Working for Sussex Downs College

In order to demonstrate our appreciation and show recognition for the valuable contribution that all of our employees make, we are delighted to be able to offer the following exceptional range of staff benefits:

Work in excellent locations, with exceptional facilities:

Nestled in the heart of the South Downs the historic county town of Lewes is home to one of the two main Sussex Downs campus sites. The campus is located a short walk from the town centre which has a range of shops, historic buildings, parks and gardens making it a convenient and enjoyable place for your lunch-break stroll. The campus is a fifteen minute commute from the centre of the vibrant City of Brighton and has good rail and road links to London.

Our Eastbourne campus is 15 miles East of Lewes and affords a picturesque setting at the foot of the Downs a short drive from the centre of the seaside town of Eastbourne. Eastbourne boasts five miles of unspoilt beaches and has won many national awards, such as, ‘Best UK Resort’ and ‘Tourism Destination of the Year’, it also enjoys more days of sunshine than any other UK mainland destination! The campus itself is only a short walk from Hampden Park rail station with links to Lewes, Brighton and London.

Both campuses offer free staff car parking and a range of excellent facilities including hair and beauty salons, restaurants and cafés, childcare facilities and access to state of the art multi-media learning resources.

Learn and Develop

Your learning and development is important to us and we recognise that it is the quality and commitment of our employees that will enable us to fully achieve our aims.
We provide a wide range of development opportunities for both teaching and support staff. This includes a range of professional teaching qualifications, a leadership and management development programme, IT training, core skills training, health and safety training, mentoring and secondment opportunities. We also have a range of job opportunities and different career paths available and your needs will be assessed at your yearly appraisal where your personal development plan is agreed for the following year.
In addition to the above, the College is committed to delivering it’s Skills Pledge, which is a voluntary pledge to support all employees in developing their basic skills, including literacy and numeracy and work towards relevant, valuable qualifications to at least level 2 (equivalent to 5 good GCSEs). The purpose of the skills pledge is to ensure that all staff are skilled, competent and able to make a full contribution to the success of the College.

Help settling in

We place great importance on introducing you effectively into your new job and work at the College. You will receive a comprehensive induction programme in addition to a supported probationary period which includes regular reviews and feedback sessions with your line manager to support you in settling in to your new job, giving you reasonable time to demonstrate your abilities and suitability for the post.

Work in a Supportive Environment

We provide an occupational health service via Fit4Life and can provide up to 5 free counselling sessions to support you throughout your time at the College. In addition, we have a dedicated and professional HR department who are available to provide support and guidance in relation to health concerns or work related issues that you may experience during your time at the College.

Work Flexibly

We have a range of flexible working initiatives to help you balance your work and home-life commitments. These include, a flexi-time scheme (applicable to some, but not all areas of the college), job sharing arrangements and the right for those with childcare or caring responsibilities to request changes to their normal work pattern.

Work in an environment committed to ensuring equality

We recognise and value the diversity of our workforce and the local community and oppose all forms of discrimination on the grounds of race or ethnic origin, gender, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability or age.

We want to ensure that all attributes, talents and skills available reflect our staff and learners and the communities they live in and our principle is that jobs should be filled by the best able to do them. We also take every possible step to ensure that all College staff are treated fairly and given equal opportunity and support appropriate to their needs.We ensure that all employment decisions including those on recruitment and selection, promotion, training and career development are based solely on job related objective criteria, and this is partly recognised through our ‘two ticks’ disability employer status.
Find out more about Equality and Diversity at Sussex Downs College

Final Salary Pension Schemes

You are invited to join either the Local Government Pension Scheme or the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. Both are contributory final salary schemes and are regarded as two of the most generous schemes currently available.

Both schemes provide excellent benefits including:

  • Final salary pensions with benefits based on reckonable years and pensionable service
  • Employer contributions
  • An index linked pension for life
  • Opportunity to have a tax-free lump sum on retirement
  • Opportunity to purchase extra contributions
  • Opportunity to transfer-in from other schemes
  • Flexible retirement options

Generous Annual Leave Scheme

The College has in place a generous annual leave scheme and offers 50 days for teaching staff and a minimum of 26 days annual leave for support staff. The amount of annual leave you are entitled to varies according to your post and length of service.

Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Leave

We provide generous occupational maternity, paternity and adoption benefits.

Childcare Facilities and Childcare Vouchers

We are pleased to be able to offer subsidised staff childcare facilities including nurseries at both the Lewes and Eastbourne Campuses. The College also operates a childcare voucher scheme reducing the cost of childcare arrangements by allowing you to pay for childcare vouchers through payroll, saving on tax and national insurance payments.

Occupational sick pay, domestic leave and compassionate leave

If you are ill you will receive immediate entitlement to occupational sick pay. The amount of sick pay you receive is dependent on your length of service. We also provide domestic leave for emergency situations and compassionate leave.

Trade Union Membership

We have agreements with nationally recognised trade unions including Unison, UCU and the NUT and provide the facilities to help them represent their members on a corporate, departmental or individual basis.

Charitable Payroll Giving

We operate a ‘give as you earn’ scheme where you can make tax free donations to any charity of your choice through the payroll system.

Support in buying a property

Key workers may be eligible to apply via HomeBuy for assistance with buying a property. For further information visit

Green Travel Scheme

Interest free Green Travel loans of up to £2,000 are available to employees of Sussex Downs College in support of the College’s Green Policy and to encourage the use of public transport.

Bicycle Loans

To further demonstrate our commitment to green travel we offer staff the opportunity to apply for an interest free bicycle loan of up to £1,000 through our Cycle to Work scheme.

We are a ‘two ticks’ disability employer, which means that we are positive about disabled people and have made commitments to employ, retain and develop the abilities of disabled staff. Read more

We are part of the Network for Black Professionals. Visit the NBP website for more information.

We have recently signed up to become a Mindful Employer, making a commitment to support staff with mental health problems.

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