Self-Managed Learning College move

Self Managed Learning College Moves to Brighton Youth Centre

The pioneering South Downs Learning Centre is building on its success by moving to larger premises at the Brighton Youth Centre in the heart of Brighton.  The Centre will re-launch in September as the newly titled Self Managed Learning College. It has been serving young people in Sussex for the last 10 years.

The College provides students aged between 7 and 16 with the opportunity to manage their own learning. There are no classrooms, no timetables imposed by adults (students write their own timetables), no uniforms and no formal lessons.

Professor Ian Cunningham, who chairs the College’s Management Committee, said:

“The unique Self Managed Learning approach that is used by the College is now internationally recognized as a 21st century alternative to the standard 19th century schooling approach still widely used. Rigid curricula that are out of keeping with the needs of today do a disservice to young people. Our students are better equipped to deal with the modern world as they learn the abilities that employers say they want. Our students are creative, self-aware and confident people who can manage their own lives.

Self-Managed Learning works because it responds to the precise needs of each person rather than assuming all young people are the same. The College avoids the errors of the National Curriculum by providing specialized support for each individual. This ensures that students learn what is needed for them to lead a good life and to engage in a rewarding career that meets their needs.”

Among current students, some are undertaking formal qualifications and Arts Awards and some are going for a more vocational or portfolio-centred approach. Whatever they use, the College has a 100% record of its 16 year olds going on to a college.

‘I love being able to learn what is important to me in such a supportive and fun atmosphere.’ – Nancy (14)

‘I like not being told what to do, but doing it for myself.’ – Bud (15)

‘I like the responsibility of deciding what to do with my day.’ – Noosha (13)

‘Learning what you want at a level you need.’ – Maya (13)

Facilities at Brighton Youth Centre include formal learning spaces, spaces for music and art, IT facilities, indoor sports hall, dance studio, cooking area and indoor skatepark – all within a short walking distance from the City Centre rich in stimulating learning experiences. This means that the College can draw on the resources of the Museum and Art Gallery, the Jubilee Library and other City centre facilities.

Mike Roe CEO Brighton Youth Centre said:

“We want Brighton Youth Centre to be the home for exciting projects for young people and we are delighted to be working with the Self Managed Learning College, their innovative approach to education is a great fit with our Youth Work Programme. We are look forward to welcoming their students.”

The College operates from 9 am to 1 pm daily Monday to Friday during term time. It is now open for enrollment for the new term in September 2011. Anyone interested should contact Professor Ian Cunningham – – or phone 01273 703691 or 270995.

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