CCSU History


The History of Cornwall College Students’ Union


Cornwall College Students' Union (CCSU) was established in 2007, in response to a letter written by a student addressed to the CEO, asking for more involvement in decision making.


John Clayton: President 2007 – 2009

CCSU was launched and the student responsible for writing that initial letter (John Clayton) was elected into the post of CCSU President after finishing his degree in Social Sciences. The job involved representing students from 7 campuses spread across the county of Cornwall (see fig.1).


Fig.1. Cornwall College Corporation



John worked with students on each campus, staff members and the National Union of Students (NUS) to develop student voice structures suitable for such a large and diverse corporation. In parallel to the development of CCSU, Cornwall College invested in a Student Liaison Team to help support and facilitate student voice work on each campus.

In the first term there was a lot of time spent explaining the structure of CCSU to both staff & students. The first student voice forums were held across campuses allowing students to question heads of college and engage in debate relating to student experience.

An amazing number of opportunities for student involvement presented themselves and CCSU produced a clothing range, magazine and radio shows to promote student voice and raise the profile of students across in the county. Working with the student liaison team CCSU were involved in organising beach cleans art exhibitions, trips to Alton Towers and supporting the Cornwall College Beach Olympics. A CCSU website was set up using the BAM web platform that enabled CCSU to highlight student led activities as well as develop valuable income through advertising.

Student teams on each of the campus were formalised into Local Student Executive Committee’s (LSEC) and volunteer job roles were developed. CCSU actively participated in decision making at every level of the college.


Regular meetings with the Chairperson & Vice Chairperson from each campus were organised twice a term and became known as the Corporate Student Executive Committee (CSEC). The CSEC planned campaigns that were implemented across campuses. The CCSU President and one student elected from CSEC were invited to sit on the board of governors

John Clayton attended the NUS National Conference in Blackpool and CCSU subsequently worked with NUS to raise the profile of emerging student voice in the FE sector. Successfully winning his election campaign John Clayton was able to spend his second year building the profile and strength of CCSU across the corporation.


Toni Pearce: President 2009-2011

Toni Pearce was an active member of the Camborne CCSU team, representing students on campus and at the NUS National Conference. Toni stood for election as CCSU President whilst finishing her A-levels.

CCSU successes during this time include:

  • Organising a Freshers’ Fair on every campus for the first time, inviting an NUS representative to come and get involved
  • Taking students to NUS Festival in Birmingham to network, share best practice and organise campaigns with officers from other FE student unions across the country
  • Re-writing the CCSU constitution, introducing a Trustee Board
  • Establishing the election of course reps as a tutorial activity
  • Working with college staff to promote sustainability and reduce carbon emissions
  • Organising campus campaigns highlighting the work of Amnesty International and promoting the benefits of choosing Fairtrade products
  • Working with Cornwall College Business (CCB) to engage work based learners
  • Preparing student input into IQER & OFSTED inspections
  • Attending NUS National Demo November 2010 – taking two coaches of students to London to demonstrate against increases in tuition fees and cuts to education
  • Demonstrating against cuts to Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) during January 2011 – Students turned out to campaign against the coalition’s plans to scrap EMA
  • Representing students on NUS National Executive Committee (NEC)
  • Supporting Healthy College campaigns



Joe Vinson: President 2011-2013

Joe Vinson had been part of the Camborne CCSU team as Secretary before standing for CCSU President. Joe fought off fierce competition to win his election as CCSU President in 2011, and again in 2012.

CCSU successes during this time include:

  • Set up a CCSU ‘text in service’ to allow students to text ideas and feedback directly to the CCSU President.
  • Re-designed the CCSU website
  • Attended NUS National Demo 2012 to campaign against education cuts
  • Re-wrote the CCSU constitution to include a range of liberation officers
  • Supported Healthy College campaigns
  • Represented students on NUS National Executive Committee (NEC), LGBT committee, Society & citizenship committee & FE Zone committee
  • Campaigned for cashless payment systems in college canteens
  • Supported research into student voice activity across campuses



Charlotte Knight: President 2013-14

Having completed her A Levels at St Austell campus, Charlotte won her election campaign in March 2013 and went on to achieve the following before leaving to undertake a degree at Canterbury University:

  • Engaged hundreds of students in ‘The Big Conversation’ about the future of education in conjunction with the CEO & principal
  • Created a student led Teaching & Learning charter which outlines what students think their learning should look like
  • Worked with the NUS on reviewing CCSU activity using a formal ‘diagnostic’ process
  • Increased CCSU activity on smaller campuses across The Cornwall College Group
  • Worked closely with college management and the Board of Governors on the new strategic direction for The Cornwall College Group
  • Introduced a new category for the Student STAR Awards celebrating the 'CCSU Presidents Award'



Tony Woolman: President 2014-16

Tony stood for election in his final year of studying a BSc(Hons) Combined Social Science degree at Camborne Campus and has taken over the presidential role just as The Cornwall College Group has launced a new 4 year strategic intent. This presents Cornwall College Students' Union with an exciting opportunity to respond to the needs of students and align itself with the new direction of the college. Tony's main manifesto commitments are as follows:

  • To ensure that CCSU keeps in line with The Cornwall College Group 4 year ‘Intent Strategy’
  • To increase participation in Student Union activity from HE as well as FE sectors of the college
  • To develop a rolling business plan for CCSU that ensures greater continuity of its activity over presidential periods
  • To hold locality based student conferences, increasing student voice on the 'Teaching & Learning' agenda of The Cornwall College Group strategic plan
  • To constantly seek to improve communication with all students & staff across all campuses
  • To increase the numbers of students participating in the Student Union 'Team' meetings on campus by 20%
  • To hold a Presidents surgery on every campus at regular intervals throughout the term
  • To improve recording of its work and discussions with students, ensuring an ongoing archive of contact and information of student voice is available to future students.
  • To explore all opportunities for the CCSU to become active as an enterprise company in line with TCCG strategic plan, as well as being an SU par excellence. 









If you are interested in getting involved with Cornwall College Students’ Union either contact the Student Union team on your campus, speak to your Student Liaison Officer or email the President using the following email:


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Cornwall College Students' Union
Student Services
Cornwall College St Austell
PL25 4DJ