National Star College

Personalised learning to prepare young people with disabilities to become more independent so they can make the most of their lives.
National Star student using his communication device in a lesson
The logo of National Star College S41 status


National Star College
National Star, Ullenwood
GL53 9QU
  • Course Length (weeks):
    37 - 52 weeks
  • Residential or Day:
    Residential and day
  • Start Time:
    Mainly September but flexible
  • Maximum Number of Students:
  • Age Range:
    16 – 25
  • Other Locations:
    National Star in Wales NP4 0HZ; National Star in Hereford HR4 0EH



General Description

National Star are specialists working with young students with disabilities and learning difficulties, enabling them to achieve their aspirations in life. This includes young people with very complex needs and those who aspire to get a job. We offer full and part–time, residential and day courses at our campus in Gloucestershire and our sites in Hereford and Wales.

We also deliver high quality services, such as specialist therapies, long-term accommodation, respite and short breaks.

Our priority is to enable the young person to achieve their goals and enjoy being a student learning at National Star College.

The college is set up to meet the learning and development needs of young people with Complex and Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties, severe and Moderate Learning Difficulties and autism.  This is achieved through personalised learning programmes, incorporating therapy (Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech, Drama & Music Therapy) and life skills (residential experience), delivered at the level most appropriate for the young person.

Catchment Area

National Star is a national provider of residential programmes for young people across the UK.  In addition, we offer day provision for local students in Gloucestershire, Hereford and Wales.

We also offer:

  • A variety of work skills programmes in London, Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.
  • Travel training programmes working in partnership with Local Authorities in East Sussex, Derbyshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire and in partnership with the Gloucestershire Police & Crime Commissioner and BBC Children in Need.


  • National Star College provides specialised, innovative and engaging personalised programmes across our range of sites. Young people learn the skills for the next stage in their life, whether this is stepping into the world of work, making a positive contribution in their community or engaging more with people and world around them.
  •  For young people with the most complex needs, a sensory based curriculum offers the ideal opportunity to develop communication and interaction skills. Delivered by specialist tutors, with integrated therapy, ensuring young people are learning what is most important, at the time and place best suited to them.  
  •  We offer Creative and Performing Arts (Drama, Art, Ceramics, Music and Dance) and Sports and Multimedia. These subject areas may also be the means to develop the skills required for work. Young people can achieve accredited outcomes from Entry Level 1 to Level 2.
  •  For Young people specifically looking to move into the world of work, there are Skills for Work Programmes, with work experience and placement opportunities forming an integral part of the programme. In addition, supported internships across a range of locations.
  •  English and Maths are embedded within all programmes and where appropriate delivered as discrete subjects, with accredited qualifications from Entry Level 1 to Level 2.
  • Developing the life skills to thrive in residential or supported living are a key focus of the curriculum, with opportunities to develop practical skills in a range of environments. This may include working with a therapist to develop your communication skills in the supermarket or learning to cook your evening meal. Preparing young people to become active citizens is supported through our Enrichment and Citizenship programme, such as short one-off events to international learning experiences.

Specialist Facilities

  • Fantastic facilities are available at our beautiful Ullenwood site, with specific, art and ceramic classrooms (including kiln), dance studio (including aerial rig), theatre, swimming pool, sport hall, specialist fitness suite and swimming pool. Onsite work opportunities include our StarBistro, Starprint, StarShop and Customer Services, all working with the general public, making the work experience very real.
  • National Star has a comprehensive range of therapy facilities including Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Behaviour Therapy, many different sensory spaces and rooms, including a Hydrotherapy pool.

Other Information

Private therapy
- Speech & Langauage Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Physiotherapy
- Creative Therapy (Music Therapy and Dramatherapy)

Long term living


Activity Breaks & days

We also offer various training opportunities and courses for professionals.

Private hire of our meeting & conference facilities & our sports & leisure facilities

  • > Our expertise

    We have expertise in meeting the needs of students with:

    • A wide range of physical disabilities
    • Acquired brain injury
    • Asperger syndrome
    • Autism spectrum disorder
    • Severe autism spectrum disorder
    • Behavioural difficulties
    • Emotional difficulties
    • Mental health needs
    • Moderate learning difficulties
    • Profound and multiple learning difficulties
    • Epilepsy and/or associated neurological conditions
    • Multi-sensory impairment
    • Expertise in meeting the needs of students who have specific learning difficulties
    • Communication difficulties
  • > Our curriculum

    We offer:

    • A performing arts curriculum
    • A hospitality and catering curriculum
    • Opportunities to take part in a wide range of social, leisure and sporting activities
    • Opportunities to attend local further education colleges with support
    • Opportunities to explore a range of living options after college
    • Opportunities to experience real work situations
    • Opportunities to use and develop information technology skills
    • Opportunities to improve and develop communication skills through the use of Alternative and Augmentative Communication aids
    • Comprehensive support in the learning and use of Braille and/or Moon
    • Opportunities to improve communication skills such as the use of Makaton, Bliss, symbols or objects of reference
  • > Our specialist services

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

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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.