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Pontefract NEW College

Pontefract NEW (North East Wakefield) College was opened in 1987, being built on a former Girl’s School which in turn occupied the site of a Victorian slaughter house! It has most definitely put its gruesome past behind it however, enjoying a high achieving status with a pass rate of 98.3% in 2011. It also featured in the Top 20 colleges of the national table.

The coeducational sixth form college has over 1750 students taking a variety of Advanced Level courses and BTEC Extended Diplomas. The college also offers some GCSE and vocational courses. Pontefract NEW College benefits from an acclaimed Careers and Higher Education service which offers a range of help and advice for students including work experience, mock university and job interviews, visiting speakers and guidance from qualified Careers Advisers.

Pontefract NEW College can be found on Park Lane, Pontefract, just off the A639.

Pontefract Hospital

Pontefract Hospital is conveniently situated in the centre of town on Friarwood Lane and is built over an old hermitage which is still open to the public on certain days. Pontefract Museum can offer more information about visiting the hermitage beneath the hospital buildings.

The general hospital in Pontefract offers an A&E department, Maternity Services, General Surgery, Cardiology/Critical Care and Paediatrics. According to the Leeds University website, more than 56,000 patients are processed through the busy A&E Department and more than 3,00 babies are born in the Maternity Unit. It offers highly rated single sex accommodation for patients and scored 8.5 out of 10 in a patient survey on cleanliness.

There is parking and disabled parking available at the hospital as well as a cafe which serves hot and cold food and a small shop and pharmacy. Overall comments about the hospital on the NHS site by patients and visitors are positive, commending the professionalism and friendliness of staff.

Schools and Education in Pontefract

Standards of education in Pontefract are good, with 13% of schools achieving an Ofsted excellent rating and the majority achieving a good rating. 73% are reaching approved levels in Maths and English for Key Stage 2 and nearly 54% of secondary schools are attaining a pupil average of 5+ GCSE A* to C grades.

Pontefract Education Trust aims to improve education in Pontefract by bringing schools together with businesses and other educational bodies. The Trust has been established since March 2011 and during that time one member school, St Giles CE junior and infant’s school which was previously rated as in need of special measures by Ofsted is now rated as “satisfactory”.

Most primary schools in Pontefract are small, with the largest being Upton Primary School which has 429 pupils. There are 9 secondary schools, 2 of which are independent. The largest secondary school is Minsthorpe Community College which has 1702 pupils.

According to the DFES, Ackworth Howard VC primary school is the highest achieving with 88% attaining grades in Maths and English and of the secondary schools, Ackworth Independent School is the highest achieving scoring a 93% grade average of A-C and 100% of A-G.