Schools, colleges and universities


The borough has consistently excelled in education and has gained a reputation for recruiting and retaining high quality and effective teachers.

In 2015 our schools were singled out for praise by the head of OFSTED (external link), Sir Michael Wilshaw who highlighted the good work as part of his third annual report (external link).

Colleges and universities

Winstanley College has been named in the top ten further education colleges in the country and was named the Sunday Times Education Supplement Sixth Form of the Year in 2017.

St John Rigby is an outstanding college where 'Students' academic and recreational achievements are celebrated regularly, and this creates a sense of pride in students and the college community.” (Ofsted Inspection Report, March 21st 2017).

Wigan and Leigh College offers an extensive range of academic, technical, vocational and apprenticeship courses and are the largest college provider of apprenticeships in Greater Manchester. Courses are offered to 16-18 year olds, adults and employers, with higher level qualifications available through the college's University Centre.

Wigan is also the base for ALRA, a nationally acclaimed drama school and a member of Drama UK. 

Throughout the year, our local colleges and universities hold open evenings. Please visit the college or universities website for details of their next open evenings.

You can also visit GM Higher (external link) for information, advice and guidance about progression routes to higher education and the variety of options for learners. 



Wigan is conveniently located near the internationally renowned universities of Manchester and Liverpool.

Visit UCAS (external link) for more information about applying to University and the options available.

Other useful links

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