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Sussex Downs College - Lewes site

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On 17 May 2017 at 11:24am Samuelbeckett wrote:
I heard a rumour that the Lewes site is going to close down and transfer its educational provision to Eastbourne/Newhaven. They have had a poor Ofsted report (not entirely their fault given the savage cuts to education particularly in FE). It's depressing if its true that they're all set to sell the land to another rapacious developer itching to convert it to more unaffordable housing.
What about the commitment to invest in young people? Are we so cash-strapped that a long term investment in education becomes something we can so easily jettison? I really don't want to live in a town that doesn't have the wherewithal to secure the future of the younger generation, and instead looks at every space as some sort of cash cow. Time to move on. Any rapacious developer out there want to buy my house?
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On 17 May 2017 at 11:28am The Greek wrote:
Insanity. FE colleges have been the quiet recipient of the majority of these evil Tory cuts. Haywards Heath is also due to close because of mounting debt.

I went to school in Chailey, which had no sixth form, and grew up in Barcombe meaning that Lewes was really only the viable option. While not the best college, I still got my A-Levels.

The bus was expensive enough, adding on an extortionate privatised train fare to Eastbourne is just not viable for many, especially now EMA has been abolished (which many people used it for). This will create a huge rise in rural poverty and unemployment. Disgrace.
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On 17 May 2017 at 11:28am The Greek wrote:
They already moved some subjects to Eastbourne which caused some people I knew to drop out.
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On 17 May 2017 at 11:39am Samuelbeckett wrote:
The Greek, I heard that too. They have moved many subjects over which has forced people to travel to Eastbourne. It's like they are already winding down the provision. Awful. I feel so helpless - how do we change things? No one seems to care and these guys, backed by questionable planning decisions, get away with it.
My friend's child's school closed down (it was located not far from Lewes) and even though it was protected by an educational trust, they sat on the land for a couple of years, and are now building grim and expensive housing on the once beautiful site. I have no idea how they got planning permission or managed to overturn the trust. And this is despite organised protests and campaigning.
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On 17 May 2017 at 11:52am The Greek wrote:
A return to Eastbourne is 10!! The bus takes nearly 2 hours so is not feasible for a 9am start. I believe they are already downgrading the Vocational College there.
I'm not sure if there is a statutory right to provide FE education, if there isn't there really should be. I can't believe they would close Lewes, 1000s of children go there.

A start is to protest, organise and write letters. Oh and don't vote Conservative as this is a direct result of their cuts, management is only part of it.
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On 17 May 2017 at 11:54am emmjaycee wrote:
Yes, sadly correct, this is part of the area review aimed at cost saving and merging FE provision, Sussex Downs and Sussex Coast College in Hastings are planning a merger, this has already led to a review of local demand, and Eastbourne , Newhaven and Hastings win over Lewes. Haywards Heath had to close because of appalling financial mismanagement by Central Sussex college in Crawley who currently have 25m of debt. Students caught in the area that lies north of Lewes face a grim choice of long and costly travel. Both colleges will of course deny this, but mark my words, as they say. After the area reviews are complete colleges that fail will not be bailed out, and will have to sell off land.
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On 17 May 2017 at 12:22pm lewes resident wrote:
They can always go to BHASVIC or VARNDEAN, both have good results .Possibly too Academic for some that go to Sussex Downs.
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On 17 May 2017 at 12:35pm The Greek wrote:
This is a disgrace!!! Colleges should be funded by LEAs or central government! Central Sussex was huge mismanagement, borrowing to fund a 30m extension and then being 30m in debt. The building was only completed a few years ago.

Lewes resident, and pay to get there with what? Brass buttons? BHASVIC and Varndean are both in immensely inconvenient places in Brighton. For someone living in Barcombe, Newick, Chailey etc that would mean getting a bus, a train and another bus. This would probably amount to around 50 a week which is insanity.

Especially now children are MANDATED to stay in education until 18, causing all this unnecessary inconvenience makes no sense. I wonder what the PPCs have to say about this?
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On 17 May 2017 at 12:59pm Ed Can Do wrote:
Bus then train then bus? Bit dramatic, BHASVIC is a ten minute walk from Brighton station and Varndean is fifteen/twenty minutes from London Road. Almost every I grew up with in Lewes went to one of the Brighton options and with walking twenty minutes to the station, twenty minutes on the train and ten minutes walk the other end, getting to BHASVIC took under an hour. Granted if you're a bit more rural then the trip is a bit more difficult but that's kinda part of the deal when you live in a village, getting anywhere is more difficult!
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On 17 May 2017 at 1:01pm Billy wrote:
More whingers! When I went to FE college at 16, I lived in Eastbourne and travelled daily to Hastings. Why does everyone these days want everything on a plate and butted both sides?
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On 17 May 2017 at 1:35pm Dee wrote:
If this upsets you..... think about where your cross is going to land next month.
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On 17 May 2017 at 1:39pm Samuelbeckett wrote:
Billy, ah.. its not about whingeing. Its about asking questions about the kind of society we'd like to have. A community which includes access to education, for example, (and I don't mean that in terms of physical access!) and maintaining a resource that already exists in the town. Yes of course, young people can travel - and many do. But given that there already is a viable space that is being used for education, surely we should try to nurture and maintain it? Otherwise, we may as well all just regress to accepting our lot and allowing a hegemony motivated by its own interests.
Wanting to return to the heyday of commuting from Eastbourne to Hastings in order to prove some sort of resilience is a tad reductive to be honest. Surely we can have a town that also has a thriving FE college, which acts as a feeder to good universities and helps all children believe that they can achieve.
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On 17 May 2017 at 1:51pm Voter wrote:
What does Maria Caulfield have to say about this?
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On 17 May 2017 at 2:53pm mike hopkins wrote:
Hello, I am Mike Hopkins, Principal/Chief Executive of Sussex Downs College which includes Lewes.
I can, without equivocation, state that there are no plans to close the College site in Lewes. I am unsure how this rumour started, but there is absolutely no truth in it.
I trust that clarifies the matter and closes this discussion.
Best wishes- Mike
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On 17 May 2017 at 3:33pm Liberal Norman wrote:
It's only 20mins. from Lewes to Eastbourne by train. You could easily arrive before 9am.
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On 17 May 2017 at 4:07pm Maria Cauliflower wrote:
Who gives a f#ck,close it down.We've got our country back
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On 17 May 2017 at 6:38pm Red Ken wrote:
Ms Caulfield probably has a lot to say but is unintelligible after being in the taxpayer- subsidised commons bar all day.
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On 17 May 2017 at 10:42pm Fairmeadow wrote:
You can ask the candidates at the Hustings at the King's Church building at 7.30 pm tomorrow.
However, the Mike Hopkins post above suggests this is a fake news story.
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On 7 Oct 2017 at 7:56am Mc Mike wrote:
Don't you just love Mike Hopkins response ending with his hope to close the discussion. Truth is he had got rid of half the college the south over building to Sussex university. Your tyrannical dictatorship dosnt work here mr Hopkins.
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On 19 Feb 2018 at 9:32am Bakerlite switch wrote:
Mc Mike - Succinct summing up of the Mr Hopkins tenure!


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