East Coast College launches 150-year history book alongside vision for the next 10 years


East Coast College is celebrating its past while looking to the future with the launch of a college history book and 10-year strategic plan.

The booklets have been produced side by side to reflect on the events of the past 150 years which have moulded the college into what it’s today while allowing staff, students and the community to look ahead to the next chapter of learning up to 2030.

The 32-page history book takes readers on a journey from 1874 when further education started in Lowestoft with evening art classes at St John’s School, all the way through to 2020 when the college received a “Good” Ofsted rating making it the largest Ofsted Good College in Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

It includes a history timeline, list of principals from the 1900s up to present day, copies of old prospectuses and logbooks kindly provided by Suffolk Archives, and a host of photos through the decades to show the evolution of college life.

The book ends reflecting on the changes brought about by the coronavirus pandemic and looks ahead to the next decade linking in with the college’s new strategic plan.

Chief Executive Stuart Rimmer writes in the document: “This history of East Coast College captures and documents its victories and its defeats, its sense of belonging and its sense of place. History at its best can provide a foundation for our future activism. In our place and in our College our purpose has always been to address to social inequalities that have crossed generations. Ultimately, the value of searching our past in this way allows us to make sense of and proactively direct our future.”

The new strategic plan, which describes the college’s purpose as “to transform individuals and build communities through education,” sets out how ECC will develop its curriculum, deliver student success, improve as a business and support its staff, community and local businesses over the next decade.

It explores how the college will need to adapt in a post-Covid world to prepare students for the world of work and meet the needs of local employers, while looking at ways to continue developing the college’s curriculum, partnerships and community presence.

Key aims outlined in the strategy to be achieved by 2030 include being rated Outstanding by Ofsted, receiving a 95% student satisfaction rating, maintaining a ‘Good’ financial health status and reducing carbon emissions by 70%.

Mike Burrows, Chairman of the College’s Governing Body, said: “Our strategy has been built around a clear vision and mission and appropriate and strong values. Our actions have been aimed at winning our market, improving our business, developing our people and fostering student success, progression and wellbeing.

“Despite the unprecedented challenges we now face from climate change and the economic and social upheaval wrought by Covid-19, we have a team that can meet them head on. I am confident that we can overcome obstacles and take the opportunities full on that will arise from the need to reskill, to retrain and to work in partnership with the key sectors of our local economy. Team ECC will be a winner.”

Both documents were launched on Monday, July 6, and are available to view via the College Literature page.