Nelson and Colne College is top of the class - nationally!

Assistant principal for Academic Curriculum Fionnuala Swann with a group of current A Level students celebrating the college's success
Assistant principal for Academic Curriculum Fionnuala Swann with a group of current A Level students celebrating the college's success

Nelson and Colne College has climbed to the top of the national performance table of Further Education colleges for A Levels.


In the newly-published Government performance tables, Nelson and Colne College placed first in the country of all FE colleges and is third nationally of all sixth forms and FE colleges with a progress score of +0.42.

This ranks the college as "well above the national average" and means that students attain nearly half a grade better on average across their subjects than they were predicted to achieve.

Principal Amanda Melton said: “I’m ecstatic at the new performance tables and this achievement sees us at number three of all colleges nationally for A Level progress. I take great pride in the fact that students who attend our college improve to achieve better A Level grades with us than they would have done at almost all other FE colleges or sixth forms in the country.

“I would like to congratulate my brilliant colleagues on this exceptional result as it is testament to the high-quality teaching, support and progress monitoring that students receive here."

The new year-on-year figures show this is the highest place the college has ever been for the value added to the grades of students.

Progress scores are calculated by comparing students predicted A Level grades based on their GCSE results against their A Level achievement when they leave college.

It was a spectacular year for A Level results for the college in 2019 as it bucked the national trend for students achieving the highest A* and A grades, while 58.5% of students achieved high A*-B grades, an improvement of more than five percentage points, and the percentage of students achieving A*-C grades also improved to 80%.

For those students who do not achieve successful GCSE grades in mathematics and English at school, the college has also placed respectively as the number one and number three FE college nationally for GCSE progress, with the results achieved by students who resit their exams in order to advance in their studies.

Mrs Melton added: "Taking both tables of results as a whole, it means we can successfully support those who aspire to achieve the highest A Level grades and reach the best universities in the country, as well as having the capacity and expertise to support students to positive destinations who have not achieved their potential at GCSE level first time around.”

Student Usman Muhammad (16) formerly of Pendle Vale College, said: “College is really good. I’m looking to progress on to a Russell Group university like Imperial College London to study medicine and I’m supported well to do that here.

“There is so much on offer at college to develop you through the extracurricular offer such as the Pre-Professional Programmes, and you gain responsibility and become increasingly independent here in preparation for university.”

Pre-Professional Programmes at the college aid career aspirations in competitive sectors, as well as specialist one-to-one guidance for Oxbridge applications, taking advantage of the College’s partnership with New College, Oxford’s Step Up programme, and the Realising Opportunities programme with the University of York.