Aspire Sussex provide community-based Adult Education that is vibrant, accessible, and sustainable and responds to the needs of our local communities. Our mission is to enable people to achieve their personal aspirations, whatever, their starting point, and inspire them to learn, enjoy and achieve.

We work in partnership with WSCC to ensure the County Council meets its objective of ensuring that residents of West Sussex can access the skills training they need to succeed in playing their part in society and in supporting the growth of the West Sussex economy.

In 2012 West Sussex County Council (WSCC) investigated a range of options for the longer term provision of their Adult Education Service, with the aim of providing the best delivery model to secure the future of local Adult Education provision in West Sussex.

On 1 September 2012 Aspire Sussex Ltd (previously West Sussex Adult & Community Learning Service) “spun out” of Local Authority control to become a charitable, staff run social enterprise.


If you have any comments about Adult Education you can contact us by email: or by phone 0345 6 01 01 61.

If you have any comments regarding Adult Education that you would like to direct to WSCC as our contract holder please get in touch by email: or by calling 033 301 42903.

Aspire Sussex is governed by an appointed board of six trustees. Further information on the remit of our trustees and the code of conduct can be found in the documents on the bottom of the page.

Biographies for Trustees

Norman Boyland (Chair)

With a background in research, development and operations in the pharmaceutical industry, Norman works in the areas of skills, innovation and economic development. He was Chair of the Learning and Skills Council South East Region 2006 – 2010, additionally chairing the National Capital Committee during the same period. He remains a non-executive director of the Innovation Centre at the University of Sussex and Chair of Trustees of 4SIGHT, a charity for the blind and partially sighted. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Brighton and is a Deputy Lieutenant of West Sussex.

John Burke

John Burke is a retired Assistant Chief Fire Officer who spent 18 years of a 31 year career in middle and senior management posts with management focus on training, ICTt, emergency operations, risk, projects and strategy. He was Regional Project Director for the North East, with responsibilities for FiReControl, Firelink and a range of regional collaboration initiatives.

He was a member of the 999 Liaison Committee, undertook work to produce national guidance for CPD and Work at Height and participated in European projects rescue from height and depth. Since retiring from the Fire and Rescue service he worked on behalf of the Chief Fire Officers Association as senior professional advisor to the FiReControl Project.

Other experience has included contributing to the work of the Institution of Fire Engineers and fourteen years as chairman of a school governing body. Academic awards include membership of City and Guilds of London for fire service management, a BA (Hons) in Business Studies and a Post-Graduate Certificate in computer based information systems.

Lyn Glanz

Lyn Glanz has lived and worked in the Netherlands, the UK and Switzerland where she was Dean of Graduate Programmes for a Swiss University. Originally a qualified social worker, she has been actively involved with global mobility issues as both a consultant and researcher, designing and delivering bespoke programmes in a number of countries for major multinational concerns and academic institutions. She brings international experience in educational quality systems having acted as an official auditor or prepared accreditation documentation for Swiss, US, UK, Croatian, Dutch and Lithuanian education programmes.

Robyn Kohler

Prior to joining Aspire Sussex Ltd in 2015, Robyn was the CEO/Principal of Friends Centre, an independent Adult Education charity in Brighton and Hove. She moved into the ‘not for profit’ sector five years ago, after ten years as Head of Faculty for Skills for Life and Adult and Community Learning, including the remit for ALDD, International and Additional Learning support, and has lead on Equality and Diversity.

She has 15 years of management experience in Adult Education, and ten years of experience in sales/marketing and business development prior to taking a break to have her family. She was the Chair of Governors at a primary school in Bexhill-on-Sea for five years as well as being a Governor trainer for ESCC prior to training as a teacher.

Robyn has led on the Hastings and Rother Employability and Skills projects, and worked in partnership with the East Sussex NHS Trust to deliver Skills for Life projects.

David Smith

David has worked in education and skills for forty years and is currently the Director of WorldSkills Engagement with the Association of Colleges (AoC). He has previously held roles as Pro Vice-Chancellor at Canterbury Christ Church University, Senior Account Director for the Skills Funding Agency in the South East, Area Director for Sussex, Surrey and Kent with the Learning and Skills Council and as a Vice Principal in two Sussex colleges, after beginning his career as a school teacher. He has a strong interest in building collaborative partnerships across the education and skills landscape and has worked to build relationships between professional sports clubs and organisations and the education and skills sector, supporting the ambition to deliver a national ‘legacy’ from the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games. With a background in the funding agencies as well as in colleges and universities, he brings experience and working knowledge of post-compulsory education and training across Sussex to the trustee role.

Caroline Pickup

Having had two successful careers, firstly in the Civil Service and secondly in Further Education, Caroline is now CEO and owner of her own company working on organisational development, strategic and transformational Human Resources.

Caroline has worked at a senior level in strategic HR and organisational development for more than 25 years. Across two major careers, within the Civil Service and in Further Education, Caroline’s key achievements have focussed on organisational development; always people focused and values driven. She first worked for HMRC for twenty years where she held roles as a training manager and trainer. She then joined the Further Education Sector where she worked for a further twenty years in various roles with 12 years as Head of HR including strategic Human Resources. Used to working within a culture of continuous change, Caroline has led and developed organisation wide performance improvements. As Assistant Principal, she held a wide portfolio of responsibilities which also included strategic leadership of Business Development, Marketing and Events, Health and Safety, Facilities and Catering, development of new funding streams and efficiency initiatives.  Having responsibility for strategic business areas above and beyond HR has been enormously helpful in seeing how different elements of a business fit together effectively. Key strengths and areas of expertise include commercial acumen, strategic HR and business strategy, business and organisational development, performance management, leadership and management, learning and development, change management, redundancy processes, recruitment and selection, equality and diversity, health and safety, policy and procedure.

A resourceful business leader and manager, Caroline is committed to a culture of continuous improvement and she is a strong proponent of lifelong learning having been an adult student herself.  A Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, since 2002 she has achieved a BA (Hons) degree in Business Studies, a Diploma in Management Studies, an MBA (Public Services), and a Certificate in Leadership in Public Relations.  Caroline was previously a Trustee for Independent Lives, a user led charity working towards a society where everyone can live their live independently, regardless of any disability, care need or caring responsibility.  She retains a strong interest in this work and believes education and learning in every sense and at all levels helps to support everyone’s lives, experiences and fulfilment.  Caroline has a genuine interest in helping other organisations and individuals to develop and succeed; to listed and make a difference is very important to everyone and to every group or organisation.

We are currently seeking new, additional trustees to the Board. For more information on this, please visit our ‘Vacancies’ page here.

As a registered charity, we rely on government funding and generous help from the public. In recent years, our level of funding has decreased, meaning that we depend more heavily than ever on donations from businesses and individuals in the local area.

If you are able to donate to Aspire Sussex, there are a number of different ways to do it: Online, in person, via telephone or by post.


We have teamed up with to make it easier to donate to Aspire Sussex online. Please click here click here to see how you can donate (opens in a new window).

In Person

You can donate by visiting any one of our centres across West Sussex. To find your nearest centre, please click here.


You can donate by calling us on 0345 6 01 01 61 and making a payment for any value on all major credit or debit cards. Please note that we don’t accept American Express cards at this time.

By Post

You can send a cheque to our Finance Team at Aspire Sussex, Westloats Lane, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO21 5LH.

If you would like to make your donation anonymous, please inform us at the time of donation. If you have any queries about any part of our Donations process, please do not hesitate to email us at or call us on 0345 6 01 01 61.


We believe that students are entitled to a learning experience that takes place in a safe, healthy and supportive environment. In addition, we consider that safe learning is essential to maximise students’ experience and achievement. A copy of our Safeguarding policy is available on request.

The Prevent Duty

From 1 July 2015, Aspire Sussex has a legal duty to report concerns about any student or staff member who may be being radicalised or who may be radicalising others. Reporting a concern does not automatically criminalise the person reported. If s/he is being radicalised, they may be supported by a range of partner organisations through the Channel programme and will not have a criminal record.

Health and Safety

Aspire Sussex always takes a sensible and proportionate stance on Health and Safety; focusing on real risk with potential to cause harm rather than wasting resources on trivial matters and unnecessary paperwork. Having said that, we take our duty of care to you very seriously.

If you have any concerns relating to Safeguarding, Radicalisation or Health and Safety, please speak to someone in your local centre or contact Lynne Smith on either 01444 810718 or 07753 457981, or by emailing her at

‘remember, if you don’t speak out we can’t help’

Aspire Sussex Adult Education and partners have been successful in bids to the Big Lottery Building Better Opportunities programme and have received funding totalling just over £1 million. They will be leading two new projects called Working Together for Work and Local Learning Perspectives across the Coast to Capital LEP area (East and West Sussex, Surrey, Brighton and Hove).

The two projects involve working with a range of partners who will bring expertise to provide targeted family-focused provision through family learning and community inclusion, supporting hard to reach groups and individuals to return to work.

Both projects have the potential to significantly improve the lives of individuals, families and local communities. Our teams and partners have been working on the development stage of these projects since we received initial funding in November 2015 and we are looking forward to offering new courses and opportunities to volunteer.

Building Better Opportunities is funded through joint investment from the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.

For further information on the project, please email

The Big Lottery Fund

  • The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK. We are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment and charitable purposes
  • Since June 2004 we have awarded over £8 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people. Every year we fund 13,000 small local projects tackling big social problems like poor mental health and homelessness
  • Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £34 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded
  • Building Better Opportunities is jointly funded with the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, European Social Fund funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, skills development, job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit
  • To be kept informed on the latest Building Better Opportunities news register your interest on our website,

Twitter: @biglotteryfund #BigLottery