Bradford’s first sixth form college on track for 2019 opening

Education in Bradford will be getting a boost in just over a year’s time, when New College Bradford opens its doors to five hundred 16-19 year-olds in September 2019.

Plans for the five-storey high new build on Nelson Street were submitted to Bradford City Council last month. The project has secured £19 million in capital funding from the government, and is backed by Bradford City Council.

Leaders behind the project, the New Collaborative Learning Trust, are post-16 specialists who work with 3,000 students across two other colleges, in Pontefract and Doncaster. The original college, New College Pontefract, was awarded a Grade 1 “outstanding” from Ofsted in 2014, and the college has for five years been in the top five colleges across the country for achievement rates.

This success is underpinned by an emphasis on high quality teaching and learning, by a specialist focus on post-16 education and by an approach to pedagogy which builds on the principles of metacognition developed by academics working in Psychology.

“I am proud and delighted to support the innovative and outstanding work underway in Bradford to make sure that every young person can experience high-quality education,” said the Trust’s CEO, Pauline Hagen, OBE. “I am looking forward to working with education leaders, parents and communities to ensure that every young person achieves in life with their potential.”

The Trust is working with BAM Construction, which has a longstanding track record of creating education buildings in the city and recently worked with it to deliver New College Doncaster. BAM has been appointed under a pre-construction services agreement to finalise the design and obtain planning approval, which is expected at the end of August. To safeguard the September 2019 opening date, BAM will shortly commence site preparation works in advance of full contract award.

John Scahill, Pre-Construction Manager at BAM, said: “We are using the same design team behind our previous scheme for the Trust, and we have well-established strong working relationships in place with all the partners to create these vibrant new facilities. This is an excellent basis to work from.”

The building is just one part of the planning work going on behind the scenes. The new college will offer roughly 50 different courses, with more A-levels than any other provider in the Bradford region. Ensuring that the curriculum offer matches the needs of Bradford’s young people and its industries is an essential part of the planning process.

“It is great news for the young people of Bradford,” said Stuart Nash, Principal Designate of New College Bradford. “They will now have the opportunity to study at a sixth form college offering over 30 A level and 15 vocational BTEC courses, taught by specialist post-16 teachers. The College will have a strong focus on STEM subjects such as engineering, maths and the sciences, all of which will help students access HE courses and careers in these subjects. Our students will also benefit from our wrap-around, pastoral care, which means that from the start to the end of the day, all their needs will be met in a secure, contained environment.”

The project team are also working hard at building relationships with groups from across Bradford. As well as being involved in key projects such as the Telegraph & Argos Education Awards, the Trust held a Partners’ Dinner in Bradford City Hall this month, providing an opportunity for the Trust’s senior staff to meet education specialists, councillors and community leaders from different faith groups.

Forming close working partnerships with other schools in Bradford has also been a key area of work. Staff from the Trust have visited many schools in the city, talking to students at assemblies and attending open events and parents’ evenings. Senior figures from across Bradford’s schools have welcomed the additional provision that New College Bradford will offer, including Carol Dewhurst, CEO of the Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust.

“We are really pleased to welcome New College Bradford in to the city as an exciting extension to the sixth form offer for our young people. Due to the scale and size of the college, New College will be able to offer a broad and high quality curriculum which will ensure maximum choice for our students as they take their first steps in post 16 education.”


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