About us

John Callaghan

John Callaghan
Principal and Chief Executive

Hello and welcome!

Stratford-upon-Avon College is just a ten minute walk from the centre of the famous Stratford-upon-Avon. Situated on one campus, the College attracts many students from the UK and abroad. I am proud of the College we have become, and hope you find just what you need on our website.

We are a high-quality, friendly, accessible and employer-responsive College that cares about the individual successes and outcomes of all of our students. The College offers students the opportunity to study in a safe environment. Our facilities are excellent and we provide outstanding support for all of our students, through personal tutorial systems, a student welfare office and counselling service.

I want to ensure that we develop our students into job-ready, employable individuals who meet the needs of local employers, but I also care deeply about those learners coming to us from the wider community who are looking for lifelong learning or just to participate in a leisurely activity.

I also dedicate our workforce on being open, professional, honest and dependable which is why Stratford-upon-Avon College is also not just a great place to study, but also a great place to work with many employee benefits.

Also, if you’re a local business or just a loyal visitor to the College, I’d like to invite you to join our Friends of the College scheme. There are some great offers available, including: loyalty schemes, course discounts and fine dining offers.

Thank you for your support.

Our Vision

To be an outstanding, responsive and thriving college.

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Our Mission

Working collaboratively to inspire learners to develop their full potential and generate economic success.

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Our Strategy

  • Quality
    To be recognised as a College providing high quality provision and services.
  • Curriculum
    Develop a flexible and responsive curriculum.
  • Innovation
    Develop a positive culture of creative and progressive thinking.
  • Finance
    Secure long-term financial sustainability.
  • Responsiveness
    Respond to emerging needs.
  • Equality & Diversity & Safeguarding

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Our Values

  • Democracy
  • The Rule of Law
  • Individual Liberty
  • Mutual Respect
  • Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
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College History

We have a rich history at SUAC


Weekly classes were held in a room in Stratford Town Hall – a Private Morning Class for ladies; a Private Afternoon Class for gentlemen; and Evening Classes for teachers in public schools, artisans and others.



The School of Art moved to a new Art Studio in Sheep Street.


A number of special classes were started in various Stratford locations. These included butter and cheese-making (from 1891), cooking (from 1892) and wood carving, shorthand, dress cutting, laundry and cottage nursing.

Under the Technical Instruction Act 1889, rate support from the County Council was available, administered by Stratford Borough Council, to further subsidise the Art School.


The School was used as a Day Continuation School which, under the 1918 Education Act, every child over 14 not in full-time education had to attend for 320 hours a year.


Classes included English, typewriting and commercial correspondence, French evening classes for girls, book-keeping, cookery, dressmaking, art needlework, poster work, geometry, building and machine construction, arithmetic, workshop, woodwork, chemistry and physics, physical training and engineering.


Stratford Technical and Art School was renamed South Warwickshire College of Further Education to recognise its very large catchment area including the Borough and the three rural districts of Stratford, Shipston and Alcester.


The College moved to its present location at The Willows North and a new College opened – there were 115 full-time students.


Upon Incorporation, the name of South Warwickshire College of Further Education was changed to Stratford-upon-Avon College.


The College merges with Solihull College and University Centre.


More than 1500 happy students and over 200 dedicated staff.

Accreditations, Memberships and Partnerships

Stratford-upon-Avon College is part of Solihull College & University Centre.

As a Disability Confident Committed Employer we have committed to:

  • Ensure our recruitment process is inclusive and accessible.
  • Communicate and promote vacancies.
  • Offer an interview to disabled people.
  • Anticipate and provide reasonable adjustments as require.
  • Support any existing employee who acquires a disability or long term health condition, enabling them to stay in work.
  • At least one activity that will make a difference for disabled people.

Membership of English UK is a badge of quality: all members must pass one of the world’s most rigorous inspection schemes, Accreditation UK, which English UK manages jointly with the British Council.

European Social Fund

The European Social Fund (ESF) was set up to improve employment opportunities in the European Union and so help raise standards of living. It aims to help people fulfil their potential by giving them better skills and better job prospects.

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Proactive Education works in collaboration with Stratford-upon-Avon College to secure engaging and rewarding work experience placements for all learners, and to provide employment advice promoting the skills sought after by employers.


Stratford-upon-Avon College is a Founder College of The National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural.


Stratford-upon-Avon College is the first in the country to receive the Training & Quality Standard award with excellence in Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism.


TVET UK enables international customers, including ministries, public/private sector providers and employers to access the best UK’s skills sector providers and suppliers through just one point of contact.