1st March 2017


Devon Studio School is announcing a new stage in its development and is planning to join forces with South Devon College with effect from September 2017. The Department for Education is currently considering these proposals.

Thanks to the excellent and ongoing relationship between the School, South Devon College and Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, Devon Studio School plans to merge with South Devon College, with the College formally taking on responsibility for the curriculum offer being provided by Devon Studio School, Torquay from September 2017. The unique vision of the Studio School as a Centre of Excellence for education and training focussed on health, social care and wellbeing will be achieved through this exciting evolution.

Plans are that:

The School’s state of the art facilities located at Torbay Hospital will continue and expand as a dedicated educational site with the existing Sixth Form curriculum remaining on site. New opportunities will also be put in place with the wider range of activities building on a strong Sixth Form Centre including Access and Nursing pathways, working in partnership with Torbay Hospital.

Dedicated provision for Year 10 and Year 11 learners will be located at South Devon College’s main Vantage Point campus, where the successful South Devon High School for full time 14 and 15 year old’s, GCSE and a very broad offer of technical programmes are delivered. South Devon College has been recognised by Ofsted as ‘Outstanding’ since 2008.

No new admissions will be taken through Devon Studio School for next academic year, and, going forward, entry routes for all courses will be directly through South Devon College.

Katherine Davis Wills, Principal of Devon Studio School said: “The School has successfully supported and encouraged many students to achieve their goals since opening in September 2013. The intention to merge the school with South Devon College demonstrates our dedication to securing positive education outcomes for children.

We will now ensure that Devon Studio School students and their families clearly understand and are comfortable with their progression routes for 2017/18 onwards, and are reassured that for the remainder of this academic year and beyond all partners are fully committed to maintaining a positive and supportive environment”.

Stephen Criddle, Principal of South Devon College said: “as an Ofsted Outstanding College and an original sponsor of the Devon Studio School, we welcome this opportunity to consolidate and grow our work with the School’s students and staff, with the College welcoming Studio School students as part of its full-time 14 provision. As part of South Devon College’s commitment to increasing higher skills and local talent, it is planned that additional health, social care and early years programmes, including access and apprenticeships, will also be available at the Hospital site from 2017/18, providing even greater opportunities for progression and jobs in addition to strong GCSE and A Level provision”.

Paul Cooper, Deputy Chief Executive of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust said: “The NHS is represented on both the Studio School’s Trust and Governing Body, and fully supports the direction being taken as the most positive outcome for both students and staff. The Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust and South Devon College already offer ambitious and nationally high profile Health Education curriculum pathways and clear career routes, which Studio School students can continue to take advantage of, and planned expansion of the curriculum offer to include apprenticeship courses next to the main hospital site will create further opportunities.”

Julien Parrott, Executive Lead for Children said “The Council are working with South Devon College and The Studio School on the planned merger. We are pleased that the College are welcoming the students into their outstanding provision and we will continue to work in partnership to ensure that pupils experience a positive transition.”

Kevin Mowat, Chair of Studio School’s Governing Body said “There have been many positive outcomes and experiences over the past four years that will be carried forward and included within the increased opportunities resulting from a merger with South Devon College.

There will be a seamless transition process with regular communication and information meetings with Studio School students, their families and staff in the coming months to support and ensure full understanding of the transfer process and discussion around the increased range of positive options going forward. I would like to thank all those involved with the School for their commitment and dedication in ensuring the best possible solution to support local health and care education and pupils’ options in the future”.

Dr Karen Stockham, Chair of South Devon College said “We look forward to positively welcoming students and staff from Devon Studio School joining the College, which already has an excellent relationship with many schools across Torbay and South Devon, helping not only to inspire young people but also engaging with a huge number of local employers and businesses across many industry sectors.

We remain keen to work with all schools across Torbay and South Devon to inform and inspire students about the careers and progression pathways open to them in these and other industry sectors.

We look forward to working with the Department for Education on the detail of the proposals.”

More information on South Devon College, its High School and curriculum pathways may be found on the College website and also at the next Open Event on Wednesday 15th March 2017 from 1700-2000. Register your attendance here.

A dedicated ‘A’ Level advice and guidance event is also taking place on Thursday 2nd March 2017 from 1700-1900, where full information on the wide and successful ‘A’ Level programme and tutors will be available for individual and professional discussions. Register your attendance here.

Both events take place at the College’s main campus Long Road, Paignton, TQ4 7EJ.


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