A brief history of the College
Christ the King Sixth Form College became incorporated in the 1992-93 academic year at the Lewisham site on Belmont Grove. Prior to this, young people from the area’s numerous Catholic secondary schools completed their sixth form studies at a sixth form centre in Charlton.
In the early days, the curriculum consisted mostly of A-levels with a few ‘vocational’ qualifications. Religious Education has been taught from the very beginning. Approximately 650 students attended the College, which is under a quarter of the current size, and pass rates were very good.
From the very start, Christ the King established a tradition of excellence for education in South East London,
In the early 1990s, as the College’s reputation increased and students from local non-partner secondaries began to attend, the College expanded considerably, not just in student numbers and course offering, but physically. Over the years, a series of building programmes have dramatically transformed facilities for students and staff; including the building of a Humanities floor, the Chapel, and the gym. In the early days, the North and South buildings were linked by an outdoor bridge!
The Chaplaincy has always played a central role in College life and over the years students and staff, with the Chaplaincy team, have raised thousands of pounds and volunteered hundreds of hours for local, national and international charities. Christ the King has developed close ties with a handful of charities, including CAFOD, You Touch Africa, The Greenwich Sc. Bexley Hospice, the Jimmy Mizell Foundation, and the Deptford Reach Charity, to name a few.
In 1998, Christ the King welcomed new Principal, Colleen Chater. Under her leadership the College further expanded its student numbers and examination results went from strength to strength. During that time she oversaw the building of a new Chapel and Chaplaincy, the expansion and refurbishment of the LRC, and the plans for the Sports Hall were developed.
To meet with the changing educational landscape, the College invested in IT facilities, training and software and developed a reputation for leadership in this area (see Beacon IT Award below). Christ the King was one of the first educational institutions in South East London to feature an Apple Mac Suite and over the years has greatly increased the number of computers available to students on site.
In 2003 Colleen Chater moved to a sixth form college in Solihull and Vice Principal Dr Jane Overbury OBE became Principal. Dr Overbury OBE was awarded a doctorate from the Institute of Education for research into the distinctive nature of sixth form colleges and an Order of the British Empire for services to education. As Principal of three sites, Dr Overbury works closely with students, staff and parents to support students and maximise progression opportunities.
Under Dr Overbury’s leadership the College has undergone extensive refurbishments, increased the curriculum offering, and expanded onto two additional sites.
The James Jackson Sports Centre was opened by Archbishop Kevin McDonald in September 2004 and attended by 150 guests, including special guests Mr and Mrs Jackson. The Centre was named in honour of former student James Jackson who died tragically. James, who had a real passion for sport, wanted to share his love of sport with others.
In 2009, the College expanded onto a second site in Sidcup, Kent with the opening of Christ the King College: St Mary’s. This gave the College the opportunity to work with a new community in Bexley and to strengthen links with local partner schools. Since it opened, St Mary’s has gone from strength to strength and student numbers increased from 320 in 2010 to 750 in 2013.
Christ the King College is oversubscribed and one of the highest performing sixth form providers in South East London. In 2012, the College achieved an overall pass rate of 98.7% and all student outcomes were in excess of national benchmarks for the fifteenth consecutive year. A student-focused sixth Form college, Christ the King was graded ‘outstanding’ in seven out of ten areas by Ofsted and recognised for outstanding university progression by UCAS and national education charity The Sutton Trust.
In February 2013, the College expanded its premises onto a third site in Brockley, named Christ the King College: Aquinas.
The 2012-13 academic year marked the College’s twentieth anniversary. To celebrate the twentieth anniversary for current students, Christ the King launched a series of events designed to inform and inspire current students. In early March 2013, a leading figure in the British music industry, Mr Tony Wadsworth CBE, the former CEO of EMI UK, opened refurbished Music facilities and held Q&A sessions with students at all three Christ the King sites. Over the last twenty years, more than 14,000 young people from across London completed their sixth form studies at Christ the King College. The vast majority of students, an estimated 11,000, went on to university and other Higher Education courses, many onto highly-competitive programmes.
With the three sites, Christ the King currently has 2760 students.