Mayor of St Helens Geoff Pearl was on hand to cut the ribbon at the official opening of St Helens College’s new 14-16 Academy.
Headteacher Caron Kerr and Dave Hutchinson, the head of sales and marketing at Saints, were also in attendance to provide students with motivational speeches.
The academy, located on the college’s Waterside technology campus, gives local school pupils at the end of Year 9 the opportunity to instead study towards vocational skills, alongside traditional GCSEs.
It is hoped that youngsters who join the academy at 14 will then go on to stay at the college beyond 16.
Speaking earlier this year, college principal Jette Burford said: “The 14-16 academy, which starts this September, offers pupils the opportunity to study vocational options such as engineering, construction, hospitality and catering alongside the national curriculum. And the re-introduction of A-levels will give students the opportunity to progress through the college right from the age of 14 to completing a degree.”