Cambian Dilston College of Further Education

Cambian Dilston College is a specialist provider of further education situated near Hexham, North East England, for young people between the ages of 16 - 25 years old, with a learning disability, autism spectrum conditions and complex needs.

Educational placements are day or residential. Residential placements are offered as weekly, termly or up to 52 weeks. Most learning programmes are for two years, with an additional year available where appropriate.

Who to contact

Contact name
Lee McDonough
Contact position
Learner Admissions and Marketing Officer
01434 632 692

Where to go

Cambian Dilston College
Dilston Hall
NE45 5RJ

Other details

Cost description
Fees are dependent on the individual needs of each young person. If the local authority wish to discuss fees further then they should contact Gillian Linfoot, Commissioning Manager, email: or tel: 07720 497 795.
Referral required?
Referral and availability notes

Please contact Lee McDonough, Learner Admissions and Marketing Officer on Tel: 01434 632 692 or email:


Local Offer

Local Offer description

 Learner profile

  • moderate to severe learning disabilities
  • autism spectrum conditions
  • down’s syndrome
  • developmental disorders
  • communication difficulties
  • challenging behaviour
  • a broad range of complex needs including medical needs

We offer a wide range of specialist interventions, tailored approaches and proactive options for learning, providing a total communication environment.


There is the opportunity for all learners to participate in a full and active curriculum including flexible routes to accredited qualifications from pre-entry to Level 1.

The launch of our new study programmes offers three distinct routes to learning:

  • skills for work
  • skills for independence
  • skills for communication and wellbeing

There are five strands of curriculum:

  • physical wellbeing
  • emotional wellbeing
  • citizenship
  • functional skills
  • preparation for transition

All study programme pathways and curriculum areas are holistically underpinned by the RARPA (Recognising and Recording Progress and Achievement) principles.

Vocational and practical learning opportunities:

  • hospitality and catering
  • Forest School
  • John Muir Awards
  • Duke of Edinburgh
  • horticulture and environmental studies
  • music and drama
  • arts – including pottery
  • Functional Skills – English, Maths and ICT
  • community sports
  • community access

Work experience

As part of their course, learners are offered the opportunity to access work experience, supported by a dedicated job coach. Work experience placements continue throughout the year allowing learners time to prepare and settle into their placements, apply their class based learning into the work environment and build meaningful, person-centred employment experiences.


When leaving us in July 2017:

  • 75% of students moved on to Independent Supported Living*
  • 92% of students achieved FE placements*
  • 95% of students achieved higher qualifications in Functional Skills**
  • 83% of students improved their independence skills
  • 85% of students improved their communication skills
  • 100% of parents feel the college is safe


  • 18% increase in Functional Skills achievement compare to last academic year
  • 8% increase in ISL achievement compared to last academic year

*Of those who have this as their goal
**Of those who were entered
We are committed to providing positive transition planning to enable a meaningful destination post placement.

Contact name
Lee McDonough
Contact telephone
01434 632692
Contact email
Cambian Dilston College

Durham County Council's Families Information Service does not promote nor endorse the services advertised on this website. Anyone seeking to use/access such services does so at their own risk and may make all appropriate enquiries about fitness for purpose and suitability to meet their needs.
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