The Sheffield College

The Sheffield College is a further education college in Sheffield, England.


The college is the sole provider of post-16 education in the north of Sheffield, following the abolition of traditional sixth-forms in 1988.[1] The college was founded in 1989, following the merger of various colleges. In May 1995, the college was described as being the biggest in Britain.[2] In 2003, the college launched a new 'federal structure', a reorganisation that 'sought to create a greater voice for students and a better organisational structure for its workforce'.[3]


The college offers a variety of courses, from A-Levels to BTEC qualifications.[4]

In September 2012, more than 200 taxi drivers completed the first course of its kind designed to train prospective drivers in customer service skills.[5] In October 2012, the college launched an online Human Trafficking Uncovered course, the first of its kind designed for those working in the public, private and voluntary sectors.[6] In December 2014, singer JB Gill was recruited by the college as the public face of a two-year vocational performing arts course. The course was part of a portfolio of courses to help address a skills shortage in the creative industries.[7]

In September 2012, the closure of a press photographers' course raised concerns about the future of regional newspaper staff photography. The course had been running uninterrupted at Norton College since 1979.[8]


The college has main campuses at City, Hillsborough, Olive Grove and Peaks.[9]


In 2010,[10] Sheffield City College underwent a £60 million rebuild programme to create an environmentally-friendly, single-site campus.[11] The site provides vocational subjects including areas such as hair and beauty, catering, business and construction. The building features three roof mounted 15 metre tall wind turbines. Energy from the turbines is fed back into a distribution system for the college's tower block. The college also has solar panels and rainwater recycling facilities.[12]

In August 2017, the campus was temporarily evacuated and closed due to a faulty fire alarm system.[13]


In June 2001, the college announced plans to replace two of its centres, based at Parson Cross and in Loxley, with a single campus in Hillsborough that would serve 1,800 students across the north of Sheffield. The plans received criticism from some, suggesting that there was 'inequality in education in the city'.[14] In November 2003, construction began on the £27 million campus, with the building completed in 2005.[1] The site includes sports facilities, 14 art and design studios and 12 ICT workshops.[3]

It was proposed that the former Loxley site be replaced with up to 74 homes, but the proposals had encountered difficulty after the college had been unable to convince the local authority that the homes were appropriate for the area.[15] In August 2007, plans for 79 houses and 29 apartments were judged to 'fall short' in terms of design, layout and appearance.[16]

Following the closure of the Norton campus, all courses were relocated to the Hillsborough campus in September 2015. The campus was one of the oldest Sheffield College site, with parts dating back to the 1950s. The courses were relocated to a new £8.8 million centre and the former site was proposed to be redeveloped into a supermarket.[17]

University Technical College (UTC)

The college has led two projects that have seen the creation of two university technical colleges (UTC) in Sheffield.

The first, opened in September 2013, specialises in technical studies[18] and offers 250 pupils training in the engineering and digital sectors.[19] The scheme had been approved in August 2012[20] and construction began in September 2012. The project was said to have cost £8.5 million.[21] The college building was nominated for the Royal Institute of British Architects' (RIBA) regional award in April 2015, after the building had been remodeled and refurbished with an aim to retain features of the original structure, which was built in 1902.[22]

A second, produced in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University, saw the unveiling of a £10 million college in September 2016, based on the site of the former Don Valley Stadium. The UTC specialises in sports science, healthcare and well being[23] and had been approved by Sheffield City Council in September 2015. The college employs 56 people and serves 600 pupils aged between 14 and 19.[24] The plan had initially been rejected by the British Government in January 2014[25] but was eventually approved in August 2014 after the bid was resubmitted.[26]


In August 2009, the college reported a pass rate of 96.9 per cent, with those achieving A to B grades at 34.4 per cent.[27] In August 2016, the college reported a 93 per cent A-Level pass rate, with 23 per cent of grades at A* to B. This was down from the scores of 2015, which were 94 and 23 per cent respectively.[9]

In February 2016, Ofsted marked the college as 'requiring improvement', following an inspection. Inspectors had found failings in leadership, teaching, attainment, personal development and both 16 to 19 and adult education programmes.[28]

In August 2017, the National Student Survey (NSS) awarded the college with an 86 per cent satisfaction rate, a score higher than the national average of 84 per cent.[29]

Students' Union

The Sheffield College Students' Union (SCSU) reportedly represents around 25,000 students at the college every year. Every student automatically becomes a member of the union upon enrollment.[30]

Notable alumni


  1. "Blunkett welcomes £27m college scheme". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  2. "How did so many end up in hot water?". The Independent. 18 May 1995. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  3. "The Sheffield College". The Independent. 13 August 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  4. "Sheffield College - Courses". Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  5. "200 Sheffield cabbies complete new college course in customer service". Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  6. "New college course targets human trafficking". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  7. "Ex-JLS pop star fronts new Sheffield course". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  8. Greenslade, Roy (3 September 2014). "College's press photography course prompts fears for the future". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  9. "Yorkshire's A-level results in full: Record numbers get university places". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  10. "The Sheffield College". The Independent. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  11. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. "Sheffield Solar Farm opens". 20 August 2010. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  13. "The Sheffield College campus closed over faulty fire alarm system". The Star. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  14. "£10m shake-up for sixth-forms attacked". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  15. "College in new bid for green belt housing". Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  16. "Loxley housing plan blocked". Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  17. "New discount supermarket for Sheffield suburb as part of £25 million retail plan which will create 500 jobs". Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  18. "Call for sports college backing". BBC News. 28 July 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  19. "Technical college opens to students". BBC News. 9 September 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  20. "Green light for technical college". BBC News. 14 August 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  21. "Work starts on technical college". BBC News. 7 September 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  22. "Yorkshire buildings up for top award". BBC News. 21 April 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  23. "College opens on sports stadium site". BBC News. 12 September 2016. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  24. "Plans for UTC college approved". BBC News. 5 September 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  25. "Bid for sports college rejected". BBC News. 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  26. "£10m college for Don Valley site". BBC News. 6 August 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  27. "Education chiefs predict record A-level pass rates". Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  28. "Ofsted inspectors tell The Sheffield College it must improve". Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  29. "Yorkshire's students score highly in search for satisfaction". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  30., Code Computerlove -. "Sheffield College Students' Union: Students' Unions:". Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  31. Beard, Matthew (2004). "Richard Caborn: From Sheffield to London's Olympic bid". The Independent. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  32. Roth, Andrew (2001). "David Blunkett: Ask Aristotle about David Blunkett". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  33. Pagano, Margareta (2014). "George Buckley: From Yorkshire slum to American Dream". The Independent. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  34. Katie, Shimmon (20 June 2006). "College Days - Jeremy Clarkson". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  35. "Kat Fletcher". FE News. FE News. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  36. "Sheffield College - Richard McCourt". Association of Colleges website. AoC. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  37. "The Sheffield man behind the Apollo 11 moon landing film which is wowing critics". Sheffield Star. Sheffield Star. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  38. "John Sweeney, interviewed by James O'Brien, divulges his life story in the world of broadcast". Full Disclosure with James O'Brien. James O'Brien. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
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