South Essex College

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South Essex College of Further and Higher Education
South Essex College
Luker Road

TypeFurther Education College
Established1899 (1899)
Local authoritySouthend-on-Sea
Department for Education URN 130672 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Principal and Chief ExecutiveAngela O'Donoghue CBE
Age14to 19
Enrolment11,100 as of May 2015 [1]

South Essex College of Further and Higher Education, also known as South Essex College, is a further education college located over three main sites in Basildon, Southend-on-Sea and Grays in Essex, England. The college provides courses for students of all ages, from 14 to 19-year-olds to undergraduates, adults and businesses. [2]



The college was founded in 1899 as an art school and was renamed later as the Junior Day Technical School, then being restructured to include in its teaching commercial and industrial skills for education in courses like plumbing. [3] The college became South East Essex College of Arts and Technology (SEECAT) in 1991. [3]

In 2004, the college relocated to a £52 million campus in the centre of Southend, close to main public transport routes and right next to the High Street and mainline railway station. [4] The college formally merged with Thurrock and Basildon College on 1 January 2010 and was renamed South Essex College. [2]

In 2013 The Forum Southend-on-Sea opened which has a dedicated South Essex College area on the third floor. [5]

In 2014 the Thurrock campus relocated to a £45 million building in the centre of Grays.[ citation needed ]

The college is seeking to relocate its Basildon campus to the town centre in the future. [6]

In June 2018 it was announced that South Essex College would merge with PROCAT, a specialist engineering and construction provider based in Basildon, Canvey Island and Ilford. [7] The new Stephenson Road campus of South Essex College was opened under the PROCAT brand. [8]

In December 2021 it was announced that South Essex College had won Institute of Technology status in wave two in part of a government education plan to improve higher technical training in subjects such as advanced manufacturing, digital and cyber security, aerospace and healthcare. [9]


South Essex College's Further Education provision includes a wide range of A-levels and vocational courses such as BTECs and apprenticeships. The college offers a range of higher education course including degrees, HNCs and HNDs. Programmes are validated by University of the Arts London and Pearson. The college also offers services to businesses through its Business Development Team [10] and offers apprenticeship training. [11]

South Essex College offers Paediatric First Aid Qualifications via Omnia Training Solutions. This partnership was set up to ensure Students hold Qualifications to meet requirements under the Early years foundation stage statutory framework (EYFS), and OFSTED when entering the workplace.[ citation needed ]


Southend Campus

The Southend Campus is located in the heart of Southend-on-Sea town centre, next to Southend Central railway station.[ citation needed ]

The college’s building in Southend was featured in the Learning and Skills Council publication 'World Class Buildings – Design Quality in Further Education' in March 2005 [12] and ‘Better Buildings, Better Design, Better Education’ published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. [13] It won a British Constructional Steelwork Association Structural Steel Award [14] and was a finalist in the RIBA/LSC Further Education Awards in 2006. [15]

It has 26,500 m2 (285,000 sq ft) of space with an atrium accommodating a 250-seat auditorium within the ‘Performance Pod’, dining decks, viewing balconies and social, meeting and event areas.[ citation needed ]

Beauty Therapy students are taught at the Beauty Academy in Queens Road, a few minutes' walk from the main campus. It also offers treatments to the general public. The College also offers purpose-built sports facilities at Wellstead Gardens in Westcliff-on-Sea, with a gym and playing fields for team sports. [16]

The Southend Campus also played host to a world record attempt in 2014 where two students (Alex Holland-Martin & Simon Turp) [17] tried to break the longest radio show broadcast record. [17] The pair were on air for 88 hours.[ citation needed ]

Basildon Campus

The Basildon Campus is situated just outside Basildon Town Centre. It specialises in vocational courses ranging from science, hairdressing, [18] health and social care, public services [19] and sport.

The Campus offers realistic work environments such as motor vehicle workshops. For those studying animal care, an animal-management centre is on-campus. [20]

Thurrock Campus

In 2014 the Thurrock Campus relocated to a £45 million building in the centre of Grays. The campus offers specialist workshops linked to courses for construction, engineering, media and creative arts in addition to facilities for logistics, childcare, health and social care and courses. There is an outdoor amphitheatre. [21]

The Forum Southend-on-Sea

The Forum Southend-on-Sea is a £27 million modern library and learning zone located opposite the Southend Campus. [22] South Essex College is a partner in this venture with the University of Essex and Southend Council. [23] The Forum houses a library collection on the first floor and a dedicated South Essex College area on the third floor. [5] As well as hosting most of Higher Education resources, The Forum supports the delivery of the college's HE courses. Students have access to a large range of books and resources as well as around 100 computers [24] and Wi-Fi access. [25] Other areas in the Forum include a University of Essex floor, the Focal Point Art Gallery, a 200-seat lecture theatre and refreshment facilities. [26]

Notable alumni

See also

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  3. 1 2 South East Essex College – A-Z Unis & Colleges, Getting Into University. The Independent (5 August 2010). Retrieved on 21 April 2011.
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  11. "Apprenticeships | South Essex College". Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  12. "World Class Buildings: Design Quality in Further Education" (PDF). Learning and Skills Council. March 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 October 2013.
  13. "Archived copy". Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 November 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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  17. 1 2 "Students look to have smashed world record for radio show". Echo. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  18. "Hairdressing Level 2 Certificate". Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  19. "Public Services Level 3 Extended Diploma | Basildon Campus, Southend Campus & Thurrock Campus | Sport, Public Services and Travel". Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  20. "Animal Care | Basildon Campus & Southend Campus | Health, Care and Science | South Essex College". Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  21. "The new Thurrock Campus of South Essex College". Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  22. "First glimpse inside Southend's new £27million super library". Echo. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  23. "Southend to get new multi-million pound public library". BBC News. 18 August 2011. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  24. "Designing Libraries - Designing Libraries". Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  25. "The Library at The Forum Southend". Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  26. "University of Essex :: About us :: The Forum". Retrieved 1 June 2017.

Coordinates: 51°32′16″N0°42′40″E / 51.5378°N 0.7111°E / 51.5378; 0.7111