Croydon College

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Croydon College
Established 1895
Type Further Education and Higher Education
Principal Caireen Mitchell
Location College Road
51°22′23″N 0°05′42″W / 51.373°N 0.095°W / 51.373; -0.095Coordinates: 51°22′23″N 0°05′42″W / 51.373°N 0.095°W / 51.373; -0.095
Local authority London Borough of Croydon
DfE URN 130432 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 8,000 students
Gender Mixed
Ages 14+

Croydon College is an educational institution with 8,000 students,[1] made up of a Further Education College, The Croydon School of Art and a University Centre. It is located in Croydon, within the London Borough of Croydon. Its origins can be traced to a School of Art that was established in 1868, which subsequently merged with Croydon Polytechnic to create the college shortly after the Second World War. The college is the only further education college to have been awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) [2] and is currently graded 'good' by Ofsted (2014).[3]


The history of the College is directly linked to that of two institutions, the Croydon College of Art and the Croydon Polytechnic.

Croydon Corporation (the governing body of the County Borough of Croydon) founded the Pitlake Technical Institute in 1888, which would later become Croydon Polytechnic, which had an initial intake of 162 students. Twenty years earlier in 1868, the School of Art had been founded above the Public Halls in George Street. In 1929, the Board of Education first highlighted the need for a new technical college to replace Croydon Polytechnic.

In 1932, the School of Art was taken over by the Council to become Croydon College of Art. In 1941, the Polytechnic school was gutted by fire. It was not until 1948 before the plans for a new college could be revived when the Corporation drew up a Development Plan for Further Education. By then student enrolment had risen to over 4,000. The plan was to create a technical college, which would merge the Polytechnic and College of Art. Three years later, Croydon Corporation formally approved plans for a new college and in 1953 construction started at the college's current Fairfield site on the first of four stages.

In June 1968, there was a six-day student protest that included Robin Scott, Malcolm McLaren, and Jamie Reid (all students at the time).[4]

Recent Principals have included Peter Phillips (until 1994), Vic Seddon (1995–2001) and Mariane Cavalli (2001 to 2010). It was Vic Seddon who created the Croydon Higher Education Centre, developed by Mariane Cavalli, which is the focus for university degree and research activity in the town of Croydon. A proposal to create the formalised Croydon University College in the Millennium year 1999-2000 was rejected by both the Higher Education Funding Council for England and Croydon Borough Council, however In November 2011, the college was given approval to use the title University Centre Croydon (UCC). [5] Caireen Mitchell will take up the post of CEO and Principal in April 2018 [6]

In 2013 Croydon College was the first predominantly further education institution to be awarded UNICEF's Rights Respecting Schools Award accreditation [7] the highest accolade awarded by UNICEF UK.

In 2014 the college was awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service[8] (QAVS)


Croydon College buildings

Croydon College underwent refurbishment and in the summer of 2011 the £33m rotunda was completed and officially opened in April 2012 by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. The refurbishment included recording studios, a performance hall, a library, social and study spaces, and meeting and conference facilities.

Academic Organisation[edit]

Further Education[edit]

Croydon College offers academic qualifications such at AS and A Levels, BTEC Diplomas, NVQs and Entry Level courses. It also offers Apprenticeships and complementary enrichment activities, many of which lead to an extra qualification or award including Citizenship, Youth Work Awards or The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Croydon School of Art[edit]

The Croydon School of Art was relaunched in 2013 by fashion designer and alumnus of the art school, John Rocha. Established in 1868, it was known as one of the leading art schools in the country. The school counts among its alumni pop star David Bowie, Turner Prize nominees Helen Chadwick and Sean Scully, Sex Pistols band manager Malcolm McLaren, and Mighty Boosh comedian Noel Fielding. Some of the art school's traditional screen printing, etching, and letterpress equipment has been retained in its refurbished facilities.

Higher Education[edit]

In November 2011, the College was given approval to use the title University Centre Croydon. The majority of its degrees are validated by the University of Sussex. A minority of its degrees are validated by London Metropolitan University.


There have been plans to redevelop the area around Croydon College. These have been part of Croydon Vision 2020 and have also featured in the Croydon Plan and Croydon Expo. It includes plans to provide a pedestrian link between East Croydon station and the Fairfield College site. The north east corner of the area around the college site is an integral part of this pedestrian movement route.

Croydon College has published its Strategic Drivers 2014 -2020 leaflet detailing the college's mission, vision and values.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]