Wilberforce Sixth Form College opened its doors to approximately 600 full time students back in September 1988.
The idea for two dedicated sixth form colleges in Hull serving 16-19 year olds in the area was the brainchild of local councillor Max Bird, who was an original governor at Wilberforce College.
The College really started to grow in 2000 when Wilberforce College increased its curriculum to include vocational studies. The wide variety of courses offered boosted student numbers up to over 1000.
Numbers continued to rise over the following 12 years during a period of significant curriculum changes and building development, including award-winning teaching blocks, massive renovation of social areas and the installation of a cutting-edge Multi-Use Games Area.
Over 1450 students now study a variety of qualifications and subjects at the college, including A levels, BTECs, and City & Guilds.
- In 2011, Wilberforce College became the only sixth form establishment offering 14-16 education in the country after taking on a number of GCSE students from a local school that has closed down.
- The college has an excellent reputation for sending students to Oxbridge universities. High-flying students have secured places at either Oxford or Cambridge, almost every year since 2007. This is done through the college’s dedicated Oxbridge support programme, "Inspire", and is a spectacular achievement for a state-funded college like Wilberforce.
- Due to our name, Wilberforce College has strong links with Freetown in Sierra Leone, and was heavily involved in the bicentennial celebrations of the life and legacy of William Wilberforce in 2007. During this time an aspiring musician, Barmmy Boy, travelled over from Sierra Leone to spend time at the college and learn more about life as student in Hull.
- Wilberforce College took over buildings that were originally used for Saltshouse Secondary School over 50 years ago, but way before that the site was an Iron-Age settlement. This historic discovery was first made in the 1960s when a history teacher looked out of a window across the rain-sodden playing fields and noticed settlement lines in the grass. Since then, a number of digs have taken place with Humber Field Archaeology at the helm and scores of historic artefacts have been unearthed which have helped fill in gaps in the knowledge of this area’s history.
- In 1992, Wilberforce College became the first college in the country to use an electronic registration system.