Henshaws Specialist College

Henshaws Specialist College removes the barriers to allow students to access learning.
One of our students photographed during cooking session
The logo of Henshaws Specialist College


Henshaws Specialist College
Bogs Lane
  • Course Length (weeks):
  • Residential or Day:
    Residential and day
  • Start Time:
    Mainly September, but flexible starts are available
  • Maximum Number of Students:
  • Age Range:
    16 – 25



General Description

Henshaws Specialist College is the only specialist Further Education College in North Yorkshire that offers both day and residential programmes up to 365 days per year at our beautiful campus located on the outskirts of the historical spa town of Harrogate. We deliver transformational and sustainable life changing experiences and learning through bespoke education, care, therapy and clinical programmes for young people ages 16 to 25 with special education needs and disabilities. 

Catchment Area

Henshaws Specialist College is a national provider opened to residential students from across the United Kingdom, providing day placements to students from Yorkshire and surrounding areas. 


Our Core Purpose is to maximise our students' opportunities by building confidence, developing independence and supporting achievement. Our highly individualised curriculum is built around education, life skills and employability skills, preparing students to live in a modern Britain.  We offer study programmes from Pre-entry to Level 2. Each programme supports students to achieve and exceed targets set in Education, Health and Care plans and to meet their aspirations after College.

We offer following programmes:

  • Personal and Social Development
  • Sensory
  • Independence
  • Employability
  • Supported Internship
  • Autism provision
  • Next Steps

Educational provision is strengthened by a range of support services and embedded therapies, which include Physiotherapy, Hydrotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Visual Impairment Specialist Support, Positive Behaviour support service, and Speech and Language Therapy including Assistive Technology. 

Students implement their independence and communication skills through the waking day curriculum and transfer them either to our own residential setting or to their home environment, where carers can see the impact of their learning. We support our students to develop their skills through vocational learning both on and off campus and through supported work experience. We take learning outside of the campus through Community Inclusion sessions, taking part in local events, working towards Duke of Edinburgh awards as well as the National Citizenship Service scheme, with the intent to increase their community participation. 

Henshaws College also works with our students, families and carers, when appropriate, to support the transition out of college and into their chosen future when they graduate.  Our innovative Next Steps provision works in partnership with amenities and provisions near to home to ensure our students continue with their independence and skills gained at college when they return home or move into more independent living.  Our skills transfer programme helps to prepare students and family for life after Henshaws to ensure a smooth and fully supported start to the next stage – whatever that may be. 

Specialist Facilities

We continue to invest in our facilities to create a safe and accessible environment to enable our students to develop transferable skills.

Our modern facilities include:

  • 41 single study bedrooms with en-suite facilities
  • Media and IT Centre with IT suite, recording studios and print service
  • Swimming and hydrotherapy pools with gantry hoists and ramp access
  • Accessible gym with anaerobic and aerobic equipment
  • Multi games sports hall
  • Assisted changing rooms
  • Multi-sensory and digital switch room
  • Fully accessible assistive technology kitchens
  • Mobility training area

Specialist therapy, education and sensory support services, including assistive technologies are integral to maximising our students' progress.

Other Information

Our clinical team, led by a registered nurse, will ensure any nursing needs students have are met so they can enjoy their education.  We will support students to access services that will promote health and wellbeing.

We can also offer residential respite, social care options and short breaks

  • > Our expertise

    We have expertise in meeting the needs of students with:

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

    We offer:

    • A programme to help students to look after themselves more independently
    • Opportunities to improve literacy, numeracy and/or communication skills
    • Opportunities to take part in a wide range of social, leisure and sporting activities
    • Opportunities for work experience
    • A personal development programme
    • A programme to enable students to learn more about themselves and how to form relationships
    • Opportunities to use and develop information technology skills
    • Opportunities to develop strategies to promote appropriate behaviour
    • A social skills programme
    • Opportunities for students to participate in community activities and to learn about citizenship
    • Opportunities to prepare for further training after college
    • Opportunities to explore a range of living options after college
    • Opportunities to prepare for work after college
    • Opportunities to experience real work situations
    • Opportunities to improve and develop communication skills through the use of Alternative and Augmentative Communication aids
    • Opportunities to experiment with sound, touch, smell and sight in order to aid learning
    • Opportunities to improve communication skills such as the use of Makaton, Bliss, symbols or objects of reference
    • A transition programme into independent living
    • A transition programme into supported or open employment
  • > Our specialist services

    • A range of therapeutic services
    • In-house speech and language therapy
    • Extensive use of assistive and adaptive technologies
    • In-house physiotherapy
    • Registered with the Care Quality Commission / Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales
    • Specialist staff to meet personal care requirements
    • In-house occupational therapy
    • Specialist orientation and mobility training to enable independent travel
    • Residential provision extending beyond the academic year
    • Sessions to improve posture and mobility
    • Specialist training to enable independent travel
    • Guidance and counselling services
    • Waking night residential staff
    • In-house nursing services
    • Residential provision linked to the academic year

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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.