Overview +

RHACC is one of nine institutes of adult learning (IAL) in the UK and was established on October 1st, 2017 through the merger of Richmond Adult and Community College and Hillcroft College. It is built on their shared expertise in adult learning and their commitment to the needs of adults and communities that need further educational or tailored opportunities to develop the skills to thrive and achieve their potential.

With two campuses and superb facilities including a dedicated Art School and Business School, Women-only Education, a 120-seat theatre, specialist co-working and office space, meeting rooms, classrooms, workshops and kitchens - RHACC is a hive of activity during the day, evenings and weekends.

Serving over 7000 learners each year RHACC offers a vibrant learning environment tailored specifically for adult learners.

Our Mission

Empowering adults and communities through education, skills and enterprise

By 2021 RHACC will be the outstanding learning provider of choice for adults and communities in South West London and beyond.

  • Providing progression to work, wellbeing and empowerment for adults of all ages, abilities and backgrounds through a curriculum with starting points for all, made accessible through an adult approach to learning.
  • Closing achievement gaps between the most advantaged and disadvantaged adults
  • Outstanding standards in teaching and learning
  • Operating from excellent classroom, community and residential facilities, accessible to all, that inspire and support learners to achieve
  • Using enhanced links with stakeholders and partners to disseminate best practice, enrich learning and support the highest levels of learner achievement
  • Continuously developing staff expertise in an environment where staff feel valued and share governors’ ambition for learners
  • Achieving income levels which enable investment in the curriculum, the estate and sustainable growth

The key to RHACC’s recent growth and success has been its ability to adapt to the challenges of constantly changing social and economic trends, as well as responding to major changes in Government Policy on adult funding. As a result, our achievement rates are above national standards and we were rated as a Grade 2 "Good" college by Ofsted in January 2020.

RHACC was shortlisted for adult community learning provider of the year in 2021 in the Tes FE Awards.


History of RHACC


The premises of the Technical Institute and Secondary School are erected in Kew Road.


The Institute opens. It also provides a centre for the Richmond District Technical Education Committee.


The School moves out and joins forces with a school in East Sheen.


The Technical Institute is put on a war-time basis and used as an A.R.P (Air Raid Precautions). and ambulance depot.


After the war it is revived as the Technical Institute and School of Art for Richmond and Barnes.


The Institute is renamed again as The Richmond Institute of Further Education in order to emphasise the wider range of courses and lectures that had developed.


Dominic Bruce is appointed as Principal. Vocational work is removed from the Institute.


Mrs Margaret Leslie - the first woman to be appointed as Principal. Her general brief is to develop adult education. The Institute is renamed as The Richmond Institute for Adult Education.


The amalgamation of Richmond, Barnes and Twickenham into the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames gives the Institute almost twice as much territory.


Under the Principal the Institute soon outgrows its premises. It runs courses ranging from university level to non-readers. Art classes are transferred to the old fire station which becomes the Shaftesbury Annexe.


The Institute is using three annexes during the day and up to twenty outside centres for evening classes.


Another name change, the Institute becomes Richmond Adult College.


At the forefront of social change, feminism makes its mark with the newly opened crèche. Women’s Studies arrive eight years later. Seeking to diffuse its facilities throughout the Borough, hospital patients and Old people’s Homes inmates become included. A forum for the unemployed is introduced together with “link” courses with schools and a full time Drama School.


Considered to be the peak period in terms of enrolments - the College has a waiting list.


In need of better premises the Adult College transfers to Parkshot when the Richmond County School for Girls falls vacant.


In order to provide an independent body with independent funds the Portcullis Trust is set up to help in times of adult learning funding cuts.


The College acquires the Clifden Centre in Twickenham (previously the Twickenham School for Girls) It becomes the administrative and second full time day centre of the College.


After having the work of the Community Association handed over Richmond Adult & Community College is born. This change of name is very important as it indicates a desire to remove barriers to access and make the College attractive to a wider range of people.


Under Ann Risman’s leadership the Council in partnership with Richmond Parish Lands builds the Queen Charlotte Hall and the Studio Theatre at the Parkshot site.


The Education Committee of Richmond Parish Lands is established and works with the College to provide financial support to its disadvantaged students.


The college is established as an independent further education adult college, one of only 14 in the country.


Christina Conroy becomes Principal. The College is modernised, rebuilt, refurbished and re-equipped to provide 21st century resources.


A new addition, the Richmond Business School is built on the Parkshot site. The Richmond Adult & Community College becomes the largest specialist adult college in the country.


The College is re-branded as RACC.


Gabrielle Flint is appointed as acting Principal in April and then permanantly in December.


Clifden site in Twickenham closed to become St Richard Reynolds School.


RACC moves onto one site at Parkshot in Richmond.

New facilities open at Parkshot site including Art School, Theatre, Dance Studio, Music Studio, and Link area.


RACC merges with Hillcroft College. The College is re-branded as RHACC, Richmond and Hillcroft Adult and Community College.