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Students told us that on the weekend before our visit there was a birthday party, a shopping trip to Oswestry, a disco in the Students' Union with an external DJ, a walking trip and forest skills activities. Derwen College has a lively social atmosphere, but the focus is on developing skills for employment. Students work hard serving the public in the Orangery restaurant or at one of the on site cafés. They also have a big working kitchen where they…

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What The Good Schools Guide says

Chief executive

Since 2012, Ruth Thomas, formerly acting CEO and principal; she moved to the college as assistant principal in 2004 from Coleg Llandrillo, where she was head of learning support.

An expert in the politics surrounding this sector, Thomas is protective of students and their parents and a staunch defender of their rights. She is now vice chair of Natspec, the membership association for specialist colleges that seeks to ensure that specialist college places are available to young people who need them.

She takes a keen interest in all her staff and students. There is a real family atmosphere in the college and she is at pains to ensure that the social opportunities are as good as the academic offering and that the students both learn and...

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Special Education Needs

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
English as an additional language (EAL)
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory Y
Has SEN unit or class
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges Y
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

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