A NEW college for students with autism is opening in Malvern.

Options Malvern College is opening up and is run by Options Autism, a specialist care and education provider helping people with the condition.

Principal Steve Kelly is being brought in to lead the new college, with more than 30 years working in education and SEN work.

He said: "We will provide incredible learning experiences for all our students, and give each one the support they need to shape their future.

"Every young adult who comes to us will be supported by an experienced, specialised team to enable them to fulfil their potential and become confident, happy, independent members of society."

Located in Hanley Swan, Options Malvern College is opening next door to Options Malvern View, a specialist care provider for people with autism, which has been rated “inadequate” by the Care Quality Commission as we reported earlier this week.

The college owners stressed it was a separate entity with a different management and leadership team.

The college will provide a specialist curriculum of academic, vocational and life-skills learning for over-16s.

Each individual's specific needs will be tailorerd to to help them grow in education.

Mr Kelly added: "Our brand new, state of the art facilities, set in the stunning surroundings of the Malvern Hills, have been specifically designed to cater for students with autism, learning difficulties and/or complex needs.

"Students can choose from horticulture, sports and exercise, catering, activities for daily living, information technologies, office skills, and arts and crafts."

Within the college is a purpose built ‘flat’ where students can practice daily living tasks and develop skills to support independent or semi-independent living.

Where appropriate, students will gain nationally-recognised qualifications and maths and English certification.

The college’s canteen has also  been specifically designed for students to socialise with their peers, with an alternative area on offer for those who need more space and a quieter environment.

The kitchen can be divided into pods, so individual students can hone cooking skills according to their needs.  

An open day for the college is being held on May 26 allowing parents to see what it will look like when it is completed.