Academic success at Ashton Sixth Form College at an all time high with The XL Academy

28 November 2023

Ashton Sixth Form College’s XL Academy is a well-established programme, with over 12 years’ experience in producing excellent outcomes for the college’s highest performing students. The programme ensures students can meet and surpass the demanding entry requirements of Oxbridge, Russell Group Universities and premium degree apprenticeships.

In keeping with the College’s long-standing history in the borough, The XL Academy (formerly known as the XL Programme) was established in 2011 with the aim of giving high achieving students a space to express themselves, share their thoughts and discuss their ambitions openly.

With 100 students in the very first cohort, the programme is now enrolling over 500 students consistently, a testament to the specialist expertise of staff at the college.

Underpinning the programme is the Oxbridge pathway which offers specific support and guidance on making a competitive Oxbridge application, from initial interest to entrance examinations and interviews. In the last seven years alone, the college has seen 50 students go on to study at either Oxford or Cambridge universities and a further 70% onto Russell Group universities and on to prestigious careers in Medicine, Veterinary, STEM and more.

The College has a long standing partnership with Oxford University as The Goldsmiths’ Sutherland Centre for Philosophy and World Religions in partnership with Pembroke College for over ten years. Providing incredible opportunities for students, including the Oxnet Access Programme.

Through the prestigious tutorial programme, students receive a wrap-around approach that gives them access to experiences, skills and knowledge to stand out. Many XL students combine their A Level studies with additional programmes, such as Core Maths, Realising Aspirations and Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) breaking down barriers, making elite universities accessible and giving students the edge.

Lisa Richards, Centre Principal at the College comments “At ASFC we pride ourselves on meeting the needs of all our students, and the most able cohort (those who come to us with outstanding GCSE grades) are no exception. Our XL provision is in place to do just that.

Students with high prior attainment need specific support to enable them to stand out in the often highly competitive fields they wish to progress onto, whether this is university or a degree apprenticeship. The number of students in our XL cohort has expanded significantly over the past four years and we want to do even more for them, which is why we have elevated our provision from the XL tutorial programme to the full XL Academy.

With our highly trained and committed team of experts and a carefully designed programme of events, I can say with some confidence that our XL cohort are in excellent hands.”

One success story from the College is the Allott brothers who after studying at Ashton Sixth Form College all went on to Russell Group Universities. Youngest brother Vernon, followed in his brothers’ footsteps this summer when he left college achieving A*A*A*AA in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and the EPQ. He is now going to study Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge. His brother Vincent, is now working in medicine following his study at Oxford and Victor is completing his Master’s Degree at Exeter University.

If you’re interested at studying at Ashton Sixth Form College and standing out at the best performing college in the area, you can make your application now at

Tags: XL

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