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We were delighted to be awarded the Further Education Provider of the Year at nasen’s seventh annual Awards.

The inspiring ceremony, held at the Grand Hotel Birmingham on Friday (6th October 2023), was hosted by nasen – the National Association for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities – and supported by official media sponsors, tes. Nasen is a charitable membership organisation that exists to support and champion those working with, and for, children and young people with SEND and learning differences.

We were recognised as Further Education Provider of the Year in the nasen awards for enabling students to reach their aspirations, regardless of ability, gender, race or sexual orientation. Judges were impressed by our extensive range of opportunities for students to learn key life skills, not only through many wellbeing activities and weekly external work placements, but also at the our unique Marketplace, where our shops, eateries and a small hotel are all open to the public.

We were also commended for Performing Arts’ theatre productions which raise awareness around topics including bullying and kindness, as well as our dynamic Duke of Edinburgh Awards programme.

15 other schools, individuals and organisations were recognised alongside us, judged by a panel of leading professionals with a wealth of experience in education and SEND – as well as individuals with lived experience.

Derwen College Personal Development Manager, Helen Owen, said: “We are so proud and absolutely delighted to have won FE Provider of the Year, in this competitive category.

“This award recognises a cross-college team effort, where staff from across care, education, wellbeing and therapies all collaborate to make a real difference to the lives of our students and the wider community. We have a shared commitment to break down barriers and challenge preconceptions around SEND, supporting students to thrive as they move from full time education into the next stage of their lives.”

Chief Executive of nasen, Annamarie Hassall MBE said: “Derwen College should be extremely proud of what they have achieved. We received the greatest number of nominations this year, full of inspiring and deserving schools, colleges, settings and individuals that are working together to make a difference for children and young people.

“All our winners, and those nominated, are true role models for the sector, shaping practice in their setting, whilst leading and inspiring others. They exemplify what is making a difference for learners with SEND and most of all, for inclusion.”

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