Overview

We are a further education college for adults, with over 7000 learners. Located two minutes from Richmond station, we are within easy reach of London to suit learners travelling across the city. As well as over 1900 courses, we host an exciting events calendar featuring concerts, drama, lectures, workshops, displays and fairs throughout the year.

In 2015-16, RACC was the top college in the country for learner satisfaction in the FE Choices survey.

RACC is dedicated to providing the resources that enable adults to unlock their talent and fulfil their potential through learning, skills and enterprise. 

As part of this mission, we are committed to six fundamental principles:

  1. To provide further education to develop pathways needed to progress to higher education
  2. To provide adult learning to stimulate self-fulfilment and personal development
  3. To provide basic skills and pre-vocational training to aid in gaining employment
  4. To develop workplace based, vocational training for those seeking to upgrade their qualifications or who require training to help them change their career path or become self employed.
  5. To provide outreach programmes enabling progression to community life and/or employment
  6. To develop work and life skills training for adults with learning disabilities

Our courses range in level from basic skills through to postgraduate.

Our friendly, welcoming campus is a relaxed learning environment, with a café area open to the community. The College is vigilant in ensuring that it is a safe and secure environment for learning.

We have updated our facilities to ensure they are flexible and accessible.  The new facilities allow the College to provide opportunities for learners with low skills and in particular for learners with learning difficulties or with disabilities. This includes our new accessible teaching kitchen and bathroom facilities.

The key to RACC’s recent growth and success has been its ability to adapt to the challenges of constantly changing social and economic trends, as well as responding to major changes in Government Policy on adult funding. As a result, its success rates are in the top 20% for FE colleges nationally and it was rated as a Grade 2 college in its Ofsted inspection (May 2015).

Green Credentials

RACC actively promotes sustainability and eco-friendly practices and has worked with the Carbon Trust to reduce its carbon footprint.  The heating systems have been up-dated at the Parkshot site and the new build will achieve BREEAM Excellent rating and will incorporate recycling and sustainable energy strategies. 

The College was featured as a green transport user by the Association of Colleges with the use of its SMART cars to visit employers’ premises as part of its drive to reduce private car usage.  RACC also promotes the use of bicycles for staff and is currently working on a policy to further reduce travel to work by car.

History of RACC

1895

The premises of the Technical Institute and Secondary School are erected in Kew Road.

1896

The Institute opens. It also provides a centre for the Richmond District Technical Education Committee.

1939

The School moves out and joins forces with a school in East Sheen.

1940

The Technical Institute is put on a war-time basis and used as an A.R.P (Air Raid Precautions). and ambulance depot.

1947

After the war it is revived as the Technical Institute and School of Art for Richmond and Barnes.

1954

The Institute is renamed again as The Richmond Institute of Further Education in order to emphasise the wider range of courses and lectures that had developed.

1959

Dominic Bruce is appointed as Principal. Vocational work is removed from the Institute.

1962

Mrs Margaret Leslie - the first woman to be appointed as Principal. Her general brief is to develop adult education. The Institute is renamed as The Richmond Institute for Adult Education.

1963

The amalgamation of Richmond, Barnes and Twickenham into the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames gives the Institute almost twice as much territory.

1966

Under the Principal the Institute soon outgrows its premises. It runs courses ranging from university level to non-readers. Art classes are transferred to the old fire station which becomes the Shaftesbury Annexe.

1967/8

The Institute is using three annexes during the day and up to twenty outside centres for evening classes.

1970

Another name change, the Institute becomes Richmond Adult College.

1972

At the forefront of social change, feminism makes its mark with the newly opened crèche. Women’s Studies arrive eight years later. Seeking to diffuse its facilities throughout the Borough, hospital patients and Old people’s Homes inmates become included. A forum for the unemployed is introduced together with “link” courses with schools and a full time Drama School.

1974/5

Considered to be the peak period in terms of enrolments - the College has a waiting list

1978

In need of better premises the Adult College transfers to Parkshot when the Richmond County School for Girls falls vacant.

1980

In order to provide an independent body with independent funds the Portcullis Trust is set up to help in times of adult learning funding cuts.

1981

The College acquires the Clifden Centre in Twickenham (previously the Twickenham School for Girls) It becomes the administrative and second full time day centre of the College.

1984

After having the work of the Community Association handed over Richmond Adult & Community College is born. This change of name is very important as it indicates a desire to remove barriers to access and make the College attractive to a wider range of people.

1985

Under Ann Risman’s leadership the Council in partnership with Richmond Parish Lands builds the Queen Charlotte Hall and the Studio Theatre at the Parkshot site.

1988

The Education Committee of Richmond Parish Lands is established and works with the College to provide financial support to its disadvantaged students.

1996

The college is established as an independent further education adult college, one of only 14 in the country.

2000

Christina Conroy becomes Principal. The College is modernised, rebuilt, refurbished and re-equipped to provide 21st century resources.

2004

A new addition, the Richmond Business School is built on the Parkshot site. The Richmond Adult & Community College becomes the largest specialist adult college in the country.

2008

The College is re-branded as RACC

2014

Clifden site in Twickenham closed to become Sir Richard Reynolds School

2015

RACC moves onto one site at Parkshot in Richmond.

 

New facilities open at Parkshot site including Art School, Theatre, Dance Studio, Music Studio, and Link area.