Northampton College is proud to announce that it is now one of the top performing colleges in the country having enjoyed a dramatic four-year turnaround.

Data released as part of the latest 2017/18 National Achievement Rates Tables (NART) shows Northampton College is ranked 11th out of more than 200 colleges for 16 to 18-year-old education and training.

That represents a rise of 198 places in the rankings in just four years, to become the leading provider of Further Education in the South East Midlands and among the very best in the whole country.

The data has revealed that 95 per cent of Northampton College students pass their course, coming out as the best college in the South East Midlands region for achievement at level 1, 2 and 3. Performance in maths and English is also well above the national average.

The data backs up the findings of a recent Ofsted inspection which rated the college as ‘Good with Outstanding features’.

*Overall student achievement rate
Source: DfE National Achievement Rate Tables 2017/18

What have we done to achieve this?

  • The College was rated as ‘good’ with outstanding features by Ofsted in October 2018.

  • High overall pass rates for 95% of students with 94% progressing to further study or employment.

  • A credible record for GCSE English and maths with achievement rates of 86.5% and 86.7% respectively - 4% above the national average.

  • Improved and robust business and curriculum planning has helped to secure a viable offer for the county and supports the needs of students, employers, the local community, feeder schools and partners for progression beyond further education. In 2017/18, new courses were introduced in construction such as Painting, Decorating and Interior Design, Plumbing and Heating, Carpentry, Joinery and Theatre/Film Set production and Civil Engineering designed to tackle the skills shortages threatening to hit the construction industry in Northamptonshire and beyond. Games Design and Software Development and Coding were added to our Daventry Campus offer, and Tattooing and Illustration was added at Level 3. A new apprenticeship standard in shoe manufacturing was also launched in partnership with the British Footwear Association (BFA).

  • A robust focus on teaching and learning encapsulated in initiatives such as ‘readiness to learn’. Ofsted said “students and apprentices have positive attitudes towards their learning and so they turn up to their lessons prepared and ready to learn.

  • Expectations - Ofsted noted ‘teachers have high expectations of their students’.

  • Progress – Ofsted said “teachers agree challenging targets for their students. They monitor closely students’ progress towards their targets and provide them with helpful feedback that helps them to improve.”

  • Support for students – all staff are committed to ensuring students reach their full potential. As a result, students make good progress in developing their confidence, self-esteem and skills for work. “Teachers and support staff work very well together to support students in lessons. They provide highly effective support that is proportionate to students’ needs.” (Ofsted)

  • All college staff have embraced an ethos of support for students which means there are negligible gaps in performance between different groups of students. “Students value highly the support for learning they receive both in and out of lessons.” (Ofsted)

  • The student voice is carefully considered and the most recent ‘on-programme survey’ revealed 89% would recommend the College as a place of learning (based on 2,069 responses).

  • The outstanding learning environment, together with a developing culture of high expectation and support gives many students a new perspective on learning, leading to 69% progressing to further study within FE and 5% moving on to HE. A further 15% moved into employment with an additional 5% taking up apprenticeship offers. Leaving 6% who gained part time employment, took a gap year or engaged in voluntary activity.

  • The College maintains strong relationships with its external stakeholders. Successful and productive partnerships with employers, the community, partner higher education institutions and other agencies exist. These strong partnerships support the College in its commitment to facilitate work experience and appropriate progression opportunities for its students.

  • Excellent links are in place with the South East Midlands Local Enterprise partnership (SEMLEP) and the College continues to engage with the skills strategies of SEMLEP ensuring that these are developed as part of its curriculum map.

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