New term: York Sixth Form College, 1985


Thirty years ago, in September 1985, York Sixth Form College opened. As we’re again at that time of year when students go back to school, and as a 30 year anniversary seems an important thing to note, it seems a good time to share this ancient relic from 1985 rediscovered recently in the understairs cupboard archive.

The four page leaflet was distributed at some point before the opening of the new York Sixth Form College, and includes a few photographs of the building’s exterior.

sixth-form-college-york-1985-leaflet-photo1 sixth-form-college-york-1985-leaflet-photo2

These buildings had formerly been Ashfield Secondary Modern School, and were adapted for use as the new college. They’ve been demolished since. York College now has new buildings on the site, very different from this rather modest 20th century structure.

The opening of the Sixth Form College was part of the general reorganisation of the city’s schools at that time. York changed to the comprehensive system in 1985, which meant the closure of schools where 6th formers had formerly studied, single-sex grammar schools like Mill Mount and Nunthorpe. In 1985 we were arriving at this interesting new place, a proper new start.

Here, now, in 2015, having had a bit of a holiday from internet things because of computer hardware problems, I’m all ready for the new term, with a new pencil case. Or rather, a borrowed computer, and I’ll try to carry on heroically and bravely in the face of the unfamiliar surroundings, as we did in September 1985, in that exciting new world of A level study in a new place.

More information

Scanned higher resolution versions of the leaflet and a plan of the college in 1985. Right click/open in new tab should make them more easily readable/enlargeable. If sharing elsewhere please link back to this page.

York Sixth Form College, 1980s, 1

York Sixth Form College, 1980s, 2

York Sixth Form College, 1980s, 3

York Sixth Form College ground floor plan (1985)

York Sixth Form College first floor plan (1985)


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  1. I was there ’90-93 (I did my GCSE foundation year). I loved it.

    I moved away from York in ’97 and I was intrigued (and a little sad) to see it gone when I visited ten years later, along with what used to be ‘The Tech’ down the road.

    The floor plan took me right back, but boy was that place small. No surprise that it needed to be redeveloped, given that even when I was there the Portakabin classrooms had taken on a permanent role.

    • Your mention of the Portakabins took me right back – I think I remember them more clearly than the ‘main’ building. The school I was at before that had Portakabin classrooms too. And my late sister, a teacher, often talked about the ones she had to teach in, not with fondness. Holes in the walls in that case, as I recall. School and college buildings are perhaps of a better standard these days … (?)

    • Mark shuttleworth

      I was at the school in 1970 had lots of good friends mark shuttleworth

  2. Pingback: Looking back – Sullybiker

  3. Mark shuttleworth

    A good school most teachers were brilliant

  4. Christina Bieling. Was “Robinson”

    I loved school at Ashfield and all the teachers too. That’s when there was still discipline and respect! I was there from 57 to 61.

  5. Daniel Stirling-Page

    I attended York Sixth Form College from 1988 to 1990. Absolutely brilliant college. This is one of the most important times in my life. I especially loved the two amazing English teachers there, Hugh George and Celia Hilton, those two brilliant people made me who I am.

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