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Admissions criteria

Our admissions criteria for a young person applying to Arden College is:

  • Aged between 16 and 25 years old
  • Behavioural and social difficulties
  • Learning difficulties or disabilities within the moderate to severe range

Applying to Arden College

If you are considering an application to Arden College, we recommend that you visit the college for a tour to see our facilities including our residential provision and meet with staff who will be able to answer any questions you might have.

In order to apply to the college, an application form will need to be completed. This will be made available at the end of a tour and can also be obtained by contacting the college.

Following receipt of an application form, the college assessment panel will contact the prospective students current school to ask for copies of school reports, risk assessments, behaviour plans, and any other documents that will be useful in giving as full a picture of the student as possible. At this stage we may also arrange to visit the school so that an observation can be made whilst the student is in a familiar environment.

Arranging an assessment day

We will then invite the prospective student to Arden College for an assessment day. We always ask that they are accompanied by a member of staff from their current school, as we feel that the presence of a familiar person ensures that the prospective student gains most benefit from the day. It also allows us to receive further insight into the student.

Assessment days are usually carried out on a 1:1 basis and include two or three activities, normally drawn from the student’s favoured lessons.

We differentiate the activity so that it meets the needs and abilities of each prospective student. Lunch and break times provide opportunities to meet and interact with other students and staff, the day also incorporates an initial communication assessment from our speech and language therapist.

Applying for a residential placement

For students that have applied for a residential placement, the assessment day also includes a visit to one of our residential homes. Here you can meet and interact with the current residents, and can help to prepare a meal that all can share before the visiting student returns home.

Following an assessment day, a decision will be made as to whether Arden College would be a suitable placement for the applicant and an offer of a place will then be made. If this is accepted on behalf of the student, a package detailing what the college will provide and how much this costs will be submitted to the appropriate local authority.

Alongside this, a full transition programme involving several visits (including residential stays where applicable) will be designed to meet the learner’s needs, so that they can become more familiar with the environment, staff and routines of Arden College.