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A Welcome from our Principal

It is with immense pride that I welcome you to Thomas Whitham Sixth Form.

The decision as to where you will continue your education is an important one and here at Thomas Whitham Sixth Form we understand what a difficult decision this can be. The next two years of your life are pivotal not only in terms of your education but also in your personal development and we aim to support you through those two years with our “outstanding” pastoral support and a tailored education programme delivered by “highly trained professionals who demonstrate a great subject expertise and a passion for teaching.”(Ofsted 2016).

We pride ourselves on how well we know our students and the personal support that we give them during their time with us. Being a student here you will have the chance of a new start in an environment where you receive high standards of pastoral support, similar to the systems that are familiar to you from school, but in an environment where you will have the freedoms of a college and be treated as a young adult. Our strong ethos of inclusion and sense of community will allow you the space and opportunity to develop as an individual. As Ofsted noted “staff know their students well and learners feel that there are many people they can go to for help”. Our “wrap around” support and guidance allow you the confidence to be yourself.

Thomas Whitham Sixth Form is a community focused school. Situated on the very successful Burnley Campus in Reedley, we serve the young people of Burnley and Pendle and have consistently provided a high calibre education since our opening in 2008. Our 2016 results show that we perform in line with all major providers
in the area and with notable successes in particular subjects. On average over the last 3 years our results have been in the top 15% of all Sixth Forms in the country according to the national ALPs value added measure and in 2016 our results were better than ever with an overall pass rate of 99.36% with a high grade profile of 63% A*-C and 95% of our Btec students achieving Distinction or above.

We believe that further education is more than just academic results. It is about the whole person and providing you with the right information for you to make informed choices about your future. Our Pathways system is designed with an ever changing labour market in mind, providing you with continuous and up to date guidance in your chosen area of future study or career.


I look forward to welcoming you as a student to our community,

Zoe Emmett

“Leadership is very strong… conveying an ambitious vision for the school, engendering high aspirations for what learners can achieve now and in the future.”

Ofsted 2016

Our Tommy

Our name, Thomas Whitham, was chosen to reflect our belief that everyone can achieve something of significance in their lives.

Following the reorganisation of the Burnley schools in 2008 our sixth form was formed to serve the young people of Burnley and Pendle, building on the excellent work of St Theodore’s and Habergham sixth form centres.

We adopted the name Thomas Whitham in 2010 and it is very much more than just a name to us. Thomas Whitham was an ordinary ‘Burnley lad’ from Worsthorne, who during the Battle of Pilckem Ridge single-handedly attacked a German machine-gun position, taking three prisoners alive and for his bravery received the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest award for gallantry.

Thomas Whitham VC’s story embodies our key message, that: ‘ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things’ The legacy of Thomas Whitham is to encourage and inspire young people to have high aspirations and to challenge themselves to achieve the best they can every day.

We encourage all of our students to do just like Thomas did and to: ‘aspire, challenge and achieve’


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