Locally, the College’s results put it at the top of the Cornwall table for Academic points scores and progress made (A levels and International Baccalaureate) in all state provision across the county.
Nationally, these tables also confirm it has been one of the most consistently high-performing colleges in England for over a decade. This is despite the College being also, by some measure, the largest provider of post-16 provision in Cornwall.
Exceptional performance has been achieved across the full breadth of the College’s provision, not just those 1,400 students completing academic courses.
For example, in the new Department for Education data it is Truro and Penwith College which emerges as Cornwall’s most successful provider of apprenticeships too, with achievement rates on these work-based learning pathways well above all national and local averages.
Moreover, the GCSE progress made by the 900 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 those many learners who fail at their school to achieve GCSE English and Maths pass grades.
Achieving higher outcomes at the college in these core, career-critical subjects allows learners to access higher qualifications and jobs they would otherwise have been excluded from.
The latest tables show the College’s notable success in tackling this challenge and they place Truro and Penwith College in the top 5% of all further education colleges nationally for student progress in both English and Mathematics.
In addition, the points per entry scores achieved on a range of other Level 2 (GCSE equivalent) vocational, occupational and technical courses, taken by 500 students at the college are above both the national and Cornwall Local Authority averages for every qualification type. There is consistently high performance across different cohorts of students too, including the progress made and outcomes achieved by disadvantaged learners. The means that the college is closing the wide performance gap between disadvantaged students and their peers, that national gap identified as proof of stalled social mobility. On Level 2 provision there is no significant difference in grade outcomes between students identified as disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged. On A level courses the progress made is identical.
Behind the published data lies more detailed analysis, which continues to show that the College is almost unrivalled nationally in terms of the sheer volume of qualifications obtained at high levels. This is reflected for example in a quarter of academic students progressing to Russell Group University and in the College’s regular Oxbridge success, with 20 students again securing Oxbridge offers this year. Ofsted has identified this as a particular strength of the College the fact that, “learners have excellent progression to higher levels of study, into employment, and into 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 academic programmes.
“These results are based on excellent teaching and support, underpinned by an inclusive ethos. The College’s value-added scores confirm this, with outstanding progress made by students from across the whole of Cornwall, regardless of their different starting points, their school track-records, or the type of course they choose. I am equally pleased to see how our partnership work with employers across Cornwall is delivering a large and growing apprenticeship offer with the highest levels of success.”