Derwen College

Vocational and independence programmes building work, life and personal skills
The Orangery Restaurant provides real life work opportunities for students
The logo of Derwen College S41 status


Derwen College
Whittington Road
SY11 3JA
  • Course Length (weeks):
  • Residential or Day:
    Residential and day
  • Start Time:
    September but can be flexible
  • Maximum Number of Students:
  • Age Range:
    16 – 25
  • 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.

Catchment Area

We are a national provider. 


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 Housekeeping 
  • Horticulture 
  • Performing Arts
  • Retail
  • Work Skills 

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

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
  • Hydrotherapy Pool 
  • A Makaton Centre of Excellence
  • > Our expertise

    We have expertise in meeting the needs of students with:

    • Autism spectrum disorder with associated challenging behaviour
    • Asperger syndrome
    • Severe learning difficulties
    • A wide range of physical disabilities
    • Mental health needs
    • Epilepsy and/or associated neurological conditions
    • Communication difficulties
    • Profound and multiple learning difficulties
  • > Our curriculum

    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
  • > Our specialist services

    • 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

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.