Ashton Sixth Form College is the highest performing college in the area. With a proven track record of success, the college has recently topped the Department for Education league tables for A-Level and Vocational performance in Tameside as well as achieving a 'Good' Ofsted rating. Students this year have also achieved the highest grades ever with success seen across all courses.



Record breaking results in 2018: Student success reaches record levels

Students and staff at Ashton Sixth Form College are celebrating yet another year of unprecedented success after receiving their best ever results in this summer’s examinations. These results build on a very successful academic year which saw Ashton Sixth Form College recognised as the best performing college in the borough (DfE, 2018). The college’s consistently high levels of student progress also saw Ashton placed in the top 10% of colleges nationally.

The college has achieved a phenomenal 100% pass rate overall, with the vast majority gaining A*-C grades or equivalent. More students than ever have achieved the very highest grades. In fact, over 700 A*/A grades (or equiv.) were awarded to students with 160 students gaining straight A’s (or equivalent). Almost 60% of A Level students and an incredible 95% of vocational students received high grades (A*-B or equiv.), enabling them to access the most competitive courses and institutions across the country. Ashton Sixth Form College continues to support and challenge their high achieving students, with a huge 9/10 students on the college's XL (Gifted and Talented) programme gaining A*-B and almost half attained straight A’s (A*/A) in their A Levels.

This year alone students have earned places at Oxford, Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and other leading Russell Group universities, on competitive courses such as Medicine and Dentistry and on a range of higher level apprenticeships at employers such as Network Rail and the Civil Service. This success is a testament not only to the hard work and talent of the students, but also to the unrivalled experiences and support provided by the college.


Students progress to some of the most competitive and prestigious universities and higher apprenticeship schemes across the country  

Students this year, have progressed on to some of the most exciting and competitive career pathways. Six students who received offers from Oxbridge secured their places after achieving exceptional results. Many have accepted places at some of the most competitive universities across the country, while others are taking exciting routes on to higher apprenticeships.


We are the top performing college in the area for student progress (DfE, 2019)

The Department for Education (DfE) have published the latest performance tables officially placing Ashton Sixth Form College as the top performing college in the borough for the third year running. The recent announcement continues to highlight Ashton’s outstanding reputation as the leading provider of education in the borough and its increasing achievements across the North West. 

Ashton’s position across Greater Manchester has continued to improve year on year. The latest performance tables put Ashton in particularly high-standing as the second best performing college across Greater Manchester. The quality teaching and excellent support students receive at the college allows them to perform above and beyond. 

Principal Anton McGrath said,

“We're really pleased with our position in the league tables. We have improved our league table position and our value added score for the fourth year, maintaining our position as one of the best sixth form colleges in the local area and beyond. It's worth remembering that this information is about students and their success. Our excellent staff at the college work tirelessly and with real dedication to provide support for all students and this is their reward. Students choosing Ashton Sixth Form College can be safe in the knowledge that we can provide the best quality of teaching and learning to help them achieve their goals.”

The college’s performance is highlighted further when compared to other providers across the North West. Ashton is ranked joint sixth highest performing sixth form college in the North West, taking its position amongst some of the highest achieving colleges. The college once again considerably outperformed many ‘outstanding’ rated colleges, putting Ashton’s incredible performance in to perspective. 

 College  No. of students who studied at least one A level   Progress Score   Description
 Ashton Sixth Form College  634  0.17  Above average 
 Oldham Sixth Form College  700  0.10  Above average
 Loreto College  1530  0.09  Above Average
 Cheadle and Marple Sixth Form College  225  -0.01  Average
 Connell Sixth Form College  132  -0.12  Average
 Xaverian College   1034  -0.06  Below average
 Aquinas College  924  -0.06  Below average
 Tameside College - Clarendon Sixth Form   199  -0.11  Below average
 The Blue Coat CofE School  209  -0.13  Below average

A-Level data: www.compare-school-performance.service.gov.uk

The DfE measures colleges based on their ‘progress score’. This score represents how much progress a student makes from the end of key stage 4 (GCSEs and other) to the end of their A Level qualifications. These are then compared to students across the country. A score above zero indicates students make more progress, on average. Ashton Sixth Form College not only performs above average, but the progress score awarded to Ashton is significantly higher by a substantial margin. This means that, on average, students that come to Ashton Sixth Form College do significantly better than they would have done, if they had attended a different college.

This announcement from the DfE follows a spectacular few years for Ashton Sixth Form College. Most recently, the college was shortlisted for ‘sixth form college of the year’ at the TES FE Awards 2019. Ashton’s results for 2017-2018 also positioned the college in the top 10% nationally for student progress. 

The DfE performance tables are a testament to the devoted team at Ashton Sixth Form College and the students who consistently outperform those in the borough.


To view the Department for Education Performance Tables click here.


Ofsted rated 'Good'

The college was inspected in March 2016 and Ofsted found that the college has maintained its high standards since it was last rated as ‘Good’ in 2011, awarding the college with a Good rating across all areas.

In the summary of key findings, the inspectors commented that "governors, leaders and staff have high expectations and ambitions for learners and successfully raise learners’ aspirations. Learners experience a strongly inclusive ethos in the college which recognises and celebrates the achievement of all".

This inspection confirms Ashton Sixth Form College’s position as the best provider of post 16 education in the borough, being the only provider to achieve an Ofsted rating of ‘Good’. It was noted in the report that "most of the students at Ashton Sixth Form College achieve well and a high proportion exceed their target grades."

You can read the full report on the government website here.


We are an award winning college for college/school partnerships

We have been recognised for the outstanding partnerships that we have with schools in the borough and the exceptional support that we give to ensure smooth transition for pupils from school to college. Our recent Association of Colleges Beacon Award win acknowledges the work of the A+ Trust, set up by the college and six partner schools in Tameside to raise attainment, aspiration and achievement and has been a key model of improvement for the local area.