• Alumni

At Barrow Sixth Form College we are very proud of our alumni students.

Students go on to achieve amazing things after leaving us and  many say the social skills, confidence and positive attitudes developed here have helped them in their careers.

Some you may recognise. Among our notable alumni are Sky news reader Steve Dixon, former Great Britain rugby league player Ade Gardner, comedian Karen Taylor and MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood Cat Smith. Cricketer Liam Livingstone, who hit a record-breaking 350 off 138 balls, and BBC Radio Cumbria News Editor Alison Wood also studied here alongside London lawyer Patrick Tumelty.

We are also a proven path into local industries. You can read below how some of our more recent alumni students are carving out successful careers.

  • Hannah Kolbe - NHS Doctor

    Hannah Kolbe said she’d always placed the idea of being a doctor on a pedestal as something that she couldn’t achieve until she started sixth form.

    She’s now working as a doctor for University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay after achieving a degree in medicine from Lancaster University.

    “It took until AS Levels after long discussions with my tutors to realise I could do it and have the confidence to apply. I was very fortunate to have such valuable support at Barrow Sixth Form College to pursue a life which is so rewarding and exciting. If you have any thoughts that being a doctor is what you want to do, believe that you can do it.”

  • Stephen Dixon - News Presenter

    Stephen Dixon is a news presenter for Sky News.

    Stephen has presented Sky’s flagship programmes Sky News at Seven and Sky News at Ten and currently co-presents Sky News Sunrise.

  • Josh Fitzgerald - GSK

    Josh Fitzgerald secured an apprenticeship at GSK after studying at Barrow Sixth Form. With A Levels in chemistry, biology and maths, he is now a microbiology process co-ordinator and is studying for a foundation degree in Applied Bioscience Technology through his employer.

    “I wouldn’t have been able to do my degree without going to college – it kept doors open. College gives you a good broad knowledge of the subjects and the practical lab skills. In addition, I developed independent learning skills and that has been really important because my degree is distance learning.”

  • Karen Taylor - Actress & Comedian

    Actress and comedian Karen Taylor was a former finalist in the prestigious Daily Telegraph Open Mic Award and has fronted her own sketch show on BBC Three.

    Karen has worked alongside a number of well-known actors including Alan Davies, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Eleanor Tomlinson.

  • Xena Fawkes - Oxford University

    Oxford University student Xena Fawkes developed an ambition to go to the world-famous university following an event for Year 10s at Barrow Sixth Form. Xena who achieved A*s in her A Levels and is now studying a degree in French and German hopes to inspire other sixthformers to apply.

    “Studying at Oxford can be very intense and difficult but it can also be very rewarding if you really like your subject and you’re willing to work hard. Sixth form was quite a big step up from secondary school and took some time to get used to but I think the amount of independent learning needed really helped prepare me for university study and life.”

  • Liam Livingstone - Cricketer

    Cricketer Liam Livingstone plays for Lancashire County Cricket Club. He hit the headlines in 2015 when he scored 350 runs off only 138 balls in a club game for Nantwich, producing one of the highest one-day scores in history.

    Liam made his Twenty20 International debut for England in June 2017.

  • Daniel Purcell - BAFTA Winner Supermassive Games

    Video games artist Daniel Purcell says studying at Barrow Sixth Form College gave him the academic skills and confidence he needed to be part of a BAFTA-winning team.

    He is lead environment artist for Supermassive Games, which created Until Dawn.

    The former Cartmel Priory School pupil, said sixth form was a changing point that turned him from a shy student into a confident communicator with a real drive to succeed.

    “Barrow Sixth Form was brilliant for me – it really brought me out my shell. I was really quiet at school and it changed me. The tutors feel more like mentors which makes you feel a bit more open to being yourself and becoming the person you were always meant to be.”

  • Cat Smith -Politician

    Cat Smith is a British Labour Party politician who has been the MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood since 2015.

    Cat is also the Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons.

  • Laura Moore - Forge Europa

    Laura Moore is marketing executive at the award-winning LED lighting company Forge Europa. She studied A Levels in business, textiles art, IT and an A/S Level in history.

    Starting as an apprenticeship sales administrator she progressed to team sales account co-ordinator within a few months.

    She has recently graduated with a first class honours degree in business management studied through the University of Cumbria and supported by Forge Europa.

    “I loved the business studies lessons at Barrow Sixth Form. That was the subject I got an A in and I think it has given me the skills to make a difference here. There were 25 people when I joined over five years ago and I’ve been able to have input into all areas of the business.”


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