Aurora Centre

About us

The Aurora Centre is South Thames Colleges Group's specialist, non-residential FE centre for young adults with moderate to severe learning disabilities who may have Autism, behaviours of concern or complex support needs.

Aurora 1 contains three 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 and consists of five learning areas. It has access to a dedicated common room and quiet area and 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 bespoke education, therapy 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 individual learner’s EHCP
  • Aspirational teaching from a dedicated team

Please open our brochure for further information: Aurora Brochure 2019

What we provide

Based on an assessment you will receive a curriculum programme tailored to your specific needs around three key areas to develop your independence: living, work and community. Our team at Aurora will liaise closely with parents and carers to make sure that learning is transferred from college to home.

Sessions at the centre run from 9am-3pm four days a week, term time only. Class sizes are small with 6-8 learners per class. Staff support levels vary according to individual student needs. The classes are supported by a specialist therapy team of Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Positive Behaviour Support.

Everyone has the opportunity to take part in supported work experience during their programme. The placement and amount of time spent there varies from learner to learner.

Please see our brochure for more details and photos: Aurora Works Powerpoint

Application process

  • pdfDownload and fill in an application form, and send it back via email or post as detailed on the form where it will acknowledged and added to our waiting list.
  • Applications need to be completed by 31st October for a start date of September the following year.
  • We will review your application and arrange your assessment (a school observation) late in the autumn term the year before your requested start date.
  • You will be informed of the outcome of your assessment by the end of February.
  • We will then arrange for you to take part in a weekly transition day at the Aurora Centre during summer term before you join us.

We would highly recommend that students and their families visit us before or during the application process. You can check our college open days page or if you'd like to arrange a separate visit, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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