Last summer’s outstanding student results now see the College topping the latest performance tables for state schools and colleges on every single measure for A levels and wider academic provision (which includes the International Baccalaureate). The college’s performance in the tables, which cover academic and vocational provision, is well above both the Cornwall and national averages on every one of the key 13 Department for Education measures.
On the ‘points per student score’ for A level, which effectively measures the university “currency” students have earned, the college’s score of 819.4 was not only well above any other state provider in Cornwall but also exceeded the national average score by over 40 points. Exceptional performance on the International Baccalaureate meant that the ‘points per student’ score for all academic courses at the college reached an even higher level at 831.9.
The new league tables also confirm the outstanding progress made by A level and other academic students at the college. Students achieved significantly higher grades than those predicted by their GCSE results and on this value-added measure the college outperforms not only the rest of Cornwall but over 98% of the 2,300 state school and college providers in England.
The performance of students following higher level vocational courses at the college was also excellent. The percentage obtaining 3 substantial vocational qualifications, (the equivalent of a full A level programme and therefore an important element for progression to higher education), was by some margin the highest in the county.
The tables also contain important information about cohort sizes and trends in Cornwall’s school and colleges. They confirm the sustained growth of both A level and vocational provision at Truro and Penwith College. Student numbers show a growth of over 5% over the past three years, despite an overall fall in the numbers of students taking advanced level courses in Cornwall. With 921 students gaining academic qualifications and 897 vocational qualifications, the tables confirm that the College has an equal balance of vocational and academic provision, and that it remains the largest Cornish post-16 provider of both A levels and vocational pathways.
Mark Arnold, Director of Quality, explained both the aims of the DfE tables and their very positive message for the college and its students: “The way the Department for Education assesses the relative performance of institutions offering post-16 education and training is quite complex. There are numerous indicators now relating to the academic and vocational performance and size of post-16 providers, but this is because the Department is determined to inform and empower learners, families and businesses to make the right choices about where to go for learning and training. It is again this college’s very high scores on so many of these key measures, in relation to both local and national comparisons, which confirm that teaching and student support are exceptional. We know that these published DfE tables drive demand for places here. That adds to the urgency of ensuring that our offer can expand to accommodate all those who wish to access it.”
College Principal David Walrond was delighted with this latest official Department for Education assessment of its performance:
“These tables again confirm the great progress made by students here. The official value added data show that the College’s exceptional results are not simply the product of high grades on entry, or selective recruitment of learners. The Department for Education recognises the much better than expected post-16 progress of all learners who attend the college, regardless of those learners’ starting points, and on both vocational and academic pathways. One factor behind such success is that our learners have very high expectations of us, and we have very high expectations of them. The outstanding outcomes published this week are linked to that shared outlook and approach. They are a tribute to the hard work put in by our students, and the outstanding teaching provided by their staff.”