Ringmer Village gained its new Secondary School in 1958, with a catchment area of not only Ringmer, but also the rural villages towards the South Downs town of Lewes (the county town of East Sussex), villages to the east into the Weald and the Malling residential area of Lewes itself.
The first Headteacher, John Clark, combined images of the communities in the school badge:- the buckle of the Pelham family surrounds and holds together a beacon (representing the beacon on the downs at Firle), a tortoise namely Timmy (who belonged to the naturalist and diarist Gilbert White who lived for a time in Ringmer) and a lyre (signifying the proximity of the internationally renowned opera house at Glyndebourne (nestling in the countryside behind the school).
Ringmer Secondary School thrived and soon gained recognition for its links with the community, including evening classes, high expectations for its students and the excellence of its brass band, which not only made records, but still meets at reunions, under its original conductor, Michael Fairhurst. Cyril Rimmer became the Headteacher in 1977 on the retirement of John Clarke, and he steered the school (now known as Ringmer School) into a successful comprehensive school with an imaginative forward-looking curriculum. John Wakely became the Headteacher in 1983 and in 1988 his commitment to the community college ethos resulted in the designation of the school as Ringmer Community College, with the expansion of adult education and community links. The former Prime Minister, Lord Callaghan, who lived in the catchment area, formally opened the Community College and continued his long association with the school. One of the first Ofsted Inspections in 1999 commented on the quality of the strong pastoral and community dimensions of the College, which continues today. The College motto is: Achieving, Caring, Contributing.
The original school building received a Civic Trust Award for its design, which has developed to meet changing needs ever since. The raising of the school leaving age to 16 in 1973 resulted in the building of the Library block, and as numbers increased from the original 300 to the present 920, major construction has taken place. This includes:-
the Clark Block, housing the Drama Studio, English and Technology Departments;
the construction of the Ringmer Community swimming pool on the site in 1981, and its conversion to a covered indoor pool in 1985 and is now a major asset for the College and its community;
the continued growth of the Music Department led to the expansion of that department, housing a studio and practice rooms;
a major building phase in 1988 resulted in improved Humanities and Science facilities within the main two-storey building, which were further enhanced as part of the Specialist Technology College status achieved in 2000.
Steven Johnson, the fourth Principal (January 2000 to December 2002) moved the College into the Specialist College era, with environmental sustainability as a key theme of the development plans in Maths, Science, ICT and Technology. The Gold Artsmark achieved in 2001 indicated the continued breadth of the curriculum. Since 2003, under the current Principal Kathryn Stonier, the College continues to move forward in meeting the needs of all students from its very wide geographic catchment area. This is reflected in the construction of the new Modern Foreign Languages teaching block and the increasing range of vocational courses from NVQ Level 1 to Btec First Diplomas and Applied GCSEs. Accelerated courses in certain subjects have been established and new flexibility is at the core of the curriculum and College developments.
Ringmer is one of only two secondary schools in the County to be awarded the designation of Eco Schools in 2002.