Residential Colleges

For some young people with special needs, residential college can be a great stepping stone in the transition from being a child to becoming an adult with greater independence.

Choosing the right residential college can be a tricky process, each offer different courses, term times, facilities and living accomodation.  For a full list of Residential Colleges for Learners with Special Needs, visit the NATSPEC website which has more detail on each college and their full contact information.

Here’s our list of good colleges and a little bit about why we like each one:


1.  Derwen College

Oswestry, Shropshire. SY11 3JA

Residential college, 37 weeks of the year, 265 students aged 16-25.

Why we think they are good: Derwen offer fantastic vocational courses that give students work experience and help them develop their life skills.


2.  Coleg Elidyr

Rhandirmwyn, Llandovery, Camarthenshire. SA20 0NL

Residential college for 18-30 year olds with moderate/severe learning disabilities. 43 students, 37 weeks of the year.

Why we think they are good: Laura went to Coleg Elidyr and had a fantastic time there.  HFHC has welcomed more alumni since.


3.  David Lewis College

Mill Lane, Warford, Nr Alderley Edge, Cheshire. SK9 7UD

Residential, day, weekly boarder, student holiday and respite care for learners aged 16-25.  90 students, 38 weeks of the year

Why we think they are good: A charity with enormous experience in supporting people with complex learning disabilities based in rural Cheshire.


4.  NCYPE FE College

St Piers Lane, Lingfield, Surrey. RH7 6PW

Residential and day placements for students with complex epilepsy and other neurological conditions aged between 16-25.  125 students, 38 weeks of the year

Why we think they are good: Their focus on supporting learners with Epilepsy is unique.


5.  Treloar College

Holybourne, Alton, Hampshire. GU34 4EN

Residential and day placements for 218 students aged 9-25. 38 weeks but flexible

Why we think they are good: Treloar offer an extremely flexible curriculum to suit the individual needs of their students.  Whenever we go there we are always delighted by how charming and helpful all the students are.


6.  St Elizabeth’s College

Perry Green, Much Hadham, Hertfordshire. GS10 6EW

Day college with tenancies for learners, 52 weeks of the year with 37 students aged 18-25

Why we think they are good: St Elizabeth’s focus on supporting students to develop skills that enables them to live as fulfilled a life as possible.  This is very close to HFHC’s values.  St Elizabeth’s also offer parents a lot of support in making decisions for the future of their son or daughter.


7.  Linkage College

Scremby Grange, Near Spilsby, Lincolnshire. PE23 5RW

208 Residential and 50 Day Learners, 16 – 25, 38 weeks a year.

Why we think they are good: Being a local college to Home From Home Care, we have strong links with Linkage.  We’ve also welcomed some ex-Linkage alumni into our homes.


8.  Portland College

Nottingham Road, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. NG18 4TJ

Independent Specialist College with 130 residential and additional day places, 38 weeks a year for students 16+

Why we think they are good: Portland are very focussed around people who use wheelchairs and high physical support needs


9.  Hereward College

Bramston Crescent, Tile Hill, Coventry. CV4 9SW

Residential (118 places), day (200 places) and evening students (300+), 36 weeks a year for students 16+

Why we think they are good: Hereward offer vocational and independent livings skills courses that prepare students well for future challenges.


Other ‘Spotlight Topics’

Autism & Transition

Duty of Care vs Choice

Residential Care vs Supported Living

Support vs Care