About us

The Aurora Centre is South Thames Colleges Group's specialist, non-residential FE centre for young adults with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and/or complex needs.

Aurora 1 contains 3 Learning areas and is situated in a quiet area, on the Merton College site adjacent to attractive parkland. it has its own dedicated entrance a garden, kitchen, laundry facilities, and large greenhouse.

Aurora 2 is situated within the main College. It consists of five learning areas and has access to a dedicated common room and quiet area allows students to select their preferred area for lunch etc.

Both centres are designed to be safe, secure and welcoming environments for our students. They share a dedicated specialist team who work together to deliver education and training for young adults from 16 to 25.

As a college we believe that young adults should be respected and have their individual choices, needs and aspirations reflected in the education opportunities made available to them. We encourage independence in all our learners and support them to achieve their full potential.

At the Aurora Centre we encourage our learners, and their families, to see that potential shine through by providing:

  • Themed learning areas with interactive and assistive technology
  • Independent living activities including food preparation and gardening
  • The use of local leisure facilities
  • Access to vocational subjects within the main college site
  • Work experience and enterprise activities
  • High levels of support and specialised services
  • Target outcomes based on the learners EHCP
  • Aspirational teaching from a dedicated team

What we provide

After an assessment you will get a curriculum programme tailored to your specific needs. This will be based around three key areas to develop your independence: living, work and community. You may study these areas at different levels, and you can work towards qualifications at Entry Levels 1, 2 and 3. You'll be involved in setting and reviewing your targets and our team at Aurora will liaise closely with parents and guardians to make sure that learning is transferred from college to home.

Sessions at the centre run from 9am-3pm four days a week, with one teacher to every 6-8 learners. You might need extra support from a learner support worker - this could be one-to-one or as part of a group, depending on your assessment. Support is also available from other specialist staff such as speech and language learning therapists and Deaf education specialists.

You will have the opportunity to take part in supervised work experience during your programme. The placement and amount of time spent there varies from learner to learner.

Application process

  • pdfDownload and fill in an application form, and send it back via email or post as detailed on the form.
  • Applications need to be completed by September for a start date of September the following year.
  • We will review your application and arrange your assessment (a school observation) in September/October.
  • You will receive an offer letter in December/January.
  • If possible, we will attend the final annual review at your school and liaise with other professionals involved in your care.
  • We will then arrange for you to take part in a weekly transition day at the centre during the last half of the summer term before you join us.

You are welcome to visit us. Check our college open days page or if you'd like to arrange a separate visit, please contact us.