An Ofsted ‘good’ grading has put St Mary’s College among the best standalone sixth form colleges in the region, which has delighted staff and students. Photography:

With a ‘good’ Ofsted rating and with private transport links to and from the Ribble Valley, St Mary’s College is now one of region’s top Sixth Form colleges.

Whether you want to study for A levels or vocational qualifications, or a mixture of both, St Mary’s is a vibrant hub of learning. It has cultivated an ‘aspirational culture’ that inspires students to achieve, many progressing to some of the country’s most prestigious universities.

Students are encouraged to fulfil their potential, studying their chosen subjects in what is a safe, inclusive environment where their progress is closely monitored to ensure they leave the college with the qualifications and social skills they need to go into their chosen field.

Twenty-first century technology enables teachers to share their feedback on students’ work and progress with parents as well as the students themselves, and a text alert system is in place to notify parents if students don’t arrive at college.

Security within the college is unobtrusive but effective, giving students confidence and freedom amidst a cohort that is ultimately positive and motivated.

A great-value two-way private bus service now runs from Clitheroe to the college enabling Ribble Valley students to take full advantage of St Mary’s many and varied A level and BTEC courses, as well as GCSE re-sits in maths and English.

The college is one of the few educational establishments that can combine A levels and vocational courses – students are able to study for BTECs at Level 2 and Level 3 in a wide range of subjects.

Level 3 includes subjects such as Applied Science, Business, Health and Social Care, Child Care, Sports Science, Law, Criminology, Media and IT. Universities accept Level 3 BTEC courses as A level equivalents, enabling students to progress to higher education.

A recent Ofsted report said: “The proportion of students who achieve their qualifications is high, particularly on Level 3 vocational and A level courses.”

It adds: “Students develop the knowledge and technical skills they need for further study. Consequently, the vast majority progress to further study or higher education.”

Principal Jenny Singleton said great progress had been made in improving standards at the college, adding: “I am delighted that Ofsted has recognised the huge strides that have been made in driving up standards, creating a positive, inclusive and inspirational learning environment.”

St Mary’s College offers a wide range of courses across A Levels and BTEC, there are still places available for September 2019

For more information contact admissions on 01254 586950 or email:

St Mary’s College
Shear Brow, Blackburn BB1 8DX



Tedd Walmsley

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