St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College
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|Established||1955 (boys school)
|Type||Sixth form & FE college|
|Location||74 St Charles' Square
|Local authority||Kensington and Chelsea|
|DfE URN||130411 Tables|
St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College is a Roman Catholic sixth form college located in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, in Central London, England. It was originally Cardinal Manning Boys School, founded in 1955 and became St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College in 1990 following a reorganisation of the Catholic education system within the Archdiocese. St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College is fully committed to comprehensive Catholic Education – the College is inclusive in the mission and whilst founded on Christian principles, is characterised by a very diverse student and staff body. When the College was established it was originally intended for 750 students but the population has grown steadily over the years and there are now over 1200 students each September and students come from a broad geographical area.
The College offers courses from Level 1 for students who have not achieved well at GCSEs, to Level 3 (A Levels and BTECs) for potential Oxbridge students, where many students after leaving St Charles go to leading universities within the UK.
An Outstanding College
St Charles’ Catholic Sixth Form College opened in September 1990 for students aged 16 –19. It was the inspiration of the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Basil Hume O.S.B., and his intention was that it should provide high quality Catholic education for inner – city students of all abilities and ethnicities. Initially, it was the designated sixth form of four Catholic partner schools, although from the outset students came from many other schools in West London and beyond.
Following post -16 education reorganisation in 1993, the college became part of the further education sector and it was required to embark upon a rapid expansion programme; increasing its student numbers by 26% over three years. While this had its financial and resource challenges; the college being situated on a relatively small site, it provided the opportunity for more students to avail themselves of the broad, academic and growing, vocational curriculum offered. A significant number of students in the early years became first generation entrants into Higher Education; an indication of the success of the college in achieving its original mission.
Since its foundation, it has responded effectively to the demands placed upon it by London’s changing ethnic and religious demographic. Its motto, ‘Faith in Education’, encapsulates, not only the significant role Faith plays in the individual’s development, but the importance of education in ensuring social justice and providing greater equality of opportunity. Its reputation for fulfilling its mission has grown and students from over 200 educational institutions from all parts of London are enrolled annually It continues to provide academic and vocational opportunities at Level 3 and the numbers entering Higher Education and Russell Group universities increase year on year. Those students for whom Key Stage 4 was less than successful are provided with the chance to reassess and acquire qualifications at either Levels 1 or 2 in preparation for either employment or the opportunity to study at Level 3 and continue to university, which had been their original intent. Its alumni have made and continue to make their mark in the professions and in a wide range of careers. A not inconsiderable number have returned to the college, either to work as teachers or administrators or to volunteer their experience and services for the good of those students, who have followed in their footsteps.
From its original focus on educational provision for predominantly Catholic and Christian students, it has developed into a strong multi – faith community, which is inspired by and operates within the context of the values of the Catholic Faith, which has Christ at its centre. The spiritual, emotional and social development of the individual is considered as important as academic success and the broader curriculum is designed to achieve this. Students serve the wider community through, for example, charitable works and direct intervention through West London Citizens. The college educates students to recognise the importance of service and the importance of tolerance, which equip the students to be both valuable and valued citizens.
External agencies have concluded that St Charles’ Catholic Sixth Form College is an outstanding educational institution.