USP College

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USP College
Aerial view of SEEVIC, Benfleet - - 1574012.jpg
Seevic aerial view in 1987
RM17 5TD (Palmer's Campus)
SS7 1TW (Seevic Campus)
TypeSixth form college
MottoYour life Your Career
Established1706 (Palmer's College)
1972 (Seevic College)
Principal and CEODan Pearson, CEO of USP College
(both campuses)
Age16 to 25+
Enrolment2,000+ (Palmer's Campus)
2,500 (Seevic Campus)
Former namesPalmer's College &
Seevic College

USP College (Unified Seevic Palmer's, previously known as Seevic and Palmer's Colleges Group)[1] is a further education college located in Thundersley, Benfleet, Essex, and Grays Thurrock, England. Approximately 4,500 students attend the college. The Seevic campus name was originally an acronym for South East Essex Sixth (VI) Form College. The Thundersley campus opened in September 1972. The Palmer's Campus in Grays can trace its history back to 1706.

The Seevic Campus offers adult education courses for learners of any age. Both campuses offer a special needs department for anyone with a learning disability. The Palmer's campus opened its special needs department in September 2018, following the success of the Seevic Campus one which has been running for several years and has over 94 students in the department.

In 2018 Seevic merged with Palmer's College as part of a government initiative.[2] From September 2018 the colleges were renamed USP College with a new logo.

It was announced in March 2019 that USP had purchased local apprenticeship provider ITECH Learning Technologies which would increase the number of apprenticeship training options USP could offer.[3]


In 2017 it was announced that Palmer's College and Seevic College would merge to make one college,[4] over the year running up to September 2018, both colleges underwent extensive changes. In June 2018 the college was officially renamed USP College. The new name included a new logo and a new look to both campuses. The new college would continue to offer a mixture of Further Education, Adult Education and Higher Education courses.

Seevic College[edit]

Seevic entrance

SEEVIC College was a Sixth Form college located in Thundersley, Essex. It offered a variety of GCSE's, A-Levels and Higher Education courses (in association with The University of Hertfordshire, Writtle University College and The Docklands Academy). This is now the SEEVIC campus of USP College.


The name was originally an acronym for South East Essex Sixth (VI) Form College. The College in Thundersley opened in September 1972 and was designed to support 12 partner schools across Castle Point and Rochford districts.[5] During the 1990s the college expanded into the former temporary home of Castle Point Borough Council in a building called the White House, the Training for the Millennium Centre on Canvey[6] and a small centre at the former Park School site in Rayleigh.[5] During the noughties they had planned to expand by knocking both the main site and the White House down and rebuilding.[7]

In 2017 OFSTED rated SEEVIC as requires improvement[8] however it came third in the national results for GCSE in Maths.[9]

The college offers courses such as performing arts, science, health and social care. Approximately 2,500 students attend the college.

New Campus Basildon[edit]

In 2008 SEEVIC opened a new centre at the Icon in Basildon, named New Campus Basildon in partnership with Prospects College and South East Essex College as part of a government initiative to increase FE provision in the town. In 2011 a second campus was opened at Church Walk,[10] but after the merger of Thurrock and Basildon College with South East Essex College in 2010, the ICON building was closed. New Campus Basildon as an FE centre was closed[11] and it became a Studio school in 2013, with SEEVIC as its main sponsor. SEEVIC withdrew from sponsoring the studio school in 2016[12] and it closed in 2017.[13]


The Seevic Campus is located on Kiln Road (A13) Thundersley, Benfleet, Essex, England.

Notable alumni[edit]

Palmer's College[edit]

Palmer's entrance

Palmer's College was a sixth form college for 16- to 19-year-olds in Thurrock, Essex, England. It offers a wide range of courses including A-levels, BTECs and Secretarial. It is now one of two campuses of USP College.


Palmer's was first opened in 1706 when the merchant William Palmer founded a charity school for "ten poore children" of the parish of Grays Essex, endowing it with valuable property in the town and Lombard Street in the City of London. Initially located in a small building inside the churchyard the school evolved into a boys' school. However, in response to the changing educational landscape initiated by the 1870 Education Act, the trustees of Palmer's charity re-launched the school on a new site on the hill above the town in 1874. To this a girls' school was added in 1876.[17] The schools were grammar schools for both boys' and girls', and William Strang, 1st Baron Strang, perhaps Palmer's most distinguished alumnus, recalled it in 1905 as 'a modest establishment, modest that is in size and in material equipment, but not at all modest in the opinion which it held of itself'.[18] The boy school which admitted both day pupils and boarders until 1970, achieved the status of a public school in 1931–46. In 1972, as part of the reorganisation of education in Essex, the boys' and girls' schools amalgamated, together with Aveley Technical High School, to constitute a sixth form college. During the mid-1970s, the boys' and Aveley schools relocated to the College's present site (until then occupied by the Girls' School alone). The College was supported by the William Palmer College Education Trust, the direct successor of the trustees William Palmer appointed to administer his charity. Artifacts from the schools' past can be seen in the College library.

A 2007 inspection by Ofsted concluded: "Palmer's is an outstanding college." Student achievement and the standard of work were good and success rates overall 'well above national averages for learners from all backgrounds'. The College was also praised for its retention rates and value-added scores.[19]

In 2013 a subsequent report rated the college as "Requires Improvement" because few students studying academic courses were achieving high grades, there were no consistent standards of teaching, learning and assessment, and the college's leadership had failed to maintain the high standards reached in 2007, with many of the implemented measures, particularly regarding the performance management of teachers, being ineffective.[20]

2008 saw a record number of students applying to the College with over 2000 students enrolling. The College was equipped with modern teaching facilities set in landscaped grounds. Both students and the general public had access to a newly refurbished sports and fitness centre (including gym), Palmer's hosts a variety of events for children from local schools on its playing fields.

The Student Executive were the "voice of the students" within the college; they were responsible for organising various college events. The Student Executive of 2007–2008 raised £4,000 for Little Havens Children's Hospice while the Student Executive of 2008/9 raised £3,000 for Cancer Research UK as well as hosting various social events and fundraising days over the course of the year.

The school had a good record of students attaining places on the prestigious Prime Minister's Global Fellowship programme. The school achieved its first two students in the inaugural year of the programme, 2008. In 2009 it had another successful applicant.[21]

In 2006 Palmer's College celebrated its 300th anniversary and is able to trace its roots back over 300 years.


The college is situated on Chadwell Road (B149) next to the A1089 just north of the A126 junction (Marshfoot Interchange).[22] It is close to the boundary between Little Thurrock (to the west) and Chadwell St Mary. It is administratively in Thurrock and although its postal address is Grays, it is located in the religious parish of St Mary the Virgin, Little Thurrock.[23]

Notable Alumni[edit]

Palmer's Grammar School for Boys[edit]

Palmer's Grammar School for Girls[edit]

Palmer's College[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ New college gives students USP Archived 20 September 2018 at the Wayback Machine 19 July 2018
  2. ^ "Where Are We - Seevic College". Archived from the original on 21 October 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
  3. ^ "USP College and ITEC merger to deliver more choice in high quality apprenticeships - p.1 March 2019". Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  4. ^ "REVEALED: Seevic College and Palmer's College to merge to save cash and increase course options - Evening Echo p.23 March 2017". Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Seevic College Report from the Inspectorate - The Further Education Funding Council p. February 1997" (PDF). Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  6. ^ "SEEVIC's hi-tech vision for the new century - The Daily Gazette p.22 January 1999". Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  7. ^ "£70m to be pumped into Seevic revamp - Evening Echo Calkin.S p.19 June 2008". Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Inspectors conclude Seevic College still 'requires improvement' in Ofsted report - The Yellow Advertiser Cox.M p.15 February 2017". Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Who will run the FE centres of excellence for maths? - FE News Allen-Kinross.P p.2 December 2017". Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  10. ^ "Seevic opens second campus in Basildon - Evening Echo Jones.A p.12 January 2011". Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  11. ^ "Seevic to close in Basildon - Evening Echo p.27 May 2013". Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  12. ^ "Town centre school rated "inadequate" is set to be taken on by new sponsors - Evening Echo Porter.M p.18 April 2016". Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  13. ^ "Sixteenth studio school confirms it will close - FE Week Camden.B p.3 May 2017". Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  14. ^ "JUST DANCE Who is Ashley Banjo, what is the Diversity star's net worth, who's his wife Francesca and when did the group win BGT? - The Sun Kavangh.J p.4 July 2018". Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  15. ^ "USP College on Instagram: "Did you see former student @jordbanjo enter the jungle yesterday? #teamjordan #imaceleb #student #seevic #college"". Instagram.
  16. ^ "ISSUU - Seevic College 16-19 Prospectus 2011/12 by Seevic College". Seevic College. p. 58. Archived from the original on 15 March 2016. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  17. ^ Herbert Brooks, William Palmer and his School. Being an account of the founder of Palmer's Charity at Grays Thurrock, Essex (Colchester, 1928).
  18. ^ Lord Strang, 'Fifty Years Ago', in J. R. Hayston (ed.), 250 Years on. To commemorate the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the trust deed by which William Palmer endowed in 1706 a school in Grays Thurrock (1956), p. 59. See also Strang's autobiography, Home and abroad (1956)
  19. ^ "2007 Palmers College Report - Ofsted May 2017". Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  20. ^ "Further Education and Skills Inspection report: Palmer's College" (PDF). Ofsted. 18 November 2013.
  21. ^ British Council website "Fellows" accessed 10 November 2009.Archived 12 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^
  23. ^ St Mary the Virgin

Coordinates: 51°33′45″N 0°35′01″E / 51.5625°N 0.5835°E / 51.5625; 0.5835