Birkenhead Sixth Form College has been named the best in the North of England by a prestigious education awards.
Educate North Awards celebrates excellence in the education sector in the North, and the Wirral-based institution was chosen as Further Education College of the Year 2023 by the panel of judges.
The award follows Birkenhead Sixth Form College’s extraordinary A Level results in Summer 2022, bucking the national trend of a downturn in high grades after students sat final exams for the first time since COVID-19 lockdowns. The College secured a 15% increase in grades A* – B with students sitting exams for the first time, as opposed to struggling with the new demands.
An Ofsted inspection which found the College to be outstanding in all areas was succeeded by a flurry of national and regional awards, including the UK Sixth Form College of the Year from TES (formerly the Times Education Supplement), along with a number of accolades celebrating the College’s commitment to social mobility and helping disadvantaged young people to succeed.
With the largest number of students of any sixth form in Wirral, the College supports students from an entire range of backgrounds and starting points to achieve success at A Level, BTEC and T Level education. Students join the College from more than 60 different high schools each year, some with lower achievement at GCSE and some with higher, but the value that Birkenhead Sixth Form College’s teaching adds to all students’ results regularly leads the way in the region.
Principal at Birkenhead Sixth Form College, Mike Kilbride, said, “To just be named as a finalist for such awards is vindication enough of the superb teaching and support the College provides and how much our students benefit from being here, but to win is the icing on the cake.
“We will not shy away from being proud of these kind of achievements because they come as the result of the systems and the ethos that the entire College works to, both staff and students. We look after the everyday: every interaction counts, every lessons counts, therefore the results at the end look after themselves.”
Mike continued, “Whilst the Wirral has a huge number of grammar school and high school sixth form options, this award is further proof that there is a different path for students to take after GCSEs, and one that is evidentially successful. The experience of coming to this College is simply different to anywhere else in the area, in the best possible way.
“Students make a fresh start here, no matter where they come from. We’re in the business of changing lives and we see it year upon year due to the fantastic teaching and support our students receive. The Educate North Award cements our place as a national leader in Further Education and leaves no doubt that young people in Wirral, Merseyside and Cheshire have a local option to upgrade their education after high school.”
The Educate North Awards were held at the Midland Hotel in Manchester on Thursday 27 April 2023. Birkenhead Sixth Form College beat seven other North of England finalists to the FE College of the Year Award.