22 November 2018

Birkenhead Sixth Form College has been named as a finalist for a national award honouring its commitment to social mobility and affording young people from all backgrounds the best possible opportunities in education.

The Association of Colleges Beacon Awards listed the College in the final three for the ‘Skills and Education Group Award for Social Mobility and Widening Participation’. The winner will be announced at a ceremony on 22nd March next year, in what is the 24th year of the awards which showcase best practice and innovation in colleges.

Our nomination for the award comes after being named the UK Sixth Form College of the Year 2018 at the TES (formerly the Times Education Supplement) Awards and our A Level results came top of government school league tables in Wirral for student progress.

Social mobility is at the heart of the College’s ethos, with many of our students coming from some of the most economically deprived areas in the area. Specially devised academic and wellbeing programmes and values that come from a belief in purposeful hard work and resilience rather than talent help all students achieve their full potential, no matter their starting point.

Principal at Birkenhead Sixth Form College, Mike Kilbride, said: “This shortlisting means a great deal to us because it acknowledges what the College stands for. Our commitment to social mobility isn’t about putting a one-off programme in place or taking on a set number of disadvantaged students: the whole College is itself an engine for social mobility and making sure that everyone starts on an even playing field.”

Mike continued: “A huge number of our students go off to university each year and the majority are the first in their families to have done so. Others go on to excellent apprenticeship or employment opportunities with superb A Level and BTEC results on their CVs. We don’t believe in leaving young people behind and segregation in education. Everyone deserves the right to work hard and fulfil their potential, even when their background of circumstances might have held them back in the past. Success comes from positivity and a drive to achieve, and our students and staff are committed to that rather than the myth that some are more able than others.”

Carole Stott MBE is the Chair of the Association of Colleges Charitable Trust and she said: “The Beacon Awards were created to highlight the great work that goes on in colleges every day.

“Colleges do great work transforming the lives of more than two million people each day and are deeply embedded within their communities. Birkenhead Sixth Form College has done exceptionally well to get this far and we wish them the best of luck.”