Parents’ and Carers’ Information

At Sussex Downs College we recognise that in Year 11 your child will need to start thinking about making some important decisions about their education and future career. Although it’s sometimes necessary to make late decisions, the best way is to get information, advice and guidance early, so that your child can make the right choices.

What is Your Next Step?

• What is Further Education (FE)?
FE covers a wide range of types of education which go beyond what has been achieved in primary and secondary education by year 11, but which are not yet at degree level (Higher Education). Typically, FE includes: A levels, AS levels, Apprenticeships, Vocational qualifications and Foundation Learning.

• Qualification Guide and Information, Advice and Guidance
Changes in learning mean that courses are more flexible and there is a broader choice available. There are lots of qualifications to choose from and our friendly, professional guidance team are able to help support your child make their future choices and talk about progression. For further information call or email; Eastbourne Campus 01323 637631 or Lewes Campus 01273 402205 or drop in to see us.

• Open Events
To find out what Sussex Downs College has to offer, come to one of our Open Events. This will give you an opportunity to look around our ‘first class’ facilities, meet expert and committed lecturers and tutors, find out about the support that is available – anything from additional learning support to financial help – and meet some of our current students, our best ambassadors!

Applying to the College

Once an application has been received, an interview date will be sent out. This allows us to make sure that your child has chosen the right course and allows them the opportunity to find out about the course or programme and ask any questions. Parents are very welcome to attend the interview.

Usually an offer will be made with conditions attached, such as GCSE grades that you child will need to achieve at school. For a few, a referral to our guidance staff will be made to help look at achievable, alternative options.

There is an opportunity to visit Sussex Downs College at the end of the summer to attend classes in the subjects they have initially chosen – we call these introductory days – and would strongly recommend that, if possible, your child attends.

Information will be sent out about what to do on GCSE results day; along with advice on student support and enrolment over the summer period. Some curriculum areas may send out work to be completed over the holiday period ready for handing in at the start of the new academic year.

On Course

Induction, Once term starts in September; the first week is usually seen as an introduction to Sussex Downs College and is an opportunity to help make the transition from school to College as easy as possible. During this time your child will meet their personal and academic tutors; find out about student support such as additional learning support, counselling and help with course

They will also be issued with a timetable so they know what they are doing. Changes in study are possible up until October and your child should talk to their personal and academic tutors at the earliest opportunity.

For current term dates please go to www.sussexdowns./term-dates


We have staff at each campus who can assist you with any queries you may have about applying for a course and about the financial help that may be available.

Telephone: 030 300 39551
Opening Times: 08:30-17:00 Monday-Thursday and 08:30-16:30 on Friday

Student Support

At College we offer expert advice and guidance including pastoral care in an extensive support service, which includes a specialist additional learning team and a personal tutor team, both of which work with students individually and in group sessions.

Bursaries are available, for those who are eligible, to help with travel, educational visits and equipment.

We are also committed to ensuring our students make informed and relevant choices about how they progress from College, whether into employment or higher education. Last year over 77% of our advanced students went on to study at universities or HE institutions. We have strong links with local employers including Gatwick Airport, with universities and with the National Careers Service.

Study Programme Tutors at Sussex Downs College

Our personal tutoring service offers a broad programme of individual tutorials, lessons, lectures and workshops designed to support your child’s move into college life. Tutors will be with them throughout their journey at College and will help your child to become a confident, independent learner, ready to take their next steps into the world. We recognise that the transition from school to college is both a challenging and exciting time. Tutorial support is really important in making this transition as smooth as possible.

The tutorial programme will help your child to:
feel safe and settled
explore how they learn
manage their workload
take responsibility and make choices
develop independence and resilience
fulfil their potential
consider their progression route through College and beyond

The programme will be supplemented with events offering the opportunity to engage with representatives from the world of work and education. These experiences will help your child to reflect on their learning from different perspectives and we are confident that they will find them enjoyable and enriching.

Reporting Student Absence

It is very important to notify the College if a student needs to be absent due to sickness or another acceptable reason. Notification can be made either by calling the absence line for the campus the student is attending and leaving a voicemail message, or by emailing the campus.

Absences must be notified by 10.20am on each and every day that the student is unable to attend college. The absence contact details are:

Eastbourne Campus

Absence Line: 030 300 39933
Absence Email:

Lewes and Newhaven Campuses

Absence Line: 030 300 39808
Absence Email:

College Premises

Student Social Events held outside the College day (8.30am-4.30pm) and/or off the College premises

Please be aware that the College cannot be held responsible for the safety, or behaviour, of any student whilst they are travelling to or from an event, and any time spent outside of the venue. The Venue Staff, Police and/or College can ensure safeguards are in place for students whilst they are inside the venue but are not in a position to extend this responsibility beyond the venue site or the times of the event.

Parents should be aware of the following conditions to which students must adhere when attending Student Social Events that are organised by the Student Union or College Staff. They are outlined on the reverse of the tickets and are highlighted to students at point of purchase:

The College would ask that parents/carers support us in our policy of promoting responsible attitudes towards the consumption of alcohol. The promotion of responsible attitudes and behaviour can be put to the test by a minority of individuals at these times.If a student does not abide by the conditions above, they must accept that sanctions applied by the Venue staff, the police or the College as a consequence may well have an impact on their experience of the event and their position at the College.



UCAS Parent Information


Help us to keep you informed…

If you are a Parent or Guardian of a student studying at Sussex Downs College and would like us to keep you informed about exams, timetables and any other events that we think you would like to know about, then please fill in this form and we will happily keep you updated.
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