What it’s like
Founded in 1867 by the 7th Duke of Devonshire as a boys’ school, it
became fully co-educational in 1996, after more than 25 years’
experience of girls in the sixth form. It has an excellent site in the
residential area of Eastbourne. Elegant buildings with fine grounds and
gardens are close to the sea front and within easy reach of the South
Downs. It is a Christian school (although those of other faiths are
welcomed) and all pupils have religious instruction and attend chapel
services. The academic standards are high and examination results are
very good. The music, drama, design and art departments are all strong
and work closely together, forming an integral part of the academic and
cultural life of the school. There is a variety of quality drama in the
purpose-built theatres, including visits by theatre groups, and the
College has its own professional music series (there is a strong liaison
with the Eastbourne Symphony Orchestra). It has a reputation for
excellence in team games and there is a variety of individual pursuits
including golf, wind-surfing and sailing. Many pupils have played at
county, regional and national levels but there are also opportunities
for those of more modest sporting ability. Other activities include the
CCF and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and annual expeditions to Third
World countries. There are numerous clubs and societies and considerable
involvement in the local community, helping the elderly, in primary
schools and with local conservation.
Pupils & entrance
Pupils: Age range 13–18, 580 pupils, 294 day (190 boys, 104
girls), 286 boarders (188 boys, 98 girls).
Entrance: Main entry ages 13 and 16. Common Entrance and own exam used.
For sixth-form entry, interview, school report and 6 GCSEs (at least 3
grade C, 3 grade B). Skills in sport, music and drama an asset; no
religious requirements. Small state school entry. 20% of pupils from St
Andrew’s School, Eastbourne (tel 01323 733203).
Scholarships, bursaries & extras 80+ scholarships, value
£1000–£10,000: most academic, also all-rounder, art, music. Eastbourne
College assisted places for sixth-form day pupils. Bursaries dependent
on parental need. Parents not expected to buy textbooks; extras £20–£250
per term, eg exam fees, outings, insurance premium (voluntary).
Parents 20% in industry, property etc; 25% doctors, lawyers etc. 50+%
live within 30 miles; up to 15% live overseas (about a third ex-pats).
Head & staff
Headmaster: Charles M P Bush, in post from 1993. Educated at Melbourne
Church of England Grammar School and Oxford University (mathematics).
Previously Housemaster and Head of Mathematics at Marlborough, Head of
Mathematics at Abingdon and at Aylesbury Grammar School and teacher at
the Dragon School. Also Hockey Association Coach.
Teaching staff: 60 full time, 15 part time. Annual turnover 5%. Average
GCSE: In 2003, 95 pupils in Year 11: 100% gained at least grade C in 5+
subjects. Average GCSE score 64 (63 over 3 years).
A-levels: 111 in upper sixth, all passed in 3 subjects. Average final
point score achieved by upper sixth formers 339.
University & college entrance 98% of 2003 sixth-form leavers went on
to a degree course (30% after a gap year), 10% to Oxbridge. 10% took
courses in medicine, dentistry & veterinary science, 35% in science &
engineering, 40% in humanities, business and social sciences, 5% in art
& design, 10% in other subjects eg drama, music. A few typically go on
to art or music colleges or straight into careers.
Curriculum GCSE, AS and A-levels. 23 subjects at GCSE, 24 at
Sixth form: Most sixth formers take 4 subjects at AS-level, 3 at A-level;
general studies taught but not examined. 35% take maths and science
A-levels, 38% arts/humanities, 27% both. Key skills are integrated into
lessons but monitored separately.
Special provision: Co-ordinator for SpLD and for EFL; private tuition of
Languages: French, German and Spanish offered to GCSE and A-level.
Regular exchanges and visits to France, Germany and Spain (close links
to France due to proximity).
ICT: Taught both as a discrete subject to AS-level and fully integrated
across the curriculum. 1000 computers for pupil use (24 hours a day),
all networked and with email and internet access. Campus-wide plug
in/radio network supports staff/pupil laptops.
The arts: Biennial arts festival.
Music: Over 30% of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental exams
can be taken. Many musical groups including orchestras, choirs, swing,
military bands, chamber music groups, pop groups. Regular organ and
choral scholarships to Oxbridge.
Drama: GCSE and AS-level drama offered. All Year 9 pupils act in a play.
Many pupils are involved in school productions and majority in
house/other productions. Strong tradition of old Eastbournians making
careers in performing arts.
Art & design: On average, 40 take GCSE, 20 A-level. All A-level students
who enter accepted for tertiary art/design studies.
Sport & activities
Sport: No compulsory sports after first year. Rugby, soccer, cricket,
hockey, volleyball, lacrosse, tennis, squash, badminton, swimming, water
polo, fives, athletics, basketball, judo, fencing, rowing, sailing. GCSE
and AS-level PE may be taken. 3 international and 85 county
representatives at various sports.
Activities: Pupils take bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh’s
Award. CCF compulsory for 1 year at 14 or community service for 2 years
at 15 (eg helping in local schools and community projects). Up to 30
clubs, eg Victorian Society, charity, history, wine, classics, debating.
Uniform: School uniform worn throughout.
Houses & prefects: 10 houses. Prefects, head boy and head girl, head of
house and house prefects, appointed by the Headmaster.
Religion: Compulsory chapel.
Social: Debates with other local schools. Organised trips abroad and
exchange systems. Day pupils may bring own car to school. Meals
self-service. School shop.
Discipline Pupils failing to produce homework once would have their
housemaster/mistress informed and be made to do it at some time
inconvenient to the pupil (eg when he/she should have had some free
time); anyone involved in drugs is liable to be expelled.
Boarding Majority of sixth form have own study bedroom; Years 9–10
mostly in rooms of about 2–4; Year 11 upwards likely to have single
rooms. Single-sex houses of approx 60. Medical centre. Central dining
room. Cooking areas for students in houses. 2 weekend leave-outs a term.
Alumni association is run by Robin Harrison, The Bursary, Old Wish
Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 4JY.
Former pupils Gwilym Lloyd George; Sir Hugh Casson; Sir Woodrow
Wyatt; Professor Soddy; John Wells; Sir Christopher Leaver; Sir Derek
Empson; Michael Fish; Michael Praed, Eddie Izzard.