Priestley alumni Alice Williamson
Priestley alumni Alice Williamson is one of Priestley’s STEM success stories and is now researching a cure for malaria.

PRIESTLEY was the first dedicated sixth form college in the UK to receive STEM assured status and continues to lead the way in these subjects.

The prestigious honour – awarded by NEF: The Innovation Institute – put the college on a list of the UK’s top providers of education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

In 2016 the status was renewed confirming that Priestley had improved and enhanced its STEM offer.

“There is fantastic enthusiasm, commitment and resources dedicated towards the advancement of the STEM agenda in Priestley College,” said Professor Sa’ad Medhat, Chief Executive at the NEF.

“The College has made a serious investment that will have a genuine impact on the local economy and it is this vision that will support and drive regional economic development.”

Officials from NEF: The Innovation Institute visited Priestley twice to meet students, tutors and external representatives.

They also spoke to companies with strong links to Priestley College including Solvay, Barclays Bank, Warrington Council and Manchester-based Studio Liddell.

Their final report was sent to representatives from the UK’s top 100 companies who agreed that Priestley deserved the STEM Assured status.

STEM status is only given to institutions that support the needs of business and industry through specialist teaching and training in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

“It confirmed that we are successfully preparing students for university and providing them with the essential skills needed to help them gain employment,” said Principal Matthew Grant.

Jan Costello, Director of STEM at Priestley, added: “We wanted to do this to ensure we provide not just the academic skills students need to succeed in life, but also the employability skills.

“In order to keep the status we will have to ensure we continue to provide the skills and education that makes our students relevant and attractive to local and national employers.”


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