Greenhead College

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Greenhead College
Established 1980
Type Sixth form college
Principal Anton McGrath
Vice Principal Phil Rumsey
Chair Eva Lambert
Location Greenhead Road
West Yorkshire
England Coordinates: 53°38′49″N 1°47′31″W / 53.647°N 1.792°W / 53.647; -1.792
Local authority Kirklees
DfE number 382/8600
DfE URN 130538 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Staff 100 (approx.)
Students 2300[1]
Gender Coeducational
Ages 16–19
Colours Green & Gold

Greenhead College is a former grammar school and current sixth form college located in Huddersfield, in the county of West Yorkshire, England. The current principal is Anton McGrath.

With over 2000 students, it is a relatively large college, attracting pupils from as far afield as Wakefield, Manchester, Barnsley, Bradford, Leeds, Halifax, Wetherby and even Wales. It is located next to Greenhead Park which is one of the largest parks in Huddersfield.


The college topped The Guardian and The Independent A level college league tables in 2006.[2] It came fourth in 2007[3][not in citation given] and sixth in 2008.[4][not in citation given] It is also The Sunday Times Sixth Form College of the Year 2014-2015.[5]

Subject choices[edit]

Students usually study 4 AS level subjects of their choice during their first year of study, and then usually continue to study 3 of these subjects at A level. The college is quite flexible with respect to courses being studied, with a significant proportion of students studying 5 A Levels, and some up to 6.[citation needed] There are over 30 different subjects for students to study.[6]

At AS and A level, students are required to take General Studies. Both AS and A level General Studies is taught, and the exams sat during the second year of study, the AS exam in January and the A Level exam in June.[7] First-year students are also required to complete a mandatory 8-week OCR Text Processing course in their first few months at college.

Students who did not obtain sufficient GCSE grades to meet their offer, may still be admitted to the college, but have to re-sit the required GCSE during their first year, and obtain the required grade, for example Greenhead College supports Maths GCSE resits.


Prospective students are informed that all applicants will be interviewed, and pre-interview selection criteria can be applied because of the number of external applications received.[citation needed]

Students from partnership feeder schools are given priority for places at the college, and are required to obtain a minimum of five GCSE C grades (including a grade C in English) to gain a place at the college.[8] Current partner schools are All Saints Catholic High School, Almondbury High School and Language College, Colne Valley High School, North Huddersfield Trust School, Holmfirth High School, Honley High School, King James's School, Moor End Technology College, Newsome High School and Sports College, Netherhall Learning Campus, Royds Hall High School and Salendine Nook High School/Technology College.[9]

Students from other schools are considered based on their mock GCSE results, a one-to-one interview and the availability of subject places, this after partner school students have been taken into consideration. Students from the Calderdale secondary schools, including The Brooksbank School, The Crossley Heath School and North Halifax Grammar School, can be accepted through the application process.[citation needed]

In 2005 principal Martin Rostron stated that he believed the college has been criticised for selecting only the best students, which he denied, saying that Greenhead took those of all abilities.[10]


The wall art of the science block at Greenhead College

The Greenhead College campus is located on one site, near the centre of Huddersfield. The campus is fairly small in comparison with the number of students enrolled - however, it manages to effectively provide provision for a multitude of subjects taught.

The college has approximately 8 main buildings, all of which are internally linked. Each building represents a subject or a group of similar subjects. On 26 May 2004, the college officially opened a new building on the campus, the Conway Building. The building was dedicated to the former principal, Dr. Kevin Conway.[11]

The college has a small football field on site and a small hockey field. Two tennis courts were replaced in early 2012 to make way for a new maths and science building, opened by the Duke of Kent. Many enrichments [12] (extra curricular activities) offered by the college are done off campus due to the lack of outdoor space owing to the proximity to Huddersfield town centre.


In 2008 Ryder Architecture were commissioned to draw up plan for a new project with would provide a series of new buildings which were linked to the existing buildings via a central atrium hub. These buildings provided educational classrooms as well as various support and ancillary accommodation. The existing site was constrained with several existing buildings which would have caused a complex phased construction process. It was estimated that the project would cost approximately £15 million. In December 2008 a report examining the feasibility of the project was approved by the College. An application was submitted to the Learning and Skills Council in July 2009 with construction works commencing January 2010 for a duration of 2 years. Unfortunately LSC funding was not received and the project was placed on hold until alternative funding could be sourced.[13]


There are currently around 100 teaching staff to cater for the large number of students. However this number is larger due to the canteen staff, IT technicians, lab technicians and caretakers that also serve in the college.


The College Principal is Anton McGrath who is supported by vice principal, Phil Rumsey. There are also two Assistant principals (Peter Gordziejko and Christine Milson) as well as a Business Manager (John Blake) and a Human Resource Manager (Debra Todd). In addition there are subject heads and then finally the subject teachers and assistants. There is also a Senior Student system at the college, where the students vote the heads of their Student Union.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Greenhead is well praised for its enrichment programmes which encourages pupils to partake in extracurricular activities designed to build students character, their personal, sporting and social interests and prepares them more effectively both for higher education and future employment. It was first introduced in 1990. Its most resent praise was from Ofsted in 2011 from their spot check report in which they said: A well-managed and excellent enrichment programme includes an extremely broad range of activities, from competitive and non-competitive team sports to Latin for beginners and from journalism to knitting and crotchet. Students look forward to these opportunities that they say are fun and challenging, and participation helps to motivate them in their academic work.:[14]

In November 2000 the college achieved its second Queen's Anniversary Prize bestowed for Curriculum development for sixth form students. When awarded the prize the award committee said: “The college’s enrichment programme is a national exemplar of what can be done at sixth-form level to extend students’ education and personal growth beyond their academic courses. The programme calls on students to develop self-reliance, promotes citizenship and prepares them to meet the world of work or further study with confidence and commitment.”[15]

Enrichment is mandatory for student to undertake, this encourages pupils to partake supporting the programs success. There are a huge variety of courses for students to choose form including The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, sports, music and drama, information technology, voluntary services and The World Challenge; additionally students are free to start new courses on the proviso they can gain enough support for them. In 2011 a total of 79 different courses were available to students including 22 different sporting activates such as badminton, basket ball, cycling, football (men and women’s), rugby (men and women’s), judo and squash and 9 different music groups.[16] Taster sessions are provided so that students can make informed decisions.[17]

As part of the enrichment program, pupils must undertake one week of PaWS (Projects and Work Shadowing) in their first year. Work shadowing placements include medical, political, scientific and language based jobs, usually at a senior level within the respective companies. If a pupil does not wish to do work shadowing, many projects, from circus skills to mathematical art, are available.


Source: Greenhead College: Awards

  • Sunday Times Parent Power Top State Sixth Form College of the Year 2014.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "About Greenhead College". Retrieved 2010-12-09. 
  2. ^ "A-levels 2006: colleges". The Guardian. 
  3. ^ "School Exam Results: Summer 2007". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  4. ^ "School Exam Results: Summer 2008". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Subjects We Offer". Greenhead College. Retrieved 2009-01-06. 
  7. ^ "Welcome to the department of General Studies". Greenhead College. Retrieved 2009-01-06. 
  8. ^ "Entry Requirements". Greenhead College. 
  9. ^ "Greenhead College Admissions". Greenhead College. Retrieved 2010-12-09. 
  10. ^ "Reasons to be cheerful". The Independent. 2005-01-13. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  11. ^ "College Newsletter No. 82". Greenhead College. Retrieved 2010-12-09. 
  12. ^ "Greenhead College Enrichments". Greenhead College. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^[keywords]=&archive[years]=11&archive[countries]=1&archive[institutions_type]=3&archive[subjectarea]=&sort[inst_name]=asc
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Enrichment - Course List". Greenhead College. Retrieved 8 September 2010. 
  18. ^ "Greenhead College". Ofsted. 2004. Retrieved 2006-11-02. [dead link]
  19. ^ "The House I Grew Up In, featuring Mona Siddiqui". BBC Radio 4. 13 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-13. 
  20. ^ "Huddersfield says farewell to Capt Lisa Head". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. 2011-05-07. Retrieved 2011-05-07. 

External links[edit]