Unity College, Burnley
|Motto||Unity, Passion, Respect|
|Headteacher||Mrs Sally-Jane Cryer|
|Chair of Governors||Mr Michael Murray|
Coordinates: 53°46′59″N 2°13′16″W / 53.783°N 2.221°W
|DfE URN||135003 Tables|
Towneley High School originally opened in 1941. During its history it had been a technical school, an all-boys school, and latterly a mixed 11-16 community school. It was the first Lancashire school to be awarded by Investors in People.
The College initially occupied the former Towneley High School, but moved to a state of the art new £33m building in September 2010 as part of the Building Schools for the Future programme. The school was named by a local pupil, Heather Ashworth, who won a competition launched by the local radio station 2BR. The new school's first head teacher, Sally Cryer, had previously been head at Towneley. The school is located in Towneley Park, and the county council's decision to site the new building, on playing-fields close to the old school, rather than reusing the existing site, was contentious. Despite plans to turn the old site into parkland, objections from local residents prompted the borough council's refusal to sell the land, triggering a 2007 public inquiry that subsequently backed the plans.
The 20 January 2011 edition of Question Time was broadcast from Unity College, with some pupils in the audience. The panel featured PFA chairman and Burnley FC captain Clarke Carlisle, Conservative Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman, former Respect MP George Galloway, former communications director to the Prime Minister Alastair Campbell, and Lib Dem Deputy Leader Simon Hughes.
|Pupils with equivalent of 5 or more GCSEs grade C or above (inc. English & Maths)|
|Year (Source)||Students||% special educational needs||England %||School %|
|*Figures for previous school, in this case: Towneley High School|
In 2007, the school's value-added measure was 971 (national average 1000), which placed it in the bottom 5% nationally for adding value between the end of Key Stage 2 and the end of Key Stage 4. In 2009 the college had increased its attainment to 29% 5 A*-C passes including English and Maths. The college has also improved its 5A*-C measure from below 30% to 64% in just three years.
Notable former pupils
Towneley High School
- Dr Christine Braddock DBE, Chief Executive of Birmingham Metropolitan College and High Sheriff of the West Midlands (2013–14).
- Alice (Anne) Nutter, Chumbawamba musician and writer.
- David Readman, singer.
- Stella Reid, TV nanny.
- Robert Just, All round Legend.
- "Our School... Towneley High School, Burnley". Lancashire Telegraph. Newsquest Media Group. 10 December 2001. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
- "New Burnley super schools open - PHOTOS". Burnley Express. Johnston Press. 6 September 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
- "Heather's honour". Burnley Express. Johnston Press. 19 May 2005. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
- Charlotte Bradshaw (13 January 2006). "Inquiry demand over school bid". Lancashire Telegraph. Newsquest Media Group. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
- "Bid to stop new school plan fails". BBC News. 18 January 2008. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
- Tom Moseley (21 January 2011). "Burnley hosts BBC1 Question Time debate". Lancashire Telegraph. Newsquest Media Group. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
- "Schools that add the least value". BBC News. 10 January 2008. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
- "'Burnley girl' made a Dame". Burnley Express. Johnston Press. 3 January 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2016.