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Welcome from the Principal

Sue-Rimmer-portraitWelcome to South Thames College.

From MBAs to accountancy exams, from A-levels to HNDs and from apprenticeships to leisure courses in topics as diverse as art appreciation and investing on the stock exchange, we offer more than you think from our centres in London.

The student enrichment team, welfare services, careers advisers and tutors are here to guide, support and help you. And that includes how to find funding or manage your studies.

Be a part of our diverse student population, enter a World Skills competition as part of one of our award-winning teams, volunteer to help local community groups, hang out in the cafes, enrichment room and other social areas, have a massage in one of our commercial salons or eat at the new restaurant at our flagship Hospitality and Catering Academy, join one of our sports teams and get to know the other students.

Whatever you want to do, South Thames College can take you further.

Sue Rimmer OBE, Principal and Chief Executive

Sue Rimmers Signature   


History of South Thames College

There has been an educational establishment on our Wandsworth site in south west London for more than 100 years.

It was founded in 1895, funded by a tax on whiskey! Students had to pay what was then a substantial fee of £1 a term for day classes. There were around 500 students studying there, a large number for those times.

1910-11 College regulations stated that "...each boy must wear the school cap or straw hat; he must also provide himself with a satchel, gymnasium shoes and a swimming costume." Apparently, the caps came in different colours depending on what "House" the student belonged to and, according to one student in 1930, the colours used to run in the rain, staining the students' faces blue, red, green or yellow.

Today, over 21,000 students are enrolled at South Thames College, and government funded courses like BTEC Nationals and A-levels are free for 16-19 year olds.

In 2009, the College merged with Merton College, another thriving education establishment in South West London.

Interestingly, while many things have changed dramatically over the last 100+ years, the focus of what is now South Thames College has not.

In 1895, students were enrolled on 'Trade Classes' designed to train and, maximise the potential of, people looking for skilled work, including carpentry, brickwork, plumbing and hygiene.

Today our vocational courses are still designed to give excellent training and maximise the potential of students looking for skills. These still include carpentry, brickwork, plumbing, and hygiene, but we have expanded into many other areas too.

South Thames College over the years

1895 Wandsworth Technical Institute was founded on the Wandsworth High Street site, replacing 'The Parsonage'
1900 More than 1,000 students enrolled on courses at the Institute
1926 The present buildings on the High Street were completed; they were later awarded a Grade II listing
During World War II our College was used to train men and women in a variety of skills and occupations that were important to the war effort, for example radar
1955 Our new 'South Block' was completed to complement the existing buildings
1974 Wandsworth Technical Institute merged with Putney College of Further Education (on Putney Hill)
2000 Government Minister Malcolm Wicks opened our Tooting Centre - a new building with state-of-the-art facilities next to Tooting Broadway tube station
2000 We completed the refurbishment of our Roehampton Centre which now offers a Learning Centre, IT facilities, cafe, Beauty Therapy suite and Childcare provision
2005 We added a new frontage to the Grade II Listed building in Wandsworth High Street, designed to be compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). Later in the year we won an Access Award at the Wandsworth Council Design Awards
2006 We start development work, including the demolition of the South Block dating from 1955, which will result in a new learning facility at the Wandsworth Campus. As part of the building is listed, we have to use a clever design to connect the old and new buildings
2009 We open for business in the redeveloped Wandsworth campus
2009 The complete redeveloped Wandsworth Campus is opened officially
2009 Merton College merges with South Thames so between them there are now five sites across two boroughs with campuses in Balham, Merton, Roehampton, Tooting and Wandsworth
2013 Based at the Merton Campus, our flagship Hospitality and Catering Academy opens. It includes Taste, a commercial restaurant open to all and run by the students as part of their studies to provide valuable workplace experience
2013 Aurora, our non-residential centre for 16-25 year olds with autistic spectrum disorder and complex needs, opens. Here a dedicated team delivers individualised learning pathways for these young adults

Photo gallery

South Thames College has some of the best teaching facilities in London. We’ve invested in the tools, technology and environment to give you the best chance at success in your chosen career.

Here are some photos of students on courses across our three campuses. 

  • hair and beauty commercial training salon in south london
  • hair and beauty commercial training salon in south london
  • sports and public services courses in south London
  • sports and public services courses in south London
  • art and design BTEC HNC foundation courses south London
  • art and design BTEC HNC foundation courses south London
  • art adn graphic design courses up to HNC in south London
  • film television and media BTEC HNC courses in south London
  • music technology and media BTEC HNC courses in south London
  • Support for study entry level level 1 courses in south London
  • Support for study entry level level 1 courses in south London
  • Support for study entry level level 1 courses in south London
  • construction motor cycle engineering plubing electronics courses in south London
  • construction motor cycle engineering plubing electronics courses in south London
  • construction musical instrument making engineering plumbing electronics courses in south London
  • Fully commercial hair and beauty salons
  • Sports England standard sports hall, gym and aerobics area
  • Art studios and Mac design suites
  • Music and green-screen TV recording studios with editing suites
  • Spaces for group work, individual study or relaxing with friends
  • Engineering and technology workshops and science labs


The College is lead by the Principal working with a board of Governors.

If you are interested in becoming a governor at the College, please contact Natalie Watt. All enquiries for governors should be directed to:

Natalie Watt, Clerk to the Corporation
South Thames College, Wandsworth campus, Wandsworth High Street, SW18 2PP

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 020 8918 7122

Governance documents






Corporation policies

Terms of reference

Role descriptions


Governor - Principal & Chief Executive - Sue Rimmer OBE
Governor - Godfrey Allen
Governor - Lucy Ashman
Governor - Andrew Brown
Governor - Cllr Brenda Fraser
Governor - Jonathan Hick
Governor - Kazi Hossain
Governor - Daud Ilyas
Governor - Cllr James Maddan
Governor - Ross Maloney
Governor - Russell Pocock
Governor - Paul Robinson
Governor - Yvette Stanley
Governor - Cllr Stuart Thom
Academic Staff Governor - Karen Fullman
Support Staff Governor - Michael Helene
External Co-opted Governor - Tim Morris
Student Governor - Rhea Augustus
Student Governor - Atiqa Javid


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