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Welcome to The Oaks Specialist College

The Oaks is a specialist college established in 2018 and is already a successful provision for 18 to 25 year olds with learning difficulties in Kent and East Sussex.

Why are we successful? Well, the best way to find out is to arrange to visit, come and talk with us and see for yourself. You are most welcome, and we encourage you to do so.

In essence though, our success is built upon knowing our learners and tailoring our programmes of study and learning opportunities to meet each learner’s individual needs – providing high aspiration and challenge, underpinned by appropriate, targeted support and interventions.

Oakley College (as we were first called) grew out of Oakley School as one of the key reasons to set up the College was the knowledge that there wasn’t sufficient provision to meet the needs of many learners in the area as they left special schools and transitioned to adult life.  We are clear that we are not a school or just an extension of school, and we are more specialist and focused than general Further Education colleges can be.  All our learners have an ongoing Education, Health and Care plan.

In September 2021 we “rebranded” as The Oaks Specialist College to better reflect who we are and what we do. We treat our learners, not only as individuals, but as young adults who benefit from specialist input, education and coaching (typically for one to three years), to help them on their path towards independence and, wherever possible, employment.

We are proudly not-for-profit. We have no shareholders – what we do have is a great, talented, experienced and committed group of staff and trustees, and all of our income and additional funds raised go back into making our provision and our learners’ voice the best they can be.

Please do visit if you can.

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Admissions

All our learners are unique individuals. There are no fixed or overarching admissions criteria – the leadership and staff of the College make decisions based upon their assessment of the College’s ability to meet individual needs. This is balanced against the needs of all learners in the College, and the likelihood of the College offer enabling learners to learn and to make educational and personal progress that is of significant benefit to the learner and to wider society.

Learn More

The Oaks Specialist College is proud to be a Disability Confident organisation.

The Oaks Specialist College is proud to be a member of the British Association for Supported Employment.

Shortlisted finalist for Teacher Development in Digital Accessibility.

Awarded Microsoft Showcase College 2022-2023 status.

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Shortlisted for Nasen

The Oaks Specialist College identified huge potential for young people to become more engaged within their communities in an age-appropriate manner through encouraging the use of assistive technology for living rather than simply assessing

Microsoft Showcase

We have been recognised for the incredible impact the College has had in using technology to increase autonomy and independence for local young adults with learning difficulties. Computer and software giant Microsoft have just

‘Love That’ pop-up shop

Thanks to the lovely people at the Royal Victoria Place in Tunbridge Wells, we were able to open and run our own pop-up shop in the shopping centre. This was a fantastic opportunity to

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