An East Lancashire sixth form centre has been chosen as one of the only educational institutions in the country to become an Oxford and Cambridge ambassador school.

Burnley College Sixth Form Centre was handpicked as one of only 20 educational institutions nationwide to become an OCR Ambassador School, as part of an initiative to promote inclusivity and diversity in English literature education.

OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations) is a leading UK awarding body, providing qualifications that engage learners of all ages.

As an ambassador school, Burnley College – which is the number one college in England in the government’s latest national achievement rate tables for student achievement aged 16 to 18 - will pioneer the delivery of OCR’s new, more inclusive texts at A Level English literature, alongside existing set texts. 

This initiative provides students with a unique opportunity to explore a broader range of voices and experiences in literature. It also offers the chance for participating institutions to contribute to the ongoing evolution of education in the UK and help shape the future.

Head of A-levels at Burnley College, Liam O'Malley, said: “This is truly a remarkable opportunity for Burnley College and, most importantly, our students. 

“We've always believed in the power of diverse narratives and perspectives in literature.

“Now, as an OCR Ambassador School, we can take our commitment to inclusivity to a new level alongside increasing the width and breadth of texts our students will study – enriching their experiences.”

Burnley College will incorporate these new texts into the curriculum and, importantly, provide essential feedback to OCR from a teaching standpoint. 

The aim is to ensure the texts resonate with students and additionally, Burnley College will play a crucial role in fostering a network of sharing best practices with other schools and colleges.

In recognition of their role as ambassadors, Burnley College will receive a donation of a mini library, consisting of 300 copies each of engaging, high-quality books by authors of colour aimed at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5. 

This donation is generously provided by Lit in Colour, a joint campaign by Penguin Random House UK and The Runnymede Trust, to make English literature in schools more inclusive.

Mr O'Malley adds: "We're excited to embark on this journey and look forward to the positive impact these texts will have on our students - offering them the chance to explore literature that is more reflective of modern lives, experiences and backgrounds.”