Holy Cross began as an educational establishment in 1878, when the Daughters of the Cross of Liège came to the Salford Diocese and set up as teachers in Bury. Originally, there was a small private school, in 1905 this grew into a large direct grant girls grammar school.
In 1979, Bury Convent ceased to be a girls grammar school and became Holy Cross Sixth Form College. A mixed sixth form college initially with 197 students (137 girls and 60 boys). We have grown significantly since then and now have approximately 2,000 sixth formers and 600 undergraduates, still on the original site.
Holy Cross, founded by the Daughters of the Cross, is a Catholic Sixth Form College and University Centre, which exists to provide a high quality education within a community based on Gospel values. We provide the opportunity for each person to develop spiritually, morally and intellectually and emotionally and we welcome students and staff of all faiths.
To provide a high quality of educationTo be a welcoming community based on Gospel valuesTo encourage each person to develop as an individual.
Holy Cross has been a champion of Widening Participation since its establishment in 1878, one of the first Catholic educational institutions serving the whole community in Bury. Since this time, the theme of opportunity for all has remained a key component of the institution’s vision and is embedded throughout its activities. Following incorporation in 1991 the college expressly partnered with all the schools of Bury regardless of denominational character, and in 1999 we initiated our University Centre.
From the outset, widening access and improving participation in higher education has been a crucial part of our mission. Our aim is to promote and provide the opportunity of successful participation in higher education to everyone who can benefit from it. This is vital for social mobility and economic competitiveness and it is also integral to our ethos inherited from the Daughters of the Cross.
Holy Cross has an outstanding track record in Widening Participation being a provider of higher education for a diverse student body including:
First generation students
Students from low income families
Students from low participation neighbourhoods
We aim to make a significant and distinctive contribution to widening participation through a co-ordinated strategy of advice and guidance, targeted support and provision of entry routes.
We seek to encourage all students with potential to study at Holy Cross, without bias in regard to their educational, cultural, religious or financial background – and we have a range of support and advice to help all to engage with our courses. This includes considerable provision in study skills covering pastoral care, advice and guidance, to help those returning to education or coming from non-conventional routes into higher education.