Newly-published statistics place ‘outstanding’ Nelson and Colne College as the best college in the country to study A Levels, based on the progress students make during their studies.

The year on year Department for Education figures show NCC has jumped from being third in the country to equal first for the value added to the grades of students. Progress scores are calculated by comparing students predicted A Level grades based on their GCSE results against their A Level achievements when they leave college.

A shining example of a student exceeding their potential in 2016/17 was A Level student Oliver Robertson. Former West Craven High School student Oliver arrived at NCC having achieved no A* grades at GCSE level, but walked away from college with three A* grades in Chemistry, Maths and Physics. He is now studying Physics at the University of Manchester.

News of the exceptional progress scores comes at the same time as NCC students Alexandra Mitchell-Males, 18, Alex Abrahams, 18, and Liam Cocker,17, have all received conditional offers from the University of Oxford.

Alexandra has her conditional offer for English Language and Literature at St. John’s College. The former Park High School student, who is studying English Literature, History and Religious Studies at NCC, said: “I have had so many opportunities while at NCC – I’ve been to Washington on a History trip, I’ve done a Pre-Professional Programme in Teaching which is what I want to go and do, and I’ve also taught basic English voluntarily out in the community through the Talk English project. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

“I would definitely recommend Nelson and Colne College – it’s amazing for nurturing young people to the best that they can be and building up the confidence they need to achieve things that they didn’t always think that they could achieve.”

Alex, who is studying English Literature, French, Maths and Physics, arrived at NCC from Pendle Vale College, and has a conditional offer to study English Language and Literature at Mansfield College. He said: “I was really surprised with my Oxford offer as I wasn’t expecting it. I’d no idea how my interview had gone!

“I’ve always enjoyed writing, and I’ve been doing a lot of script writing and poetry. But if I wasn’t to go into writing in the future, I’m also thinking about Law – in human rights or around space or space travel.”

Former Ss John Fisher and Thomas More RC High School student Liam is studying A Level Biology, Chemistry and English Literature at NCC and has a conditional offer to study Biological Sciences at Jesus College.

Liam said: “The offer feels great but a bit surreal. I’ve worked really hard for it and I’m really pleased I have a potential place. I’ve had a mini practice interview with my Biology tutor Brenda Rowan every week and I’ve done a lot of background reading on current developments in the field.

“I definitely made the right choice in coming to NCC. There’s a quiet hard working aspect to the college that I really like and my teachers have been extremely supportive.

“Looking to the future, neuroscience interests me and microbiology is a possibility as there are quite a lot of job prospects in that area.”

In 2016/17, the college had a 99.7% pass rate at A Level and 28 students achieved at least three A* or A grades – a record number – while one in five leavers progressed on to study at Russell Group universities.

Nelson and Colne College Vice Principal Paul Britton said: “The Department for Education school performance tables confirm just what a fantastic set of results teaching staff at NCC supported our A Level students to achieve.

“We’re now the joint top performing college in the country for A Level progress and our progress score of +0.39 means that students achieved almost half a grade better on average across their subjects with us than they would have done at most other schools or colleges in the country.

“I’m also delighted to hear that we have three Oxbridge candidates this year, and while they are conditional offers, it highlights what is possible through studying at NCC. Raising the aspirations of students and the wider community is a core objective of the college and our career college ethos is focused on supporting and inspiring students’ future progression and employment opportunities.”

A Year 9 and 10 Open Event will take place at Nelson and Colne College on Monday 30 April from 5.30pm until 7.30pm.

For more information about Nelson and Colne College contact 01282 440272 or visit