Darlington College has been ranked best in the Tees Valley and fifth in the country for achievement – a rigorous test that assesses student retention and qualifications secured.
Almost 90 per cent of the 12,664 students on full and part-time courses at Darlington College completed their studies and achieved their qualifications, putting them well ahead of even their nearest rival in the Tees Valley.
As well as also being placed in the top five nationally, Darlington College secured a prestigious silver award from the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
The Teaching Excellence Framework Award was decided by an independent panel of experts including academics, students and employer representatives.
Drawing on national data and evidence submitted by the college, the TEF measures excellence in teaching quality, the learning environment and the educational and professional outcomes achieved by students.
Darlington College’s apprenticeship achievement has also improved for the third year running with figures greater than the national average.
Principal Kate Roe said: “Everyone at Darlington College has been working tirelessly to raise standards of learning to ensure the very best outcomes for our students and we are thrilled that this has been recognised nationally.”
Deputy principal Carole Todd added: “Achievement is so much more than attaining a good pass rate for the few. It is about engaging all of our students in their learning and ensuring that they leave with the right qualification for a future in higher education, apprenticeships or employment.”
Darlington College offers full and part-time students an array of vocational and academic courses including engineering and construction, hospitality and catering, hair and beauty, games, media and journalism, business and management, childcare and health and social care, computing and IT, art, design and photography, health and safety, motor vehicle, outdoor sport and fitness, football academies, uniformed public services, travel and tourism, maths and English and teacher training.
Senior curriculum manager Gary Potts said: “These accolades show that the college really does offer excellence in a wide range of vocational and academic courses which give students a better chance of success in their chosen fields.
“Our teaching is relevant to the world they will enter and we see ourselves as a key element in a journey that starts at school and ends in rewarding careers where they can flourish. The silver commendation highlighted our excellent student outcomes, the high level of student satisfaction, teaching standards and that we are valued by employers.”