Northampton College is proud to announce that it has soared 178 places in the 2016/17 National Achievement Rates Tables (NART) rankings in just three years to become the leading provider of Further Education in the region. Data released shows that Northampton College is now ranked 31st out of more than 200 colleges for 16 to 18-year-old education and training.

The table, which was put together by the Department for Education, demonstrates the success of the College’s long-term strategy to increase student achievement rates through strong and supportive leadership and high quality teaching.

The transformation has also seen a major improvement in GCSE resit maths and English pass rates for 16 to 18-year-old students, with the College now ranked 15th nationally for maths and 18th overall for English.

The College performed well across all levels of course provision coming out as the best college in the East Midlands region for Level 1, 2 and 3 courses.

*Overall student achievement rate
Source: DfE National Achievement Rate Tables 2016/17

What have we done to achieve this?

  • Teaching, learning and assessment are good with some outstanding practice. This has resulted in improving student progress and high pass rates.

  • High overall pass rates for 95% of students with a four-year improvement trend.

  • A creditable record for GCSE English and maths high grade outcomes over three years placing the College 18th and 15th respectively in the national league tables.

  • The outstanding learning environment, together with a developing culture of high expectation and support gives many students a new perspective on learning, leading to 97% progressing to further study within the College at the same or a higher level. Of those who completed a Level 3 qualification in 2016/17 27% went into employment/training, 25% went to higher education and 48% went to other education.

  • The college experience gained a ringing endorsement in the Department for Education’s national survey with overall satisfaction improving by 12% to just under 90%.

  • The College has once again secured a financially outstanding grade from the Education and Skills Funding Agency. Sustained astute financial management has enabled investment in curriculum and quality improvement, state of the art facilities, materials and equipment which are highly valued and support a very effective student experience.

  • 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.

  • 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 2016/17, new courses were introduced such as Level 2 and Level 3 Games Design, PR and Journalism, and Digital Design which are now oversubscribed and lead to local, regional and national opportunities for students to work or access higher education in these sectors.

  • Course planning during 2016/17 has led to the introduction of further new provision in 2017/18, such as a Foundation Arts programme at Levels 3 and 4, Tattoo Illustration at Levels 2 and 3 and a new apprenticeship standard for the National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR).

  • The student voice is carefully considered and the most recent FE Choices survey revealed a positive 89.9% score overall for student satisfaction. Student focus group feedback and student council representatives inform staff of areas that need improvement as well as areas of strength. 86% of students would recommend the College as a place of learning (based on 1,520 responses to the Ofsted Learner View survey).

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