At a glance


  • Education
  • Young people

Other details

Geographical remit: 


SML College is part of the educational charity, the Centre for Self Managed Learning. We have been providing SML programmes for young people at SML College in Brighton for 15 years.

The College is a vibrant learning community that offers a real alternative to schooling. We provide a stimulating and nurturing environment where students can develop the confidence and skills they need for the future. Whatever they want to learn a way is found for them to do so.

‘Managing my own learning has shown me that I can be really self-motivated” Ethan

Our students feel well prepared to take the next steps in their careers when they leave the College. Results for students of all abilities have been exceptional, with ALL of our 16 year olds having gone on to further education or employment.

We know a lot today about how children and young people learn - for instance we know that they are all individuals with their own learning journey. Yet school still assumes that students will learn the same things, in the same way, at the same time and that’s why SML College offers a real alternative.

If we really want our children to be prepared for life in the 21st Century, perhaps it’s time to look at a more progressive approach to learning.

Our Educational Programme

SML College is inspected every three years by East Sussex County Council as part of approving us as an External Training Provider. In this capacity we ran an educational programme for the Council and have worked jointly with the University of Sussex to run educational programmes in two secondary schools in East Sussex.

These programmes were independently evaluated by the schools and the programme in Uckfield Community Technology College was the subject of an award-winning dissertation from the University of Brighton. A published article on the Uckfield programme is available as is the research report.

SML College has taken students funded by most Brighton and Hove schools as well as running programmes in two of the schools. Brighton and Hove City Council has also directly funded some students. Other Councils that have used our services include London Borough of Harringay, Portsmouth, West Sussex and Jersey. Independent evaluations by universities have shown the educational value of our approach.


Our approach

We treat each young person as an individual and personalise learning for every student. We provide a supportive structure that allows students to plan, organise and carry out their learning activities.

Our community

We work as a learning community where the role of staff is to support the students in learning what they need to lead purposeful adult lives.  Key features of the College are mutual respect, collaboration, helping and supporting each other.

Our aim

We support our students in deciding for themselves who they want to be in life and how to achieve it. We assist them in deciding what they need to do to pursue their goals and future careers. The structure we provide facilitates this process.

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