The Holy Cross College was formed in 1979 as a sixth form college with just over two-hundred students. The site and buildings had previously been the Bury Convent Grammar School, a direct grant Catholic girls school founded in 1878 by the Daughters of the Cross.
Holy Cross College entered the top 10 sixth form colleges in the country, placing 8th on the list in 2007, and was placed 2nd in the country in 2008. Holy Cross has been voted a 5 star best small company to work for in 2010. Students from the college regularly gain places at the Sutton 13 universities (Cambridge, Imperial, Oxford, LSE, UCL, York, Warwick, Bristol, Nottingham, St. Andrews, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Durham) and around 85% of students enter into some form of Higher Education. Holy Cross College has close educational links with Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio.