Derwen College shortlisted in TES FE Awards 2016 for FE College of the Year

Derwen College shortlisted in TES FE Awards 2016 for FE College of the Year

Ruth Thomas, Chief Executive Officer, Derwen College

Derwen college has the prestigious accolade of being shortlisted for FE College of the Year in the TES FE Awards 2016.  Based in Gobowen, near Oswestry, Shropshire,  Derwen is a specialist college for students with a range of learning needs and is the only specialist college to be shortlisted.

“We are absolutely delighted with this nomination and it is a reflection on the hard work and commitment of the entire team here at the college. We believe it is our commitment to influence and drive change within this sector that has helped us achieve this nomination, alongside the outcomes of students” said Ruth Thomas, Chief Executive Officer, Derwen College.

The TES FE Awards look to celebrate and reward the dedication and expertise of the people and teams who continue to make a significant contribution to improving the skills levels of young people and adult learners. There are fourteen award categories and winners will be announced 22 April 2016.

Derwen College is a specialist setting that offers expertise in working with young people with learning disabilities. They offer residential and day placements, a post-college living and work programme, apprenticeships and supported internships.

Recognised by Ofsted as ‘Outstanding’, Derwen College also has Matrix standard, is a Makaton Centre of Excellence and Fair Train gold standard. In 2014 the college opened its doors to a film crew to spend a term on campus to raise awareness and challenge misconceptions about people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and ‘Life Begins Now’ was aired on BB3 in August 2015.

“There are many achievements that we are extremely proud of, including our development of authentic work opportunities on site in our commercial outlets and with our partners in the wider community. Also our work with Arriva Trains Wales and Network Rail to produce a film demonstrating how people with SEND should be supported so they have positive train travel experiences. In partnership with Find A Future and others Derwen College has led the development of the Inclusive Skills Competitions. Derwen represents Inclusive Skills at a national level and the college took part in the national Inclusive Skills Competitions at the Skills Show 2015. Students here have also completed the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – providing opportunities and stretching the potential of our students”.

“I am extremely delighted to be receiving this nomination as a result of the huge team effort here at Derwen and I would like to thank all staff for their continued dedication to the work here. We are looking forward to hearing the results in April!” said Ruth.

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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