About us

A spokesperson for the Trustees of Elfrida Rathbone Camden said: “We are disappointed to announce that Leighton College will be closing at the end of this academic year. Leighton College has been committed to supporting young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). However, due to the financial viability of the college, and issues highlighted by Ofsted, we’ve taken the incredibly difficult decision to close the provision. 

 “We will be contacting parents and carers individually, and our focus is now on working with learners, parents, and carers to help them to find suitable alternative education from September. Our wider charity will still operate so we can continue our valuable work to support local communities.” 

– Tuesday 19 March 2024


What we do at Leighton College

We are a  SEND further education provision for young people with learning disabilities. We deliver a three year Preparing for Adulthood course.

Who is the college for?

Young people aged between 16-25 years from all London boroughs with mild to moderate learning disabilities. Leighton College is an appropriate provision for young people who may find it difficult to cope in a larger or mainstream environment.

We do always refer to Leighton as I have a soft spot for them! One of my young people attended and made such great progress. When I attended her annual review I was delighted at the transformation in her confidence and openness in engaging with me. I always love visiting as everyone seems so happy and welcoming.”  – Julie Bidgway, SENDIASS Manager, Camden Council, July 2021

How Leighton College works

Our course build students confidence in communication, develops skills for independent living and prepares them for employment. Literacy and Numeracy are studied as a core subjects and embedded throughout the curriculum which is strengths based and learner centred.  

Our course include learning through a range of activities and topics such as sport, drama and work placements.  Community learning is integral to the course students receive support to access public transport through travel training and learn about their local community and services.  

Leighton College Ofsted Report (updated Tuesday 12 March 2024)

Elfrida Rathbone Camden (Leighton College) was very disappointed to be graded as inadequate by Ofsted at our recent reinspection.  This second rating of inadequate will have implications for the future of Leighton College and for our 17 learners.

The staff and trustees of Leighton College have worked tirelessly to improve the quality of our provision since our first inadequate grading by Ofsted in June 2022.  We had a lot to do in a short period of time.  We have made a lot of progress along the journey to improve the quality of our provision.  In our view we should have been graded as requires improvement by Ofsted, not inadequate. We submitted a formal complaint to Ofsted explaining why we felt our grading was wrong and also detailing unprofessional conduct by the inspection team during the inspection.  Unfortunately our complaint has been unsuccessful.

What this second inadequate means for the College and our learners is not yet clear.  There will be implications for our funding and the number of learners that will be placed at the College in future.  The College also faces other financial pressures related to the lease on our building and the fact that our learner numbers dropped this year.  These financial issues impact on the future viability of the College.  Our trustees are monitoring the situation closely and will be agreeing next steps by the end of March 2024.

Our expectation is that the College will continue operating until the end of this academic year (July 2024). Whether it can continue into next academic year will be confirmed by the end of March 2024.

In the meantime our priority will be to do the best by our learners and so we will supporting them and their parents and carers over the coming weeks.  

For any further information please email: info@elfridacamden.org.uk