South West Regional Assessment Centre

Preparing young adults for adulthood
Residential few days at rural education centre


South West Regional Assessment Centre
Merley House
Merley House Lane
BH21 3AA
  • Course Length (weeks):
  • Residential or Day:
  • Start Time:
    September, November, January, April
  • Maximum Number of Students:
  • Age Range:
    16 – 25



General Description

Young adults who are aged between 16 & 25 who have an EHCP

Catchment Area

Dorset, Hampshire and parts of Somerset


Preparing for aduthood themes of employabiity skills, Health skills, Community & social engagement and Independence skills. The main programmes are 'Preparing for Llife', 'Preparing for work' and 'Get into work' ('Get into work' is actually a Supported Internship programme). The three programmes are proceeded by our 'Pathways' programme which is a three month period for students to get to know us and for us to get to know the student. The Pathways programme helps identify which of our RARPA units are most suitable and relevant to the individual needs & interests of the student. It identifies which of the three main programmes students move on to based upon individual abilities and competencies. English, Maths, British Values and Safeguarding are incorporated within all of our programmes.

Our curriculum was developed based upon personal family experiences of senior staff within the organisation where we felt that vocational & real-life education that enables people to thrive in life was more appropriate to our students than the more academic programmes of the mainstream education system. 

Specialist Facilities

At the moment our 2 main campuses are equipped to provide support to young adults with SEND who are high functioning and ambulent. We have senory rooms to support students and a small holding to allow studnets to develop confidence and self-esteem through interactions with animals and market garden type activities. We support students through EHCP reviews, speech & language support, educational pyschologists and great levels of pastoral care, IAG & Careers Guidance. A team of external engagement staff work to find appropriate work experience opportunites and work coach support to those in work experience

Other Information


  • > Our expertise

    We have expertise in meeting the needs of students with:

    • Behavioural difficulties
    • Mental health needs
    • Emotional difficulties
    • Expertise in meeting the needs of students who have been affected by abuse or personal trauma
    • Moderate learning difficulties
    • Autism spectrum disorder with associated challenging behaviour
    • Expertise in meeting the needs of students who have specific learning difficulties
    • Communication difficulties
    • Prader-Willi syndrome
    • Asperger syndrome
  • > Our curriculum

    We offer:

    • Opportunities to follow vocational qualifications
    • A hospitality and catering curriculum
    • Opportunities to attend local further education colleges with support
    • Opportunities to use and develop information technology skills
    • Opportunities to develop strategies to promote appropriate behaviour
    • Opportunities to improve literacy, numeracy and/or communication skills
    • A transition programme into supported or open employment
    • Opportunities to take part in a wide range of social, leisure and sporting activities
    • Opportunities to take part in a range of business activities
    • Opportunities to experience real work situations
    • A transition programme into independent living
    • Opportunities for work experience
    • Opportunities to prepare for work after college
    • A programme to enable students to learn more about themselves and how to form relationships
    • A programme to help students to look after themselves more independently
    • Opportunities to explore a range of living options after college
    • Opportunities to prepare for further training after college
    • Opportunities for students to participate in community activities and to learn about citizenship
    • A personal development programme
    • A social skills programme
    • Opportunities to follow vocational courses
  • > Our specialist services

    • Specialist orientation and mobility training to enable independent travel
    • Guidance and counselling services

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.