College Partners

Key Partnerships

The College is committed to working in partnership with key stakeholders, employers and the community to enable us to further develop curriculum and services to reflect the continually evolving employment and economic needs of the wide College catchment area. The College has established a good and supportive working relationship with Thurrock Council, Essex County Council, Basildon Borough Council and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, the Education Funding Agency (EFA), the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and National Apprenticeship Service.  The College, in its own right and through FEDEC (Federation of Essex Colleges), is working to establish good links with the Kent, Essex and West Sussex Local Enterprise Partnership.  The College also has good links with the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Homes and Communities Agency.  The College plays an active part in the Thames Gateway Education and Skills FE and HE Group.

Partnerships in Southend

The College has key strategic links with Southend Borough Council, through its contribution to the social and economic regeneration development of the area.  The College is the education sector representative on the newly created Enterprise Priority Leadership Group. The College also links closely with the Children’s Services of the Council.   Southend Borough Council has given strong support to the development of the College and University campus, recognising its key contribution to the regeneration of Southend within the wider Thames Gateway area.

The College’s link with the University of Essex, its HE developments and the further development of The Campus with the building of The Forum are critical to the regeneration of not only Southend but of the wider Thames Gateway South Essex area and have been identified as central to achieving the vision of TGSE for Southend to be recognised as a cultural and educational hub.

Partnership in Basildon

The College is a key member of the Basildon, Billericay and Wickford 14-19 Group which drives the provision of education and training for young people in the Borough.  The College also works closely with other stakeholders in the Borough on the Basildon Action on Learning Group and the Basildon Business Education Consortium.  In addition to the above the College provides a wide range of vocational courses for pre-16 school pupils in the Borough.

Partnerships in Thurrock

The opening of the Thurrock Learning Campus interim building presented the College with the opportunity of developing similar key strategic links with Thurrock Council. The College is a core member of the Local Strategic Partnership (Shaping Thurrock) and has been invited to attend meetings held by Children’s Services of the Council and the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.  Representatives from the College’s senior leadership team are members of the 11 – 19 Learners Group and the Community Skills Strategy Group.  Further senior leadership representation is on the Thurrock Economic Workforce Development Group.  In Thurrock the College has good links with Thurrock Adult Community College and works closely with them to provide a complementary curriculum that encourages learners to enrol on a wide variety of courses.  The Thurrock Adult Community College has access to a range of funding streams that are not open to the College and also offers education and training opportunities to groups within the community that the College is not able to provide.  The College also has close links with many of the secondary schools in Thurrock, providing a wide range of vocational courses for pre-16 school pupils, as well as sixth form provision for Ormiston Park Academy.

Higher Education Partnerships

In an area with limited HE provision and low participation rates, the College’s Partnership with the University of Essex continues to develop local HE opportunities for over 1,000 students and is taking forward the College’s Higher Education Strategy to develop provision which meets the needs of potential young and mature students and the requirements of employers in the sub region.  The University of Essex, Southend is developing a range of complementary and additional programmes including access to higher degrees.  The College also has some provision with the University of East London.

Our degrees validated by the University of East London contribute to the regeneration activities in the Thurrock area, including the development of the Royal Opera House training facilities at Purfleet.


The NOVA Partnership is seen as a model of good practice and is the largest provider of Apprenticeships in the Eastern Region with 13 partners covering work based learning across the Essex and into Suffolk.  The partnership offers a wide range of Apprenticeship programmes in over 40 Sectors.

Collaborative Partners

The College’s Collaborative Partnerships have been in existence for many years and have been extremely successful offering additional learning opportunities with a focus on widening participation and in offering provision that the College is unable to deliver.

For 2012/13 the College has negotiated partnership contracts with:

  • Badgehurst Training
  • Brentwood Academy
  • Central Training Academy
  • Crown College
  • Debut Nail & Beauty Training Academy
  • Eden training
  • Prospects College
  • itec
  • Jet Hairdressing Academy
  • Lifeskills
  • SCL
  • SLIC Training Ltd.
  • Southend-on-sea YMCA
  • VTS Vocational Training Services

The Federation of Essex Colleges is an association of Colleges located in Essex (including Southend and Thurrock) working together to develop and promote access to education, training and development opportunities.  It provides a forum for members to meet and discuss matters of mutual interest; it promotes the interests of members and those who are or may wish to be enrolled as learners at member Colleges; it provides a means for the representation of the views of the Colleges to other organisations and it encourages the establishment of Partnerships both between members and with other organisations in furtherance of the objectives of the Federation or members.  It has helped establish a particularly good partnership and approach to working with the funding bodies.

Community Links

The College continues to have links with organisations in the local communities surrounding all campuses. There is work undertaken with specific community partnerships in local wards by both the academic staff and Service Support staff; an example of this being the partnership development between Jungle Cats Nursery and Local Authority Child-minders based around childcare referrals, support and joint training opportunities of staff.

The College is an active member of forums set up and run by the voluntary sector, to replicate the reporting model adopted by Local Authorities. Learner Services representation is in place for all relevant forums, which reflect the key drivers regarding Equality and Diversity, Community Cohesion and the Every Learner Matters Agenda.


For a number of years the College has worked to support partners to offer vocational education and increased flexibility for 14-16 year olds.  The College offers a wide range of programmes to 14-16 year olds and produces guides for local schools to set out the steps they need to take to access them.  We also have a dedicated 14-19 Development Manager whose main function is to liaise with schools across South Essex and ensure that our curriculum is developing in a way that offers improved choices for their pupils at both pre- and post-16.

Following the end of Aim Higher funding the College has sought an alternative funding stream to enable the very successful vocationally focussed Conferences aimed at local schools to continue.  We have been successful in securing World Skills and a series of taster days for schools has been scheduled for 2012/13.  These taster days concentrate on key areas of vocational employment.  A full evaluation will take place after every Conference and feedback from School pupils and teaching staff will contribute to changes in the programme or activities.

The College is also a member of the 14-19 Strategic Partnerships in Southend and Thurrock plus the 14-19 Group in Basildon, Billericay and Wickford.  Through these groups the College works with Southend Borough Council, Thurrock Borough Council, Basildon Borough Council and Essex County Council as well as training providers and schools with the aim of continuing to provide a coherent 14-19 phase for young people. These partnerships provide better opportunities to increase progression post-16 and will consequently reduce the NEET category of young people.


This is the local Secondary School Heads Association.  The College Principal is a member of the Association.  This is enabling better communication, dialogue and discussion of matters of mutual interest with regard to 14-19 issues between the College and all local secondary and special schools.

Southend Teacher Training Partnership

The College is a member of the Board of the Southend Teacher Training Partnership.  Collaborative work is currently in progress researching the links between FE and school based teacher training and finding ways to integrate cross sector training.

Business Partnerships

The College is seeking to increase the extent of its employer engagement across the Thames Gateway South Essex by playing an active role in a number of key partnerships.  The College is an active member of the Southend Business and Tourism Partnership, the Essex Chambers of Commerce and the Thurrock Business Forum.  The Vice Principal Curriculum is a Partner Governor of the Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital NHS Trust.  The Vice Principal Business Development is also a Board member of the Southend Town Centre Partnership Group and chairs the Thurrock Community Skills Strategy Group. 

The College is also now actively working with Job Centre Plus (JCP) to provide re-skilling opportunities for the unemployed. Strong working relationships have been built up with JCP staff in Southend, Basildon and Thurrock.

The College continues to work towards membership of certain key National Skills Academies.  During 2008-09 the College became a founder College member of the National Skills Academy (NSA) in Creative and Cultural Skills and is now a member of the NSA in Financial Services, the National Enterprise Academy and the NSA Retail. Membership of these NSAs provides the College with valuable links to Sector Skills Councils and key national employers. The College will be applying for membership of the newly formed NSA in Logistics during the 2012/13 academic year.

John Hayles
Acting Principal and Chief Executive

Carol Anson-Higgs
Vice Principal Business Development

Wendy Barnes
Vice Principal Further Education
November 2012

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Strategic Plan

Over the last three years South Essex College has undergone some major changes.

This document outlines our strategic ambitions for 2013-2016 »