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Specialist colleges

A specialist college provides post-16 education to young people with learning difficulties and/ or disabilities. Most students at specialist colleges have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), with their needs unable to be met at a general further education college.

There are currently around 99 specialist colleges across England and Wales. As well as both independent and state specialist colleges, some offer residential accommodation for students, with around-the-clock care.

The colleges have a holistic approach, providing physical and mental care as well as further education and training for their students. Some students do work towards formal qualifications, including GCSEs and Btecs, but their approach tends to focus on life and employment skills, as well as general wellbeing and good mental health.

New College Durham (English Language Centre) image
New College Durham (English Language Centre)