East Sussex needs a strong and resilient champion of and investor in East Sussex education and skills, enabling:

  • The county’s young people to achieve better A levels and technical qualifications
  • A county-wide apprenticeship and adult community learning offer
  • A higher-skilled East Sussex workforce

Key East Sussex partners have come together to agree a new approach and to seize the opportunity to raise standards, build partnerships and ensure financial resilience for further education in the county.

The following partners have formed an East Sussex College Group ‘Transition Board’(operating until end March 2018), with the ambition of designing a new college fit for the county’s education and skills needs:

  • Sussex Coast College Hastings
  • Sussex Downs College
  • East Sussex County Council
  • South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP)
  • University of Brighton

And dialogue has been pursued with other important stakeholders:

  • Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (C2C LEP)
  • Several East Sussex boroughs and districts
  • University of Sussex
  • Other East Sussex colleges, schools and academy trusts

The design and development of the East Sussex College Group (ESCG) is supported by national government, through the Education and Skills Funding Agency and the College Group will be entrusted to improve the East Sussex offer to young people, communities and employers by the granting and loaning of ‘Restructuring Facility’ funding. The ‘trust’ has been earned by the collaborative approach of the East Sussex partners and by the following vital commitments:

A high profile drive to improve post 16 standards

  • Although some colleges and sixth forms in East Sussex perform well, the overall county achievements after Key Stage 4, especially at A level, are not yet strong enough
  • The ESCG is committed to the recruitment, retention and development of outstanding teachers and trainers and to the same standard of excellence in governance and leadership
  • The excellent teaching and training will be delivered in excellent facilities and settings – a major capital investment programme will be designed by Summer 2019
about escg

A commitment to financial resilience and collaborative planning and investment

  • East Sussex College Group will have the capability and cash headroom to take short, mid and longer term skills investment decisions with and for East Sussex
  • ESCG will work to the best interests of East Sussex in a competitive ‘education and skills’ regional landscape, with large scale surrounding and competing groups (Greater Brighton Metropolitan College; Hadlow College Group; East Kent College and Chichester College Group)
  • ESCG commits to invest in excellent people, facilities and services and to do so through plans that are designed collaboratively and enacted with expertise and imagination

A promise to better engage across the East Sussex skills system

  • ESCG will champion the skills agenda in East Sussex, where two LEPs (SELEP and C2C) articulate employment skills priorities, for young people, employers and communities
  • ESCG will work with East Sussex County Council and with all appropriate partners to improve the connections of adult community learning, of Special Educational Needs post 16 provision (including high needs) and of the apprenticeship offer to East Sussex trainees and employers
  • We will bring forward a detailed capital education and skills investment plan, collaboratively designed with the needs of East Sussex boroughs and districts in mind

A pledge to reach out across the county

  • To engage with universities in the design of new route ways for learners to higher skills and education
  • To work with East Sussex employers, large and small, to build a bespoke professional and technical offer with their needs at its core
  • To co-operate fully with Bexhill College and Plumpton College and with schools >and trusts in considering imaginative approaches to improve learning and save costs
  • To address, with ESCC, boroughs, districts and rural organisations, the current imbalance of adult learning and skills provision between rural East Sussex and the coastal strip
about escg

What are the vision and ambitions of ESCG?

It will be founded upon a relentless drive to secure and maintain outstanding standards of learning for sixth formers, adult learners, apprentices and employees in East Sussex, both within the college group and in other settings: it will exemplify and promote the highest learning standards.

East Sussex College Group will be developed with the primary purpose of being the strong champion and strategic leader of further education, learning and skills planning and delivery across the county of East Sussex.

It will become the expert and accountable broker of tertiary education and skills for East Sussex learners, communities and employers and it will re-connect with all key organisations and agencies in this enterprise.

It will be fully resilient financially and commit to strong, talented, capable governance and leadership with capacity and resource for short, mid and long term planning and investment in the East Sussex skills economy: it will be a major East Sussex skills investor in the best people, facilities and services.


What core values will ESCG be founded upon?


  • Of learning, teaching and achievement across all ESCG academic, professional and technical pathways
  • Of professional service by all ESCG educational support and management functions
  • Of governance, care and compassion for all ESCG students, employees and customers


  • Through financial resilience and the capacity to invest in high quality people, buildings, technology and learning
  • Through efficiency and effectiveness of use of space and of business service, through enhancing the environment and the East Sussex cultural scene
  • Through capable, collective, collaborative planning to learn from and transfer outstanding practice


  • Created in partnership: Sussex Downs College, Sussex Coast College, East Sussex County Council, SELEP with support partners, Coast to Capital LEP
  • Committed to partnerships: with East Sussex county, districts, boroughs, with Universities of Brighton and Sussex, with other colleges and schools and academy trusts in East Sussex
  • Constructing new partnerships: by developing the ESCG prospectus and reaching out across East Sussex to education and skills collaborative organisations

What will the East Sussex College Group look like?

Its governance will exemplify the Association of Colleges (AoC) Code of Good Governance for English Colleges, building on the Seven Principles of Public Life, The board of governors will be connected to and engaged with strategic partners and will be:

  • Passionate about education
  • Professional and respectful
  • Prudent
  • Supportive of AND challenging to the executive
  • An exemplar of good governance

Its leadership will be recruited nationally and be expert, knowledgeable and passionate about high quality learning. The leadership team will serve and support students, staff and the community with:

  • Care
  • Integrity
  • Expertise
  • Resilience
about escg