All-female team bringing A-levels back to college

Wigan And Leigh College principal Anna Dawe (centre) with her vice principals Lorraine Groch and Claire Foreman
Wigan And Leigh College principal Anna Dawe (centre) with her vice principals Lorraine Groch and Claire Foreman

An all-female top team is bringing A-levels back to Wigan and Leigh College.

The academic qualifications were axed under a previous administration, much to some people’s anger including Leigh MP and Greater Manchester mayoral candidate Andy Burnham.

There has been a need in Leigh for A-level provision and in discussion with our stakeholders it seemed the right time to do this.

Principal Anna Dawe

But now new principal Anna Dawe and her even newer vice-principals Claire Foreman and Lorraine Groch are reintroducing them, albeit in a modified form, combining them with vocational disciplines.

The first cohort of college A-level students will get their results a year next August.

Ms Dawe said: “The programme is unique and delivering excellent A-level provision alongside vocational courses is something both Claire and I have done throughout our careers.

“The product is one I personally wanted to develop and the college had an opportunity to combine the best education with practical and vocational skills that are needed.

“There has been a need in Leigh for A-level provision and in discussion with our stakeholders it seemed the right time to do this.

“We’ve got experienced teachers with the track record to deliver the highest quality and it opens up A-levels which are just slightly different to young people in Leigh and Wigan. I’m really pleased to have Lorraine and Claire on board. I think we’ve got the right blend of experience now.

“I’ve got a colleague from a well-established, outstanding college for both A-levels and vocational provision and another who is very experienced on the Greater Manchester scene for meeting employers’ needs.

“The direction of travel has been extremely positive and the leadership team works well with our aspirations. We’re incredibly lucky.”

Ms Dawe says she is delighted with the completion of her senior leadership team and also expressed optimism about the results due out soon from Ofsted following a November visit which came the same week Ms Groch arrived - quite a baptism of fire!

The college also recently scored well in a couple of league tables, being placed second in Greater Manchester’s GFE colleges for apprenticeships provision and an industry newspaper putting it joint-fourth nationally for ratings based on student satisfaction and success getting people into jobs.

Ms Foreman says one of the college’s strongest points is the way all its qualifications link together to allow Wiganers to achieve their ambitions and fulfil their potential, whether that is working in the borough or further afield or even going on to university through its links with the University of Central Lancashire in Preston.