Derwen College


Name Derwen College
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 20 April 2016
Address Whittington Road, Gobowen, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY11 3JA
Phone Number 01691661234
Type Independent Specialist College
Age Range unknown
Religious Character Unknown
Number of Pupils unknown

Information about the provider

Derwen College was founded in 1927 for young people with disabilities and learning difficulties. It is a specialist independent residential college, situated in the village of Gobowen, two miles from Oswestry. The college currently provides provision for 172 students from a wide geographical area. Some 48 students are from Wales, 124 are from England. The college also provides provision for a further 88 people on living and work programmes who are funded by social care or are privately funded. Some 7% of college students are of minority ethnic heritage and 59% are male. The college also offers provision on three additional satellite sites: Ashdale House in Wrexham, Craven Arms in Shropshire and Walford in Shrewsbury.

Summary of key findings

This is an outstanding provider Governors and senior managers have successfully created a culture and ethos through which all staff have very high expectations of students; as a result, students respond positively and thrive. Students greatly enjoy their education and training. A high proportion of students successfully gain their qualification and almost all students make excellent progress from their starting points. Leaders and managers develop close employer links which lead to extensive, high-quality and meaningful work experience for the vast majority of students. Leaders and managers’ innovative partnership working with ‘industry champions’ substantially increases students’ opportunities for employment. Students benefit from a wide range of real working environments at the college, which offer authentic opportunities to develop work-related skills. Teaching, learning and assessment are outstanding. Teachers stimulate and engage students in practical and imaginative activities, which contribute to students’ progress and enjoyment of learning. Teachers’ development of students’ English and mathematics skills in all learning settings is excellent. Leaders and managers ensure that the curriculum is individualised to meet the needs of each student; as a result, students develop valuable skills that prepare them for their future life exceptionally well. Students participate in an extremely wide range of sport, leisure and social activities that effectively promote their health and well-being and help them to develop sustained and absorbing hobbies and interests.