40th Anniversary Gala Dinner

Priestley College will be celebrating its 40th anniversary and the difference it has made to the lives of thousands of young people at a gala dinner in March.

Former students, staff, governors and other friends of the college are invited to join the celebration at the Village Hotel on 6th March, starting at 7pm.

There will be musical performances by current and former pupils as well as a some reminiscing about the past.

“It will be a celebration of everything Priestley has achieved over the past four decades,” said Principal Matthew Grant. “Not only have thousands of young people benefitted from an education at the college, but hundreds of staff have played a part in making it a success over that time. We want everyone to join together for a great night of celebration and performance.”

Tickets for the gala dinner, which includes a three-course meal and entertainment, are £40. Tickets are discounted to £30 for those still in full time education. They can be booked by calling our Finance team on 01925 624457 or clicking the link below…

40 Years of Excellence

Priestley College celebrates 40 years of excellence in 2019 / 2020. We are very proud of our history and the differences the college has made to thousands of young people’s lives since the college opened in 1979. Here are just a few of the notable landmarks from the past four decades…


1733 – Joseph Priestley was born and later his name would be taken by the college. Priestley discovered oxygen in 1774 and was a clergyman, chemist as well as a pioneer in teaching modern history and the sciences.

1979 – Priestley College is opened by merging the sixth forms of the Boteler boys Grammar with Warrington High School. Around 350 students under the headship of David Henderson.

1991 – Priestley became a self-governing independent corporation. Now part of the Further Education sector.

Mid 90s – Adult evening classes were introduced.

2002 – David Henderson retired after overseeing steady growth of students to just over 1,000.

2007 – An Ofsted inspection found that Priestley was an ‘outstanding’ college ‘where every learner matters’.

2009 – The college had doubled in size since it opened thanks to improvements in performance, the introduction of new curriculum and significant investment. More than 2,000 students attended.

2015 – Priestley became the first sixth form college in the country to be awarded STEM assured status. An honour that meant its Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths education was among the best in the country.

2015 – Priestley is awarded the Matrix accreditation in recognition of the quality of its advice and guidance.

2019 – Priestley recorded its best ever set of A-Level results alongside some excellent vocational results.

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