Runshaw College was established in 1974. It initially began life catering solely for school leavers from Balshaw’s High School in Leyland, and Parklands High School in Chorley.

In the early years of its existence, the college gained a reputation for high-quality education and expanded at a gentle rate.

The 1990s saw the college expand rapidly, as it undertook an extensive building programme (naming each new building after a place in the Lake District, the most recent of which is Buttermere – a nod to the trees and wildlife that make the campus so attractive) to accommodate increasing student numbers, as its reputation for high calibre teaching and strong exam results spread beyond the borders of South Ribble and Chorley. It was during this phase, under the nationally recognised leadership of Principal Bernard O’Connell (who was later knighted for his services to education and to the college) that the college started to recruit in large numbers from surrounding towns of Blackburn, Wigan and Preston.

After the millennium, the college’s results went from strength to strength, and it achieved: Investors in People Awards, Grade 1 inspections and superb links with the country’s top universities, allowing the college to consistently have more than strong progression to the country’s elite universities including Oxford and Cambridge.

Today, Runshaw College has consolidated the previous 48 years of hard work and is now acknowledged as one of the finest providers of Further Education in the sector, attracting students from all around the North West. Our students at Runshaw College always seem to perform outstandingly well in their advanced level qualifications.

And that is certainly the case for Runshaw’s highly talented Class of 2022. The average grade achieved by A Level students was once again a B grade this year. Overall, 96% of our Vocational students progressed to their chosen university.

Are you an ex-student? We have a Facebook Alumni page and LinkedIn Alumni page specially set up for alumni students to post photos and memories from their time at Runshaw. It’s also a great way to get back in contact with old friends.

Click here to access the Runshaw Alumni Facebook Page Click here to access the Runshaw Alumni LinkedIn Page

“We are incredibly proud of the achievements, history and tradition of this college, meeting the needs of our students and providing them with an unrivalled educational experience will always be our primary goal. We have outstanding students and they deserve to continue to have outstanding facilities during their time with us.” Principal Clare Russell.

Fred Bleasdale  
1974 – 1984
Bernard O’Connell 
1984 – 2004
Michael Sheehan
2004 – 2008
Kathy Passant
Kathy Passant
2008 – 2013
Simon Partington
2013 – 2020
Clare Russell
2020 – present