Winstanley College

Winstanley College
Established 1977
Principal Louise Tipping
Deputy Headteacher Mel Chadwick
Chair David Rosbottom
Location Winstanley Road
Greater Manchester
Coordinates: 53°31′25″N 2°42′10″W / 53.5237°N 2.7029°W / 53.5237; -2.7029
Local authority Wigan
DfE number 359/8600
DfE URN 130522 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 1,803
Gender Coeducational
Ages 16–19
Colours Blue, White
Former name Upholland Grammar School

Winstanley College is a sixth-form college in the Billinge Higher End area of the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan, Greater Manchester. It was named the Sunday Times Sixth Form of the Year in 2012.[1]


In the academic year 2007–08 it had 1,803 full-time students.[2] The catchment area spreads across several areas of the North West of England, incorporating much of Wigan, Bolton, Preston, Salford, West Lancashire, Chorley, Warrington, St Helens and Knowsley.

Winstanley College is highly oversubscribed due to its outstanding Ofsted Reports and A Level performance. For 2012–2013 entry, potential students must achieve 48 points in their best eight GCSE results, based on a system where an A* is equal to 10 points, an A, 8, a B, 6 and a C, 4.


The College has undergone a major re-development; including the building of a part student-designed English and Politics building, and the Head of Politics Elaine Mulroy has received an award for the top teacher of Politics within England and Wales.

Points of interest when visiting the college include:

Student Union

College buildings

Winstanley College Students' Union is an independent union and a member of the National Union of Students. The student union is run by the Student Union Executive. Usually each member of the Student Union Executive is a second year student, elected by Lower Sixth students, going into the Upper Sixth year.


Grammar school

The College began life as Upholland Grammar School, which was founded in 1661.[3] The grammar school moved to its present site on Winstanley Road in Billinge Higher End in September 1953. it had 600 boys and girls in the 1960s and had 750 by 1976. During World War II the grammar school had its own Air Cadet Squadron – 1439 (Beacon) squadron with the headmaster Alfred Maggs BA MSc as the first commanding officer (Flt Lt A. Maggs RAFVR(T))

Sixth form college

It was renamed Winstanley College in August 1977,[4] and at that time, it ceased to enrol new pupils at age 11, gradually becoming a sixth form college. By September 1981, no pupils remained in the lower forms, and the transformation to a sixth-form college was complete. In early 2009, plans were unveiled for an extensive redevelopment of the grounds, which was subsequently put to the Learning & Skills Council for approval. In mid-2009 the project was shelved for lack of grant funding. Since that time the college has redeveloped the 1950s buildings by replacing its flat roofs (AA projects & Mitie roofing), the music block was replaced with a £3m building for media and performing arts which was completed in 2012 (Pick Everard and ISG). A replacement library block and new accommodation for physical sciences and biology were completed in 2014.

Academic performance

A portal to higher education, Winstanley College is at the forefront of the top 10 colleges in the UK in terms of A-level PPS (points per student) — ranked 1st in the Guardian's country-wide collation of A-Level results in 2010.[5]

It was named by the Sunday Times as Sixth Form of the Year in 2012 for consistently achieving excellent A-level results over a long period of time. The report highlights the fact that Winstanley are A-level specialists with the expertise to deliver consistent academic excellence with large numbers of students drawn from a wide area.

In January 2010, Winstanley College was rated as "Outstanding" by Ofsted.

Notable alumni

Upholland Grammar School


  1. "Winstanley College News November 2012". Retrieved 2012-11-19.
  2. "Winstanley College Board Minutes November 2007" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-11-25.
  3. "A history of Upholland Grammar School". Retrieved 2008-06-13.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Barton, Laura (23 November 2009). "Lady Ashton went to my school". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2009-11-23.
  5. "Education,Schools,A-levels,GCSEs,School tables (Education)". The Guardian. London.
  6. University of Glasgow
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