building employability skills through real work experience
  • Course Length:
    37 weeks per year
  • Residential or Day:
    Residential and day
  • Course Dates:
    Main academic intake September, with other admissions each term
  • Maximum Number of Students:
  • Age Range:
    16+ years
  • Other Locations:
    Wrexham, Walford, Craven Arms

General Description

Awarded Ofsted 'Outstanding' at three consecutive inspections, Derwen provides rich learning environments for young people with many conditions, including: learning and physical disabilities, ASD, medical needs and behaviours of concern. 

Our specialism is building employability skills through authentic work opportunities in hospitality and customer services in our commercial outlets and off-campus with our partners in the wider community.

Vocational options are designed to meet industry standards, preparing students for the job market and include Supported Internship opportunities. 

Creative pathways and a pre-vocational pathway available for students not seeking vocational progression routes. 

Individualised learning includes comprehensive personal development programmes. Students are supported to begin learning to care for themselves, shop, cook, develop road safety skills, extend their abilities in inter-personal relationships and take their place in society.

The main campus college is near Oswestry with satellites in Walford, north Shropshire; Craven Arms, south Shropshire; and Penley, Wales.

We Offer:

  • Expertise in meeting the needs of students with autism spectrum disorder with associated challenging behaviour
  • Expertise in meeting the needs of students with Asperger syndrome
  • Expertise in meeting the needs of students with severe learning difficulties
  • Expertise in meeting the needs of students with a wide range of physical disabilities
  • Expertise in meeting the needs of students with mental health needs
  • Expertise in meeting the needs of students with epilepsy and/or associated neurological conditions
  • Expertise in meeting the needs of students with communication difficulties
  • Expertise in meeting the needs of students with profound and multiple learning difficulties


Derwen challenges each student to be the best they can be. Individualised programmes include vocational and employability skill development alongside independence, health and well-being training. Learning takes place in real work settings supported by highly skilled staff. Students can gain relevant qualifications at appropriate levels and participate in extensive work experience programmes.

Programme areas:

Hospitality and Customer Services -pathways in:

  • Hospitality and Housekeeping 
  • Horticulture 
  • Retail

Foundation and Creative Studies - pathways in:

  • Sensory
  • Work skills
  • Creative Studies 

We also offer highly individualised programmes including land based, arts and sports at our satellite sites.

We Offer:

  • Opportunities to experience real work situations
  • Opportunities to follow vocational qualifications
  • A personal development programme
  • Opportunities to improve literacy, numeracy and/or communication skills
  • Opportunities to improve and develop communication skills through the use of Alternative and Augmentative Communication aids
  • Opportunities to take part in a wide range of social, leisure and sporting activities
  • A transition programme into independent living
  • A transition programme into supported or open employment

Specialist Facilities

  • In-house nursing services
  • Residential living reflecting increasing independence
  • Student leisure facilities, ICT suite, wi-fi café
  • Sports complex with swimming pool, fitness suite, multi-purpose sports hall
  • In-house physio, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, psychology and counselling services
  • A Makaton Centre of Excellence

We Offer:

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


Gaining work-ready skills on site at Derwen College
Work opportunities in our on-site shop
Students in Creative Studies out on tour
Making friends at college

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 new 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.