Priestley Sixth Form and Community College is a sixth form college in the Wilderspool district of Warrington, Cheshire. It also offers adult courses and professional training on another site, and is an associate college of the University of Salford.
Priestley College has a pass rate of over 99%. This figure includes A-E grades and the proportion of students that achieve A-C grades vary from subject to subject. The College boasts a 100% pass rate in all BTEC National Diploma and Certificate programmes, with over 61% of grades being awarded at either Merit or Distinction level. Results vary from year to year but are generally consistent. A breakdown of results is available on the College's website.
Priestley College is named for Joseph Priestley (13 March 1733 – 8 February 1804), a clergyman, chemist and educator who was a pioneer in teaching modern history and the sciences. He discovered oxygen in 1774, although was not responsible for naming the element. Priestley was a Protestant dissenter who help establish the reputation of Warrington Academy in 1751, for a generation a leading educational centre and one of the first in Britain that was non-sectarian. A statue of Priestley now stands inside the main entrance of the college. Warrington, at the time of Priestley, was noted for its scientific academic work. In modern times, much scientific work still takes place in the (former) north Cheshire area, specifically at Daresbury in the south of Warrington.
Priestley offers AS/A2 Levels, BTECs, Advanced Diplomas, GCSEs resits, the International Baccalaureate, functional skills and pre-University foundation courses. However, because it is a sixth form college, not everyone will be accepted on to A level courses as this standard does not suit all abilities.
It is situated on Loushers Lane, just off the A49, and is located in the parish of St James, Latchford, Warrington.
The College opened in 1979 though until 1974, it was the site of the Warrington Girls' High School (a grammar school also known later as Warrington High School for Girls), administered by Warrington Education Committee. It was addressed as being on Menin Avenue until 1998, when it became administered by Warrington borough, previously being under Cheshire Education Committee from 1974.
It is a single campus college with seven buildings:The Priestley Building (rooms prefixed with P) holds the administrative facilities, finance, social facilities (The "Dank Lounge" (Former Wicked Cafe) Bar and Mezzanine), Graphics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Performing Arts, and Modern Foreign Languages.
The Art Centre (Previously named, The Adamson Building) (rooms prefixed with A), completed in early 2013, is a permanent building which provides spare classrooms for Creative Art, Textiles, Computer Graphic Design.
The Design Centre (Previously named, The Art & Design Centre)(rooms prefixed with D) holds 3D-Design, Woodwork.
The Sports Centre (rooms prefixed with S) holds Sports and Physical Education.
The Learning Resource Centre (LRC), also known as the library (rooms prefixed with L) holds Offices, the Library, communal computers and some small teaching areas.
The Crescent Building (rooms prefixed with C), completed in September 2007, holds Student Services, Reception and Personnel, as well as departments of Humanities, English, Public Services, Law, Business Studies, Religious Studies, Accounting, Geography and Geology.
The Lewis Carroll building (rooms prefixed with LC), was demolished in 2013 and replaced with a larger building with the same name, completed in summer 2014. It is adjacent to the learning resource centre and holds rooms for ICT.
The college is close to the town centre of Warrington.
. Buses serving the college are routes 5, 6, 6A, 7, 7A, 8, 8A, 8X, 9, 45, 46 and 62. These buses serve the Wilderspool Causeway entrance. Routes 11, 11A, 12, 12A, and 95 (contract) serve the Loushers Lane entrance. A walk from the centre of the town to the college is approximately 15 minutes. The X30 serves Chester Road for those who travel from Runcorn.
In March 2007, the college was inspected by a team of Ofsted inspectors and achieved "Outstanding" status making it a leading centre of education in the North West of England.
At A-level, it gets the second best results in Warrington, with well-above average results, second to Bridgewater High School (in Appleton). The other FE college in Warrington is Warrington Collegiate, which is the further education part of what was North Cheshire College.