4 October 2022

Birkenhead Sixth Form College has once again outperformed the national standard in terms of student progression to the country’s top universities, with a quarter of all A Level students in 2022 going on to the leading 30 universities in the country.

The most highly competitive universities in the UK such as Oxford, Cambridge and St Andrews make up the group called the Sutton 30, where entry criteria is considerably higher than others. The percentage of the College’s students that gain places at these prestigious universities is significantly higher than the national average, according to the latest data from the Sixth Form Colleges Association (SFCA).

The recently released analysis revealed that nearly 25% of Birkenhead Sixth Form College’s students go on to study at Sutton 30 universities, with the data behind that making even more astounding reading.

The number of students expected to gain places at these top universities is estimated based on GCSE results. The analysis compares expected progression to these universities versus actual progression, with colleges typically being expected to be anywhere between plus 3% or minus 3% of that rate. Birkenhead Sixth Form College has a level of plus 7%, with the author of the analysis for the SFCA, Nick Allen, saying: “Anyone securing a score of +6.0% or higher by this measure is doing a remarkable job.”

Nationally again, the percentage of students that gain university places from sixth form colleges is 67%, where Birkenhead Sixth Form College’s is a massive 11% higher at 78%, with raising aspirations for students at the forefront of everything we do.

The team of tutors within Student Development guide every student through their sixth form journey, helping new students settle in and then supporting them through their applications to university and apprenticeships while also concentrating on monitoring academic progress of each student.

Director of Student Development and Careers Leader, Jo Wood, explained: “As a team, we seek to unlock possibilities for every student. Some students may never have considered university as an option after sixth form, but through our tutorial programme we get all the vital information to each individual so that they know where their academic success can take them.”

Jo continued: “We have a range of additional programmes in place too, working with leading universities to ensure that everyone has the same opportunities afforded to them, no matter their background or starting point. Programmes range from accessing courses such as medicine and engineering to securing offers at university for law, finance and more when such things might have been unthinkable beforehand. We make sure that everyone has a level playing field.”

Principal at Birkenhead Sixth Form College, Mike Kilbride, said: “When we say that we’re the most successful sixth form in the region, we really mean it, and we back it up with data such as this report. To go beyond what is deemed remarkable by any other standard is what we do by default. Our students do themselves proud each and every year, and their success is paramount, but we must also acknowledge what both the teachers and the pastoral team do every day to ensure that success. 

“Raising aspirations and opening doors to a future that may not have been possible elsewhere is the core of our institutional being, so to see so many students accessing the most elite universities in the country, and therefore unlocking huge career potential, is deeply gratifying for all the staff, all the students and also their parents.”


To apply for a place at Birkenhead Sixth Form College after GCSEs starting in September 2023, click here.