News from 2018-2019

  • Game, Set and Match - inspiring the Business minds of the future at Selby College!

    The Business department at Selby College had a busy Autumn term with an inspiring trip to south London to Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Club on their Business of Wimbledon Education Programme back in October. The A Level students got a guided tour of the grounds, visited the museum and were given a presentation on how the Club manages to maintain its position in such a competitive sporting calendar, as well as a look at the history of the Championships, the brand, revenue and future investments for the tournament.

    The Level 2 Business students then had the opportunity to spend the day at MediaCityUK in Salford for a tour of the BBC studios in November.

    Looking ahead to this year they have a trip to the Jaguar Land Rover Visitor Centre in Solihull planned for February and a trip to New York in March for both BTEC and A Level students.

    To find out more the Vocational Business courses we offer at Selby College click here or here for the A Level course options.

    Wednesday 9 Jan 2019

  • Looking back on another year of success at Selby College

    Staff, students, sponsors, governors and family enjoyed a festive evening at Selby Abbey on Friday 14th December for the College’s 26th Annual Awards Evening.

    Guests celebrated the successes of nominated A Level and Vocational students as they received their awards for Effort & Achievement or Best Student in their respective courses, as well as a number of special Unique Awards. Select staff members also received their awards for 20 or 25 years’ long service.


    Last year the college celebrated its best ever A Level results with a fantastic 100% pass rate across all subjects, with over 50% high grades and 22% at grades A*-A, putting Selby College in the top quarter of school sixth forms and colleges in the whole country.

    Many of December’s award winners achieved these impressive A Level results and returned for the Awards Evening, after heading off to esteemed Russell Group destinations across the UK, including Durham University, the University of Edinburgh, University of Manchester and University of York.

    A number of students also progressed on to Higher Education at Selby College in the Autumn to study programmes such as HND Art & Design, of which, some of their work was exhibited within the Abbey on the Awards Evening, exploring and celebrating the building’s 950 year anniversary in 2019.

    Selby College’s overall top performer Matthew Dales, formerly of Brayton Academy achieved A* grades in Mathematics and Further Mathematics, and an A grade in both Physics and Chemistry. Matthew went on to study Physics at Durham University and received the award for Best Student for A Level Mathematics.

    Winner of the Allan Stewart Award for Individual Effort and Achievement and the top female student, Madison Whitaker, formerly of Selby High School, achieved an A* in Mathematics, an A in Further Mathematics and Physics, and a B in Chemistry. Madison was still completing her first term studying Mathematics at Warwick University, so she came into College just before Christmas to personally receive her award from Principal Phil Sayles.

    For the seventh year running Selby College was proud to present the Awards in association with the main sponsor Doosan Babcock, with Commercial Manager Doug Skelton representing the company on the evening. Doosan Babcock are the industry specialist in the delivery of engineering, projects, aftermarket and upgrade services to the thermal power, nuclear, oil and gas, petrochemical and process industries.

    In addition to our main sponsor, there were also attendees from local and regional firms and groups who sponsored individual awards. Sponsors included BDO LLP, Club Doncaster, Drax Power, John Wright Electrical, JWP Creers LLP, Keith France Electrical, NFU Mutual Selby, Press Association, Russums, RSM UK Tax and Accounting Ltd, Rollits LLP, Selby College Corporation and Thornes Independent. Individual sponsors included Selby College’s recently retired Principal Allan Stewart OBE, Mary Goldthorpe, who founded the college’s Fashion Department, and John Cattanach, District Councillor for Cawood and Wistow.

    Francis Loftus, Chair of Corporation, formally opened the ceremony, followed by a Christmas carol from the Selby Abbey Choristers. Councillor Mark Crane, Leader of Selby District Council was the evening’s key speaker and presented the Awards to the students. Principal and Chief Executive Phil Sayles spoke about the College’s major achievements over the past year and congratulated each of the award winners, proudly stating, "Selby College challenges students to find their ambitions - their own horizon, to aim for it and to reach it".

    Guests also enjoyed a fantastic performance of two original songs from Selby College’s former Music Performance & Production student Fiona Lee, who was also an award winner on the night. Fiona completed her studies back in the summer and has recently been been chosen by PRS, the UK's leading charitable funder of new music and talent development as one of the winners of the prestigious Lynsey de Paul prize for emerging female solo music creators. As well as speaking at a BBC Introducing Live Event in London, Fiona has also been busy recording her album due out in the New Year.

    The current Selby College Student Union President, Dottie Robinson helped close the event with her ‘Vote of Thanks’. Dottie explained the work of the Union, stating: “This year the Union are focusing on student well-being and experience, as well as continuing our campaign focused on mental health.”

    The President recognised the tutors for their time and effort over the past year, saying: “So much work goes on behind the scenes for the students to achieve the wonderful grades they do, and every member of staff plays their part in this learning journey.

    ‘On behalf of the current student body of Selby College, we wish you the best of luck in your chosen paths as you go forth and make your future your present.”

    Wednesday 2 Jan 2019

  • 950 Years – An interpretation by Selby College HND Art & Design Students

    Selby College’s Higher Education Art and Design students recently exhibited their work in Selby Abbey.

    The art explored and celebrated the vast history of the Abbey, influenced by the upcoming 950th anniversary of the building.

    950 years is a substantial time for a building to stand, and over those years the Abbey has gained an extensive history. The students used archive material and first-hand knowledge of its history to create art that visually portrays the building’s turbulent life. 

    If you would like to find out more about the Higher Education courses at Selby College, call 01757 211114 or visit:

    Friday 14 Dec 2018

  • Selby College had some very special visitors!


    Students met Labradors Alfie, Ted, Zorro and Zelia from Guide Dogs Beverley this week.

    They learnt about the life of a Guide Dog, their training and the help they provide to a person in need. Groups of students shared their time with each dog and their owner. They were able to ask the dogs' owner questions about the Guide Dog's lives, the training process, how each owner obtained their dog and how they assist with everyday challenges.

    Students were surprised to learn the cost of training a Guide Dog and how fundraising and donations are needed to keep the services running. 

    Guide Dogs Beverley currently supports around 170 Guide Dog owners in a range of areas including the city of York, the Selby District, Lincolnshire, Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire.

    A special thanks to Nicola from Guide Dogs Beverley for spending the day inspiring students and raising awareness about Guide Dogs at Selby College. 

    If you'd like to donate to Guide Dogs Beverley, or if you'd like to find out more about the charity, please visit their website:

    Wednesday 28 Nov 2018

  • Children in Need 2018

    In November, the students and staff of Selby College got involved with all things Pudsey, in aid of raising money for Children in Need. The fun-filled week was a huge success, comprising of a range of activities, from a treasure hunt to a cycling challenge to London Tower Bridge!  

    The week started with Construction students taking on the 198 mile journey to London, together they completed 5 miles and set a high standard for the rest of the College to follow. Both Students and Staff shared the workload and put in the miles throughout the week, and by Friday afternoon Principal Phil Sayles had successfully completed the final mile!

    Principal Phil Sayles says:

    “The focus at the College is hard work and high achievement, but taking a little time out to help others and our communities is really good for us all, including our students, who have a keen sense of social responsibility.”

    In between our ongoing mission to reach London, several other fundraising events took place within the College. On Tuesday, staff held a bake sale of cakes, biscuits and Pudsey goodies, much to the delight of all at College. 

    Selby College also participated in the Annual Duck Race Sweepstake, a college Treasure Hunt and a ‘Dress down Day’. The Level 3 Childcare students wore onesies and combined their efforts to create a band of Pudsey Bears! A vision in yellow, they brightened an otherwise grey and gloomy November day!

    Childcare Tutor Emma says:

    ‘I was truly impressed by the students’ dedication to such a worthy childcare charity. The students bought their own onesies, which helped raise funds and paid £1 to dress in them for the day. Such a great effort!’

    Overall, a total of £435.20 was raised over the course of a week for Children in Need. Well done Selby College!

    Friday 16 Nov 2018

  • Selby College announces appointment of new Principal and Chief Executive Officer


    The Board of Selby College is delighted to announce the appointment of Phil Sayles as the new Principal and Chief Executive, to replace Allan Stewart OBE, who retired on 2nd September after 26 years’ service.

    Phil brings a significant amount of experience to the role, working at a senior level in the education and skills sector in a variety of roles since 2004. For the past three years he played a key role in the challenging process of merging Rotherham, North Notts and Dearne Valley colleges together to form the RNN Group, where he was Deputy Principal. He was previously Deputy Principal at Rotherham College, where he led significant improvements to quality, student experience and success, reflected in the College attaining its best ever Ofsted grade in 2013.

    Prior to that, he was a Director at Lincoln College, successfully leading all types of curriculum, including commercial and international activity. Phil previously held the position of Director of East Coast Media at Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education, having initially made the move into the education sector in 1999 as a course tutor. Prior to this Phil had commercial management roles in the construction supplies and retail sectors.  

    Vernon Wells, Chair of Governors says, “We are delighted that Phil has agreed to become our next Principal. We believe he has the necessary skills and experience to take Selby College forward, following the excellent leadership of Allan Stewart.” 

    Phil Sayles said, “I am proud to have been appointed Principal and Chief Executive of Selby College. I am a passionate believer in the further education and skills sector and the positive impact it has on students and communities, and the work it does for employers and the UK economy. I’m delighted to be joining a college that does all these things brilliantly and having the opportunity to lead the next stages in our growth and development.”

    Tuesday 4 Sep 2018