29 April 2019

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Birkenhead Sixth Form College has once again been recognised for their commitment to offering all students the same educational and life opportunities, no matter their background, with a regional award.

Educate North Awards named the College winner of the Social Mobility prize at a ceremony in Manchester’s Hilton Deansgate hotel, attended by hundreds of education professionals in both Further and Higher Education fields.

The awards celebrate the ‘outstanding teams and people behind incredible initiatives of education institutions from across the North’, and the College’s win makes it three awards for social mobility in the space of two years.

Social Mobility is at the heart of the College’s ethos, ensuring that all students have equal standing and are afforded every opportunity to broaden their horizons, regardless of personal or socio-economic background.

With exam season rapidly approaching, students have one eye on where their journey will take them after finishing College, with nearly 90% continuing on to university each year, many of whom will be the first generations in their families to do so.

Head student Adam Probbing came to the College from Ridgeway High School two years ago, and having started his A Levels in Geography, Politics and PE unsure of his future ambitions, he now has his eyes firmly set on a place at university.

Adam said: “I’d say to anyone thinking of leaving education at 16 that you shouldn’t close any doors before they’ve opened. Taking A Levels can give you more options for the future, and the BTEC options are there too, even if you think that it’s not for you after GCSEs. It’s only two more years.

“The support on offer to everyone here has been plain to see, and it’s really been highlighted in the run up to exams with all the teachers offering extra help to anyone needing it. In the end, they genuinely want everyone to do well – they don’t just help a chosen few and they treat everyone the same. That’s what I’ve seen over my time at College.”

Fellow second year, Abi Ramanusam, is aiming to join her brother in being the first generation of her family to go to university, after finishing her final exams in English Language, Geography and Psychology.

Formerly at Birkenhead High School Academy, Abi said: “I started here knowing that I wanted to go to uni. I think you need to follow your own heart with these things rather than follow the crowd. Just because your friends do certain things or go to certain places doesn’t mean that you have to too.

“The atmosphere here means that you make friends that maybe you wouldn’t have in school, where there are set groups and cliques. It’s the same with the students and the teachers, everyone just treats each other the same way.”

Deputy Principal at the College, Rob Myatt, was at the awards ceremony to collect the accolade on Thursday 25th April, and said: “It’s always special to win an award but I think we as a College especially appreciate it when it’s to do with social mobility.

“All of the teaching and support staff are so committed to making sure every student fulfils their potential that when it comes to recognition of that, we really feel like they deserve everything they get. The Educate North Awards recognised the College as an ‘engine of social mobility’ and that’s exactly what it is, a power for social change, raising ambitions and goals in life for the region’s young people.”