Eton College Head Master Simon Henderson visited Oldham last week to discuss plans for the town’s new sixth form college with Council Leader Arooj Shah.
This comes after, last month, the Department for Education (DfE) approved plans to open the new free sixth form college, to be run by Eton College and Star Academies.
Eton Star Oldham will recruit dynamic young people who have had fewer opportunities and provide them with a rigorous and rounded education – supporting them to achieve places at the very best universities.
Cllr Shah said: “I’m so excited for Eton Star Oldham and for what it means for our town.
“Speaking with Simon last week, it was clear we share the same aims and ambitions for the college – to give those bright students who need that bit of extra help the chance to have a world-class education.
“We’ve been working closely with Eton and Star Academies to bring this new college to life and, throughout the process, I’ve been thrilled to see they share my passion and views for how transformational this could be for our young people.
“A free to attend college with a focus on admitting large numbers of students on free school meals, children looked after, or those who would be the first in their families to attend university will be giving brand-new opportunities not just for children in Oldham now, but for generations to come.
“We already have fantastic schools in Oldham, but we are seeing a gap where we are lagging behind the national average of students achieving those top A level grades. With Eton Star Oldham we’re hoping to close that gap, reduce inequalities and enable students to get to the very best universities.”
Students who attend the new sixth form college will benefit from an education based on the best that is on offer at Eton and the best of Star Academies – the highest-performing state school trust in the country.
Simon Henderson, Head Master of Eton, said: “Being able to bring the world class teaching that Eton provides to more young people across the country is fantastic. Working with Star Academies, who provide brilliant education across their schools, we’ll see Eton Star Oldham taking in students from as soon as 2026.
“I’m excited to see the first set of students come through the doors of Eton Star Oldham and to see what they go on to achieve.”
The Oldham sixth form college will be one of three in the country, with the others to be created in Dudley and in Middlesborough.
The colleges will admit 240 students each per year and will offer many of the educational and extra-curricular opportunities available at Eton College, including the best quality teaching, access to talks from high-profile speakers and Oxbridge-style tutorial sessions.
Some of these students’ teaching will be delivered virtually by Eton staff and students from the new colleges will have a chance to attend Eton College each year for a summer school.
Cllr Shah added: “This new college will give children who would never have had these opportunities the chance to shine and not just to fulfil their potential, but to experience things they would never have thought possible.
“That’s why I’m delighted to be working together with Simon and his colleagues at Eton, as well as with Star Academies, to make this fantastic idea a reality.”