Truro and Penwith College tops the latest state-funded, post-16 Academic tables

Truro and Penwith College emerges again as one of the best performing public 16-19 providers nationally in the just released official Department for Education 2017 post-16 Performance Tables for schools and colleges.

Locally, the College’s results put it at the top of the Cornwall table for Academic points scores (A levels and International Baccalaureate) in all state provision across the county. The tables also show the College is by some measure the largest provider of post-16 provision of any kind, for both academic and vocational courses.

The national comparisons available in these tables again confirm it has been one of the most consistently high-performing colleges in England for over a decade.

These tables appear in the same month as the college secured a record 24 Oxford and Cambridge offers.

Exceptional performance has been achieved across the full breadth of the College provision. It is not only the 1,150 students completing academic courses in 2017 that excelled. The College is again above the national average for progress on Applied General courses, taken by 850 students last year.

The points per entry achieved on a range of occupational and technical courses, taken by nearly 900 students there, is also above both the national and Cornwall Local Authority averages for every qualification type.

This new data release also show that the GCSE progress made by students who come to the College without a GCSE grade C or 4 in English or Mathematics is exceptional. In recent years, Truro and Penwith College, like all colleges nationally, has been given additional responsibilities to support the many learners who fail at their school to achieve GCSE English and Maths pass grades so that they can achieve higher outcomes in these core career-critical subjects.

The percentage of school pupils failing to achieve this standard measure nationally is still high at 36%. In Cornwall schools it is higher still, at 39%. The latest tables show the College’s notable success in tackling this challenge and they place it in the top 5% of all further education colleges nationally for student progress in both English and Mathematics.

Behind the published data lies more detailed analysis still, which shows the College is almost unrivalled nationally in the volume of qualifications obtained at high levels. This is reflected in a quarter of academic students progressing to Russell Group University and its Oxbridge success. 

Ofsted identified this in their recent inspection of the College: “Learners make excellent progress to higher levels of study and into employment. Progression rates to higher education are very high, and around a third of A-level learners go on to prestigious universities.”

Commenting on the College’s success, Principal David Walrond said: “I am delighted that the hard work in partnership of students and their teaching staff here is recognised in these tables. A crucial point to make is that these exceptionally high scores are not secured by selective practices, or in other words by only accepting high GCSE profile pupils onto A level programmes. What these results are based on is excellent teaching and support, underpinned by an inclusive ethos. The College’s value added score confirms this, with outstanding progress made by A level students regardless of their different starting points and school track-records.”