Media and arts college in Brighton and Bexhill at risk of closure

Sussex news
Sussex news

There is growing support for a petition to save a Sussex college from closure after it received an ‘inadequate’ rating from Ofsted.

Dv8 Sussex, which has campuses in Brighton and Bexhill, is a creative industries college for people aged 16 to 24, offering free courses in fashion, music production and performance and event management.

After receiving an ‘inadequate’ rating from education watchdog Ofsted, the Education and Funding Agency (ESFA) has suspended student recruitment.

In a statement released by the school on January 17, managing director Dan Wallman said: “We are obviously hugely disappointed by this final grading, having just achieved our best ever year of qualification achievements, retention and progression. “We remain committed to our mission to ‘empower creative thinkers to be successful in work and life’. This is central to everything that we do and we believe that Dv8 occupies a unique position locally to support young people to achieve this.”

Rachel Carter, head of skills and employment from Brighton and Hove City Council said: “We will be working closely where appropriate with [Dv8] over the coming months to ensure that all areas identified for improvement at inspection are addressed. We believe that their specialist provision offers valuable creative pathways for young people in the city.”

Nick Dunn, a Dv8 course leader for level three Media and Games Development, said: “The college is a place where once they are in the building anything going on in their home or personal life doesn’t matter - they feel safe and they are learning skills for creative industries. We take the ones who the other colleges won’t take.

“If it wasn’t for Dv8 those students would fall under the cracks of education and drop out essentially.”

Messages of support from students, teachers, and parents of students have been coming in since a petition to save the college launched last Wednesday.

It has been signed by more than 1,500 people.

Mr Wallman added: “We want to thank everyone who has supported us and there have been some incredibly moving messages sent to us from parents and young people who have studied at Dv8 and felt that they could not have achieved anywhere else.”

To view the petition, visit: you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-dv8-sussex-from-possible-closure