Northern College continues to ensure excellent outcomes for its students

Despite the challenges of Covid-19, Northern College has continued to ensure excellent outcomes for its adult students, and supported them to achieve and progress. This includes an outstanding overall student pass rate of 99 per cent, and an achievement rate of 96 per cent.

Northern College, based in Wentworth Castle in Barnsley, is the only adult residential college in the North supporting adults to re-enter education to upskill, progress, gain employment or retrain for a new career. The ultimate goal is to transform lives through adult education.

Students on all types of programmes have achieved outstanding results, with achievement rates across all subjects equal to or above national rates. This is mirrored in student satisfaction, with 97 per cent of students on short course provision rate the quality of their course as excellent or good. Additional highlights for the academic year 2018-19 include:

  • 96 per cent of Access to Higher Education students re-entering education secured higher-level study places, to progress their studies and careers.
  • Achievement rates at Grade 4 or above on English and Maths GCSE, essential for employment and progression onto higher education, are between 33.4 per cent and 21.8 per cent above the national average).
  • Achievement rates for students on preparation for life and work provision is 95.6 per cent (9.3 per cent above the sector average).
  • The residential element of learning remained a vital key feature for students, with 91 per cent of students recording that staying at College helped their learning.
  • 91 per cent of students reported improved confidence as a result of their College experience.

Many students describe their experience at Northern College as ‘life changing’. A recent Ofsted interim report also acknowledges how Northern College students valued the way that staff enabled them to continue to develop their skills and knowledge and complete their courses remotely, during the pandemic, and to return to campus when restrictions allowed. This also supported their wellbeing and resilience, to continue their studies.

Yultan Mellor, Principal and Chief Executive at Northern College, says: “We remain so proud of all our students who, despite the challenges we all face, have shown their sheer determination to continue to achieve and progress. Thanks goes to our super team who have supported our students to achieve such excellent results, and realise their full potential.”

Northern College is a Covid-secure adult education college.  This means we comply with all government guidance on managing the risk of Covid-19.

The college is currently taking applications for 2021. Learn more and about our adult education courses at