Priestley College became a sixth form in 1979 and has grown in numbers and reputation ever since.
By 2009 the college had doubled in size thanks to improvements in performance, the introduction of new courses and significant investment in the campus.
Students now have the choice of over 70 A-Level, T-Level and other Vocational options with hundreds of possible combinations available.
Principal James Gresty said: “We have made great strides in recent years, but we are not a college that stands still. We are constantly looking for ways to improve in order to make the biggest difference to the most number of young people.”
There are now around 2,000 learners at Priestley with the latest investment a £1.5million technology centre that boasts more than 200 computers. The Crescent Building has also been extended to provide extra café and study space whilst our Performing Arts facilities have been modernised.
More than £15million has been invested in the campus since 1999 on projects such as the Learning Resource Centre and an all-weather sports pitch.
Priestley College is a proud member of The Challenge Academy Trust. The Trust was formed in 2017 by like-minded leaders of local primary and secondary schools in Warrington along with Priestley College. We work collaboratively to improve outcomes for children and young people in the Warrington area. To learn more about TCAT click here
Ofsted praised Priestley’s students and staff following its most recent inspection. Learners, it said, were motivated to achieve and arrive for lessons prepared. Crucially, students speak highly of Priestley’s inclusive culture and are proud to study at a college where they feel safe, cared for and also benefit from a range of extra-curricular activities. The college was recognised for successfully working with stakeholders to design a curriculum that met the skills needs both regionally and nationally. Inspectors said the curriculum was ambitious, carefully planned and logically sequenced.
Genius at work
Joseph Priestley was a man who made a difference to the world of science. He is best remembered for his discovery of the gas that would later be named ‘oxygen’ but wrote famous papers on electricity and invented soda water. In the 1760s he took up a post at the Warrington Academy where he became a tutor of modern languages and rhetoric and later became a fellowship of the Royal Society. Fitting, therefore, that nearly 210 years after his death a college bearing his name has been awarded STEM assured status recognising the quality of teaching of science and maths subjects.