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. Our students at Runshaw College always perform outstandingly well in their advanced level qualifications and that is certainly the case for Runshaw’s highly talented Class of 2023. Over 1000 A*/A grades were achieved by our A Level students. Overall, 95% of our Vocational students progressed to their chosen university.

“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.” Clare Russell, Principal & CEO.

Since 1974, six College Principals have worked incredibly hard to make Runshaw the success that it is.

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 49 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 now including Southport, Preston, Blackburn, Bolton and Wigan.

Below you can view our evolving college logo through the years.

Fred Bleasdale
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