Lord Brett McLean, Chairman of the East Sussex economic advisory board, played host to 52 French business students, from Reims, the Champagne region of France, as they visited Hastings.

Accompanied by their English teacher, Alain Aitou, the students were given an hour long lecture by Lord Brett McLean and David Thorpe Tracey from Azur Marina Pavilion.

This was followed by a tour of SCCH, led by International Operational Manger, Tino Santonocito, which was concluded by a tour of the Town Hall, and introduction to the Mayor of Hastings.  

The students agreed that the tour of Sussex Coast College Hastings was the most impressive part of the entire trip, commenting on how SCCH was a flagship facility for Hastings and St Leonards.

Alain Aitou said ‘the students found the visit to Hastings both interesting and thought provoking. They were extremely impressed with the college as there are no such facilities like SCCH in France.’

Tino, his colleagues from Sussex Coast College Hastings and Lord Brett Mclean were thanked for their excellent tour guide skills.

Lord Brett concluded ‘the visit went very well, so much so that we will be looking at ways to bring the students back next year to enrol onto a day course at SCCH. This will enable them to get a taste of British education at its best.’


20 BTEC Level 3 Year One Engineering students took part in a STEM event in the Atrium last week, building robots in an exciting afternoon of hands-on engineering lessons.

The event helped the students practice team-building and had a competitive, yet supportive spirit. The afternoon was held in partnership with The University of Brighton, enthusing scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians of the future.

Engineering Tutor Paul Nash added ‘It was good for the students to have to work to a tight deadline in order to achieve an outcome and, in many cases, were able to apply some of their engineering theory into the designs of their robots. It was an excellent day overall.’

For more information on Stem Sussex, visit


Sports Session Leaders

The council’s StreetGames project has teamed up with Sussex Coast College Hastings to engage young people in a nationally recognised volunteer scheme, supported by the Cooperative.

Fifteen young people from the college have joined the scheme which will give them the opportunity to support delivery of community sport sessions in Hastings and Rother.

Cllr Westley lead member for leisure and amenities said:

“This is a brilliant scheme for young people aged 16 – 25. By volunteering they will gain experience and knowledge and will be able to work towards various recognised sporting qualifications for free. This will enable them to empower and develop other young people through sport.”

“The scheme really helps young people grow in confidence, boosts self esteem and enables them to get involved in sporting events and be a positive role model.”

Vicki McFarlane, Sports Lecturer at Sussex Coast College Hastings added:

“It is fantastic to see the partnership between Hastings Borough Council and Sussex Coast College Hastings strengthen. The students have worked hard to apply for this work experience and I am very proud of what they have achieved.”

For more information about StreetGames and other sport activities in the town visit


Image shows the South Coast College volunteer students with the council's Sports Mentors Ken Dullaway and Anna Graham.



Superstar Saffron Peterson has turned her life around after waking up one day and thinking ‘there must be more to life than this.’

After a very tough few years growing up, Saffron found herself stuck in a rut of missing school, hanging out with the wrong crowds and disappearing for weeks on end. Things were so bad that the police got involved and fines were issued to her regularly for poor attendance. 

Saffron was a bright school pupil and was predicted good grades, but disappointed her teachers and mother by her lack of commitment and interest.  Saffron was more interested in being popular and hanging around with groups of friends.

After missing all of her GSCE exams, Saffron left school with no qualifications and decided to join Military College, with the Army being her best and last hope, or so she thought.

After 6 weeks, Saffron decided it wasn’t for her and applied for Art A Level at Sussex Coast College Hastings. She didn’t think she would have a chance of getting in, but, based on a small portfolio and confident interview at the college, she was given a chance.

From here, Saffron has gone on to study Biology, Chemistry and English Literature AS levels and is predicted A* grades at A Level.  She has been told to apply for The Russell Group Universities including York, Manchester and Bristol, hoping to qualify as a neurosurgeon.

She is also studying for a Harvard Online certificate in Neuroscience, as she hopes this will increase her chances of getting a place at University.  In her spare time, she is a keen musician and singer, and volunteers part-time at kennels.

Saffron added ‘with some hard work and determination, you can be what you want to be and do what you want to do, at any age, it’s never too late. I love studying at Sussex Coast College, the staff are a great support and the facilities are wonderful.’ 


On Monday, Labour's parliamentary candidate for Hastings & Rye threw her speech away when she visited international students at Sussex Coast College Hastings.

When meeting students of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Sarah Owen abandoned her pre-planned political speech and took the brave approach of letting the students set the agenda. The visit lasted well over an hour as the students fired questions at her on the issues that mattered to them. They wanted to know what made her want to get into politics, they challenged her to explain her vision for Hastings, and they wanted to know what it was like to work for Lord (Alan) Sugar.

Sarah said, "The students really kept me on my toes but it was great fun. You always hear how cynical and disillusioned people are with politics, and it would be fair to say that some of the students were, so I knocked the idea of a standard political speech on the head. I came in to politics as a straight talking Hastings woman, prepared to take challenges head-on and I have no intention of changing. The students had a wealth of life experience and knowledge, it was only right that they set the agenda. Letting them take the reins hopefully showed them that politicians aren't 'all the same'."

The students spoke about the problems they faced coming to study here, but they were all determined to overcome their hardships.

Aneta from Poland said, "It was such a great opportunity for us to meet Sarah. She's is so genuine and clearly loves what she does and believes in it. I wish all politicians were like her."
Taher from Kurdistan said "Sarah was so nice; I can't believe she's a politician. In my country, politicians are so arrogant but she's not at all. I believe she'll do what she says in the future."

Sarah said  "I think students want politicians to be on their side and to acknowledge the challenges they face. Some of them have gone through a lot to be able to study, it certainly makes you think. I believe I learnt as much from them as they did from me. I'm looking forward to going back again."

Otto Haas, Learner Standards Manager at SCCH, said, "It was a pleasure to hear from Sarah today. I do like the fact that she turned the tables and asked my students what matters. It's refreshing to hear from a politician that is interested in listening as well as talking."





Greetings from the Chair of Corporation

Great progress has been made this term and on behalf of the Governing Body I would like to congratulate all our staff and students who have worked so hard this term.  Thank you to our partners, local businesses and the community for all your support and I wish you all a relaxing Christmas break. 


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