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John Ruskin College

Coordinates: 51°21′04″N 0°02′35″W / 51.351°N 0.043°W / 51.351; -0.043
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John Ruskin College
Selsdon Park Road (A2022)

, ,

United Kingdom
Coordinates51°21′04″N 0°02′35″W / 51.351°N 0.043°W / 51.351; -0.043
TypeFurther education
Established1920-1988 – founding institutions
1988 – John Ruskin College
2019 – constituent college of Orbital South Colleges
Local authorityCroydon
Department for Education URN130434 Tables
Head teacherLindsay Pamphilon
Enrolment1,800+ (2017)[1]

John Ruskin College is a further education college in South Croydon offering full-time vocational courses and apprenticeships as well as part-time courses for adults.

In 2019, following a merger with East Surrey College incorporating Reigate School of Art, John Ruskin College became part of Orbital South Colleges.

John Ruskin College is located on Selsdon Park Road (A2022), close to the A212 roundabout. The College is accessible by tram via Gravel Hill tram stop, as well as various local bus services.


Early years[edit]

John Ruskin College was a former school in the London Borough of Croydon, which started life in 1920 as the John Ruskin Boys' Central School. Its location was Scarbrook Road, Croydon. Named after John Ruskin, it opened on 12 January 1920. The Lady Edridge School, its sister school for girls (later to become a grammar school in 1951) opened the same day. Lady Edridge was wife of a Mayor of Croydon and the first "Lady Freeman" of the Borough. It closed in 1980 and was demolished.

Grammar and comprehensive school[edit]

In 1935 the school moved to Tamworth Road, and in April 1945 it was granted grammar school status as the John Ruskin Grammar School for Boys (JRGS). It had been previously the John Ruskin Selective Central School. It moved to Upper Shirley Road, Shirley, in 1955, and was retitled the John Ruskin High School in 1971 before later becoming a 14-18 Co-Educational Comprehensive School. It was demolished in 1991. The Upper Shirley Road site surrounded the Shirley Windmill, a 19th-century tower mill.[2] The upper forms transferred to Selsdon to form the present John Ruskin College, utilising the premises previously known as John Newnham Secondary Selective School, named after a 20th-century town clerk of the old County Borough of Croydon.

The current College[edit]

The current College was established in 1988 following re-organisation of post-16 studies in Croydon. It merged with East Surrey College in February 2019, creating Orbital South Colleges group.[3]


A range of Full-time vocational courses are available for students:

  • Access to Higher Education
  • Applied Science
  • Aviation, Travel & Tourism
  • Business, Accounting & IT
  • Construction
  • Creative Arts (Digital Media, Games Design, Art, Design, Photography)
  • Early Years & Childcare
  • Engineering
  • ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages)
  • Hair & Beauty and Spa
  • Health & Social Care
  • Life Skills
  • Life Skills SEND
  • Public Services
  • Sport

The college also provides a range of Apprenticeship programmes.

Notable alumni and faculty[edit]

John Ruskin College[edit]

John Ruskin Grammar School[edit]


  1. ^ John Ruskin College Ofsted. Retrieved 21 November 2022
  2. ^ "The history of Shirley Windmill". Friends of Shirley Windmill. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  3. ^ "East Surrey College and John Ruskin College Merger Confirmed - East Surrey College". www.esc.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 17 May 2021.

External links[edit]