Ashton Sixth Form College Presented with AoC Beacon Award for A+ Trust

14 February 2017

Ashton Sixth Form College is celebrating after receiving an Association of Colleges Beacon Award for College/School Partnerships, sponsored by the Skills and Education Group.

The award is in recognition of the colleges educational trust, The A+ Trust. The college works with six local secondary schools, including one for students with profound learning difficulties, to support each other in improving educational standards in the local area and to make sure students get the best results they can.

The AoC Beacon Awards celebrate the best and most innovative practice among UK further education colleges. They reward colleges that go above and beyond in providing high-quality technical and professional education. Award winners must also offer something exceptional to students and the wider community.

The award judges noted that the college provides teachers for secondment to support schools in GCSE maths, psychology and dance. The college’s maths team also supports year 9 and 10 students to learn revision skills.

Anton McGrath, Principal at Ashton Sixth Form College, said: "To have made it on to the shortlist for an AoC Beacon Award was recognition in itself of the outstanding collaborative work that is raising standards across Tameside. To then go on and win such a prestigious award for our work is the icing on the cake. This award highlights the outstanding work that is happening across Tameside by the A+ Trust to raise the achievements and aspirations of young people in our area. The AoC Beacon Award is recognition of our approach at Ashton Sixth Form College, to work collaboratively with Secondary Schools in the area to ensure we provide an excellent education to young people and they achieve the results they deserve."

Paul Eeles, Chief Executive of the Skills and Education Group, said: “Sponsoring an AoC Beacon Award gives the Skills and Education Group the opportunity to raise its profile and to recognise the importance and value of collaborative approaches in the education and skills sector. Our mission is the advancement of skills and education to improve the lives of individuals. Sponsoring this AoC Beacon Award demonstrates our commitment to this mission by seeking out and praising institutions who are committed to doing the same.

“The winner is a college/school partnership that has gone above and beyond in order to improve pre to post-16 transitions for their learners. They will work closely with other education providers, put the needs of learners above the aspirations of the institution and ensure that learners receive unlimited opportunities to progress onto further or higher education or into the workplace.”

Dame Pat Bacon, Chair of the AoC Beacon Awards, said: “Ashton Sixth Form College is an outstanding representative of the excellent work happening in colleges across the country. It’s a privilege to be part of an awards programme that recognises the energy colleges put into supporting their students, staff, employers and local communities.”

Mike Davis, Chief Assessor for the AoC Beacon Awards, said: “The high standard of submissions to the AoC Beacon Awards often makes it very hard for the judges to choose the winners. Ashton Sixth Form College can be proud to receive this award for demonstrating its commitment to create the best possible experience for its students.”


The college received its certificate from David Hughes, Chief Executive of AoC, at an event in London.

Tags: awards aoc