City of Westminster College
City of Westminster College
City of Westminster College new logo.gif
Type Further Education
Principal Keith Cowell
Location Paddington Green
W2 1NB
England England
Local authority Westminster
DfE URN 130423
Ofsted Reports
Students 7,000
Gender Mixed
Ages 14–no upper age limit

City of Westminster College is a further education college located in the borough of Westminster, central London. The College has two centres located in Paddington and Queen's Park. It also includes the Cockpit Theatre, a fully operational studio theatre used for training and performances, and a range of outreach centres.

City of Westminster College provides around 250 full-time and part-time courses to over 7,000 students each year. Just over a fifth of students come from the local borough, with the remainder being drawn from across London and the south-east. Over 40 per cent of students speak English as an additional language and there are more than 50 first languages spoken across College campuses.

The Principal Keith Cowell - previously Deputy Principal of Croydon College - joined City of Westminster College in November 2009.[1] Stuart Taylor is Chair of Governors.[2]

In its most recent inspection, Ofsted rated the college as 'satisfactory' for overall effectiveness.[3]


Courses and specialisms

The College offers a broad mix of vocational and academic courses, including BTEC, City & Guilds and NVQ qualifications, GCSEs and A levels. It also provides a smaller range of higher education courses such as Foundation and Batchelor of Science Degrees and HNCs. College specialities include Sport, Digital Media, Construction, Engineering and Science.

The College is associate partner of Middlesex University and University of Westminster. It is also part of Westminster Skillset Media Academy[4] with University of Westminster, providing training in areas such as Sound Engineering and Digital Media. Its Financial Services Foundation Degree is in partnership with Open University.

The College is a Founder College of the National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural for its Performing Arts and Technical Theatre training.[5]

Other courses include English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Personal Best (Olympic Volunteering Programme). Outreach programmes include construction, computer skills and art sessions offered to students who are or have been homeless. These are run in collaboration with West London Day Centre.[6]

City of Westminster College's Paddington Green Campus opened in January 2011

New main campus for City of Westminster College

City of Westminster College opened its new Paddington Green Campus in January 2011. The £102m seven-storey building replaces a 1960s construction in the same location.

Designed by Danish architects schmidt hammer lassen, Paddington Green Campus has 24,000 square metres of floor space. It includes a large central atrium at the heart of the building, accessible green roof terraces and increased community access to features such as the Sarah Siddons Theatre and public cafe overlooking St Mary's Gardens. Other facilities include a double-height Sport England-specification sports hall and specialist science labs and workshops. The campus features a mix of open-plan learning/meeting areas as well as more traditional classrooms.[7]

City of Westminster College's Paddington Green Campus was among the winners of the RIBA Awards for London 2011.[8] It was also among the winners of the inaugural New London Awards.[9]

Paddington Green Campus viewed from St Mary's Gardens

History and past principals

Originally established as Paddington Technical Institute,[10] the college celebrated its centenary in 2004. The original Institute was opened in Saltram Crescent, W9 and early courses focused on vocational subjects such as building, commerce, dressmaking and engineering.[11]

Having previously inhabited a series of mostly Victorian buildings, the college moved to a purpose-built eight-storey site on Paddington Green in 1967, also changing its name to Paddington Technical College. Overlooking the Conservation Areas of St Mary's Gardens (a former churchyard) and Paddington Green, the building featured what were then high-specification facilities such as a bespoke vehicle workshop and rolling road.

In 1984 it became Paddington College to reflect the increasing variety of courses it offered and, when administration of the college passed from the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) to Westminster City Council in 1990, it adopted its current name. On 1 April 1993 City of Westminster College became self-governing.

Past principals Dr Ryan 1903-1914; Mr Cooke 1914-1929; F. H. Reid 1929-1939; Dr Robinson 1939-1947; A. T. Lindley 1948-1970; A. W. Thompson 1970-1975; S. F. Everiss 1975-1976; Margaret Rawlins 1976-1977; Alan Hutchinson 1977-1987; Janey Rees 1987-1990; Paul Bellamy 1991-2005; Robin Shreeve 2005-2009.


External links

Coordinates: 51°31′15″N 0°10′22″W / 51.5208°N 0.1728°W / 51.5208; -0.1728

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