Winstanley College

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Winstanley College
Winstanley Road

, ,

Coordinates53°31′25″N 2°42′10″W / 53.5237°N 2.7029°W / 53.5237; -2.7029Coordinates: 53°31′25″N 2°42′10″W / 53.5237°N 2.7029°W / 53.5237; -2.7029
Local authorityWigan
SpecialistA Levels
Department for Education URN130522 Tables
ChairJames Pearson
PrincipalLouise Tipping
Vice PrincipalMel Chadwick
Age16 to 19
Colour(s)Blue, White
Former nameUpholland Grammar School

Winstanley College is a sixth-form college in the Billinge Higher End area of the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan, Greater Manchester. It was named the TES Best Sixth Form College 2017 as the most recent of many national awards.


In the academic year 2016-17 it had 2000 full-time students.[1] The catchment area spreads across several areas of the North West of England, incorporating much of Wigan, Bolton, Preston, Salford, West Lancashire, Chorley, Warrington, St. Helens, Sefton and Knowsley.

Winstanley College is highly oversubscribed due to its outstanding Ofsted Reports and A Level performance.


The College has undergone a major re-development; including the building of a part student-designed English and Politics building, and the Head of Politics Elaine Mulroy has received an award for the top teacher of Politics within England and Wales.[citation needed]

Points of interest when visiting the college include:

  • The Art and Psychology Departments for their imaginative architecture
  • The Student Centre.
  • The English and Politics/Law/Sociology (PLS) building (including subject-specific study areas).
  • Learning Resource Centre (LRC).
  • Extensive Sporting and Gym facilities including several large sports fields.
  • A brand new £3 million development for Media, Music & Performing Arts opened July 2012. Architects Pick Everard have won Best Education Building Design and Best Overall Design in Wigan for 2012.

Student Union[edit]

College buildings

Winstanley College Students' Union is an independent union and a member of the National Union of Students. The student union is run by the Student Union Executive. Usually each member of the Student Union Executive is a second year student, elected by Lower Sixth students, going into the Upper Sixth year.


Grammar school[edit]

The College began life as Upholland Grammar School, which was founded in 1661.[2] The grammar school moved to its present site on Winstanley Road in Billinge Higher End in September 1953. It had 600 boys and girls in the 1960s, and had 750 by 1976. During World War II the grammar school had its own Air Cadet Squadron – 1439 (Beacon) squadron with the headmaster Alfred Maggs BA MSc as the first commanding officer (Flt Lt A. Maggs RAFVR(T))

Sixth form college[edit]

It was renamed Winstanley College in August 1977,[3] and at that time, it ceased to enrol new pupils at age 11, gradually becoming a sixth form college. By September 1981, no pupils remained in the lower forms, and the transformation to a sixth-form college was complete. In early 2009, plans were unveiled for an extensive redevelopment of the grounds, which was subsequently put to the Learning & Skills Council for approval. In mid-2009 the project was shelved for lack of grant funding. Since that time the college has redeveloped the 1950s buildings by replacing its flat roofs (AA projects & Mitie roofing), the music block was replaced with a £3m building for media and performing arts which was completed in 2012 (Pick Everard and ISG). A replacement library block and new accommodation for physical sciences and biology were completed in 2014. In March 2019, a new social sciences building was opened, home to sociology, psychology, health and social care and in 2019/20 to the new criminology A level.

Academic performance[edit]

A portal to higher education, Winstanley College is at the forefront of the top 10 colleges in the UK in terms of A-level PPS (points per student) — ranked 1st in the Guardian's country-wide collation of A-Level results in 2010.[4]

It was named by the Sunday Times as Sixth Form of the Year in 2012 for consistently achieving excellent A-level results over a long period of time. The report highlights the fact that Winstanley are A-level specialists with the expertise to deliver consistent academic excellence with large numbers of students drawn from a wide area.

In 1997, Winstanley College was rated as "Outstanding" by Ofsted and has been ever since.

Notable alumni[edit]

Upholland Grammar School[edit]


  1. ^ "Winstanley College Board Minutes November 2007" (PDF). Retrieved 25 November 2008.
  2. ^ "A history of Upholland Grammar School". Retrieved 13 June 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d e Barton, Laura (23 November 2009). "Lady Ashton went to my school". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
  4. ^ "Education,Schools,A-levels,GCSEs,School tables (Education)". The Guardian. London.
  5. ^ "Sara Bayman". Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  6. ^ University of Glasgow