As Principal of Oakwood Specialist College, I am delighted to welcome you in finding out more about this very special place. Oakwood is a Specialist College where young people achieve amazing things, supported by a team of dedicated, caring and committed staff.

We celebrate the diversity of every individual in our college community and work hard to ensure that learners enjoy a blend of happy, creative and positive learning opportunities and achieve stretching targets that enable them to progress on to their next steps after College.

Preparing for the next steps is really what college life is all about, and our varied curriculum and fantastic enrichment opportunities are designed to ensure that everyone realises their potential. We are proud of our excellent opportunities for work experience which are a key feature of study programmes, and of the progress our learners make through the Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme – all firmly focused on personal development and empowerment.

I am particularly proud of our therapeutically informed approach to learning, using strategies across the college, complemented by specialist input from our excellent multi-disciplinary team including Speech and Language Therapy and Counselling. You cannot fail to feel the energy, positivity and warmth when you arrive at Oakwood so I would encourage you to come and visit us, and I hope that you choose to make our college, your college.

Esther Williams
College Principal


At Oakwood we provide a rich curriculum that is focused on preparing our learners for adulthood right from the start. We work with learners, their families and other professionals to understand each young person’s aspirations and use this information to design individualised learning programmes that help them to build the skills, knowledge and behaviours that they need to achieve their goals.

We offer study programmes that are built around the targets that are set within each learners, Education, Health and Care Plans, and also provide opportunities for them to:

  • develop learners skills in maths and English
  • complete a personal growth programme that includes relationships and sex education
  • enjoy enrichment opportunities and take part in health and well-being activities
  • develop our learner’s work skills and take part in work experience.

Our aim is to support learners to progress in to living with greater independence, moving in to paid or unpaid work, or moving on to further education such as in a general further education College.

Each learner that comes to Oakwood is different, and so is their journey. We recognise and celebrate this by ensuring that each study programmes is individualised and supports learners to reach their individual goals.

Nurture Lime
Flourish Lime



Learners and their families and carers are encouraged to come and visit us at Oakwood at any point during their secondary education, or if considering a move during post 16, to get a feel for what we have to offer. Our admissions team are always on hand to answer any questions you may have and to talk honestly and openly about the college's suitability.

Should you make the decision that Oakwood is the right learning environment, you would then need to apply to the College by completing an application form and providing supporting documentation.

The admissions and assessment team will then review your application and invite you to attend a pre placement assessment.

We will, at this stage, come and visit you in your current school or college or we may ask you to come to the college so that we can meet you here depending on what is best for you. We will ask questions and spend some time with you so that we can better understand how you work and what kinds of support you might need.

The Admissions & Assessment Panel meet during the week following assessment to determine if Oakwood College can meet your needs and offer a suitable placement. We aim to let you know as quickly as we can and will always provide you with an update within 2 weeks of your visit or assessment.

We produce an assessment report which we will send to you that outlines how we could meet your needs at the college and identifies any other information we might need.

You can pursue Local Authority funding to attend Oakwood College or you may choose to fund privately. If pursuing Local Authority funding, the assessment report will be sent to your SEND Casework Officer with the associated fee details and confirmation of the placement offer.

Your SEND Casework Officer will collect additional information/consult with local providers and take your application to a funding panel for a decision. The placement at Oakwood College is only agreed once the EHCP is finalised naming Oakwood College as the onward school/college.


Oakwood Specialist College is for people between the ages of 16 – 25 with an EHCP, who have a range of special educational needs and disabilities, particularly those with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) and difficulties in the areas of communication and emotional regulation.

Learners may have an identified condition such as Asperger’s Syndrome, Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attachment Disorder or a complex profile with conditions that co-exist with one or more special educational need or mental health difficulties.

At Oakwood College we provide a specialist learning environment where learners can experience positive learning opportunities that will enable them to develop their full social, emotional, academic and physical potential. Our learners study a range of exciting learning programmes whilst also developing their feelings of self -worth, building positive relationships and developing their life and social skills in order that they will become happy, confident and valued members of society.

What we offer:

  • We are a specialist provision and as such we create bespoke learning programmes for individual learners with a range of special education needs and disabilities.
  • We provide a therapeutically informed curriculum and have access to an in house therapy team including speech and language therapy and psychological services.
  • We use restorative approaches in order to help learners understand their place in the world and help them to develop the skills and mental agility they need in order to forge positive relationships, cope with conflict and rebuild friendships if problems arise.
  • Learners take part in small group teaching with LSA support.
  • Learners access 1:1 and small group intervention work and transitional support to help them to grow and develop.
  • Learner progress is reviewed systematically and regularly, and parents and carers are provided with regular reports and invited to attend meetings to agree targets and discuss progress.
  • Learners take part in weekly enrichment and Self Esteem building activities such as Duke of Edinburgh, drama, art and physical wellbeing.
  • For those learners that would benefit from examinations and accreditation we offer recognised qualifications in Functional Skills and other employability related qualifications.


We work closely with our children/young people, their families and professionals to create bespoke programmes of learning for students, which are tailored to their educational and social and emotional needs, supporting them to achieve their full potential. This means that we deliver a personalised curriculum, which, where possible, acknowledges the national curriculum and meets the individual needs of our students, whilst also supporting them to meet the outcomes identified in their EHCPs.

To achieve this, every student has an individual education plan which identifies their areas of need and how we can best address them, both in terms of staff approach and the curriculum that they are provided.  Our goal is to provide access to the best academic outcomes possible as well as preparing our students for adulthood and the next stage of their education by equipping them with the skills required to achieve personal success.

Feedback from last Academic year

Philosophy on feedback

As part of our approach to reflective practice Phoenix Learning and Care recognise and embrace the importance of developing a culture of continual learning and development.  We welcome feedback on our achievements and the opportunity to share best practice, however we equally understand the importance of learning from our shortfalls. As such we welcome hearing about where we may have not lived up to our high standards and we truly value the opportunity to reflect and learn about areas that we need to develop further.

Within the last academic year we have received the following number of compliments and complaints.  


If you would like to provide feedback to the school or wish to make us aware of a compliment or complaint then you can email the school direct.

Alternatively, you may contact our Operations Director for Education, Darren Jackson on:

We treat all concerns appropriately and all complaints are investigated thoroughly following our complaints policy and procedure which can be found within the Policies section of this website.  


Our proprietors Phoenix Learning and Care, welcome enquiries for placements in any of our services.

Please call us on 03330 150331 or email

We will provide an initial response to all enquiries as soon as possible, advising the options available and indicative dates of admission.

The referrals team can discuss the local offer and where appropriate, put you in contact with the respective Registered Manager or Head Teacher to discuss the practical areas in greater detail.

The Young Person and/or Student are openly encouraged to visit along with parents, guardians or Social Workers to see if the placement is suitable.

Once the placement is confirmed, we work to ensure a smooth transition including the completion of required documentation.