Nelson and Colne College has been selected to be a Maths Centre for Excellence by the Department for Education – one of only 21 colleges nationally to gain the prestigious status.

An application was submitted by NCC after the Department for Education committed to establishing a select number of Centres for Excellence with the remit of building teaching capacity and spreading best practice on what works to improve basic Maths.

The college has extensive experience of collaborating at a national, regional and local level and the new investment will see the potential to develop this activity further by sharing good practice regionally with the aim of improving the skills of students over the age of 16 with low prior attainment and helping them secure valuable qualifications.

NCC has also been number one in the country for progress scores in GCSE Maths for two consecutive years, and in 2018, 72% of 16 to 18-year-old students resitting GCSE Maths at the college gained at least a grade 4, compared with a national average of 18%. The college also delivers consistently high pass rates in Functional Skills Maths.

Rabia Imtiaz, 18, came to Nelson and Colne College with no qualifications on entry, and first gained her Functional Skills Maths and then a GCSE grade 8 in her results this year, progressing on to study A Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics.

Rabia said: “Before I came to NCC I didn’t consider myself good at Maths at all. The quality of the teaching and the workshops offered by my teacher were really helpful, and teachers are always able to answer any questions you have.

“I couldn’t believe it when I achieved a grade 8. I’ve had so much support at the college, being pushed to achieve more and I’ve taken advice from the Careers Zone. I have gained the confidence to take Maths at A Level with Biology and Chemistry and I’m looking at studying Medicine in the future.”

Kinza Arshad, 18, arrived at NCC with no qualifications on entry, but then gained Functional Skills Maths before making the jump to GCSE where she achieved a grade 8 in Maths. Kinza is now on the vocational route, studying Level 3 Business.

Kinza said: “I really worked hard in Maths, attending lessons and completing my homework. I never expected to achieve what is an A* grade but my teacher was so good at explaining what we were learning in lessons and I found the workshops twice a week were great and made the difference.

“I’m enjoying studying Business and I’m then I’m hoping to do an Apprenticeship in Accountancy through the college after that.”

Nelson and Colne College Assistant Principal Fionnuala Swann said: “I’m delighted that the college’s application to be a Maths Centre for Excellence has been approved.

“We have been selected because we are an exceptional post-16 institution with the commitment to drive innovation and improvement in both the college and beyond.

“The Centres for Excellence have arisen from a government led commitment to improve basic Maths for people over the age of 16. As a Centre for Excellence for Maths, our purpose is to enhance Maths teaching so that students over the age of 16 with low prior attainment can develop their skills and gain important qualifications.”

In its 2017/18 results, NCC achieved a 99% pass rate at A Level and a 99.6% pass rate in advanced vocational courses. One in five leavers progressed on to Russell Group universities – the best in the country – including Oxbridge.

Nelson and Colne College has been rated as Outstanding by Ofsted since 2005. It is the top college in the country for 16-18 learner achievement, at all levels, is number one in the country for A Levels, based on progress scores, and the number one college in the country for overall Apprenticeship achievement, at all ages and levels.

Government data also places NCC as the best college in the area for vocational courses, based on progress scores, while it is also the best college in Lancashire for student satisfaction, according to the FE Choices Learner Satisfaction Survey.

Nelson and Colne College’s next Year 11 Open Event will be held on Monday 5 November, from 5.30pm until 7.30pm. Visitors can find out about the wide range of options available to study at NCC – including more than 30 A Level subjects, a wide range of high quality, career focused vocational programmes and Apprenticeship opportunities in a multitude of different sectors.

Prospective students will also have the chance to enjoy a tour of the campus and view the college’s state-of-the-art facilities, meet expert tutors and members of the Careers Team, take part in a range of exciting ‘have a go’ activities and learn about Nelson and Colne College’s diverse and constantly-evolving extracurricular offer.

For more information on NCC visit or contact the Admissions Team on 01282 440272