Hartlepool College names among UK’s best

Hartlepool College of Further Education flags at half mast as a mark of respect for Bob Baxter.
Hartlepool College of Further Education flags at half mast as a mark of respect for Bob Baxter.

A COLLEGE has made it into the top quarter of all its peers across England.

Hartlepool College of Further Education has been positioned in the upper 25 per cent of general further education colleges in the country.

The announcement comes after the Board of Governors recently approved the college’s assessment report – which is an annual review of the year.

The review is the key document required by the funding bodies, and Ofsted, which described the college’s process as “highly evaluative, crisply analytical and exceptionally critical” in its inspection visit in April.

The college was rated as “good” for overall effectiveness.

College bosses say they are expecting to push even higher up the rankings when new assessment measures are introduced in March.

Assistant principal Vivienne McFarquhar said: “Current measures exclude functional qualifications in English and mathematics from the data, although this year they will be included for the first time.

“The college is doing particularly well in these subjects including GCSE English and maths, so we are expecting another leap forward when the results are published.

“The teaching and learning in the college is consistently good, our resources are superb and the class sizes are similar to those in private education.

“Hence, all taken in account, the college is a great place to train and study and that is being reflected in the performance rates.”

College leaders say it is a fitting milestone for Mrs McFarquhar, who is retiring at Christmas after 30 years of service to the further education sector.

She previously held a senior management post at Middlesbrough College.

Senior colleague Steve Wallis will inherit the full-time curriculum from January, having steered the college’s apprenticeship and employer work to outstanding levels of success over the past few years.

Principal Darren Hankey commented: “The college has set a number of key milestones, to make it one of the very best in England, and this year we have exceeded our target.

“This is very much to the credit of our students, staff and governors.

“We are very much looking forward to the publication of the national results in March to determine how far we have moved up the percentiles.”