New College Pontefract wins at the Tes FE Awards 2020

New College Pontefract is named sixth-form college of the year at this year's awards

Tes Reporter

New College Pontefract wins at the Tes FE Awards 2020

New College Pontefract is one of the most successful non-selective sixth-form colleges in the country. According to the judges, it is “doing a truly extraordinary job”.

Since 2014, enrolments have increased by 20 per cent, from 2,100 a year to 2,500. It was one of the first sixth-form colleges to convert to academy status. This allowed it to establish a multi-academy trust containing two new free-school “sibling” colleges: one in Doncaster, which opened in 2017, and one in Bradford, which opened two years later.

The college’s own headline data has continued to improve. In 2018-19, it achieved an A-level performance system grade 2 in both A-level and applied general provision, recording a 100 per cent pass rate in both. The college also achieved its best-ever high-grade rates: 60 per cent at A level and 90 per cent in applied general courses.

More: Tes FE Awards 2020 shortlist announced

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But it’s not all about exam results. New College Pontefract places a great deal of emphasis on employability training and skills, progression to higher education and a wide range of extracurricular and supercurricular activities. These include more than 200 trips and events over the

course of the academic year, ensuring that students are given a broad educational experience that goes beyond the classroom.

The judges said: “The college is making a real difference to young people across three communities both in and outside of the classroom. It has
a broad intake of students, many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds, and is showing others what it means to be a sixth form in modern times.”

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