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28th March 2018

Recently published data from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has shown Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG) as the highest performing College in Staffordshire and notably, one of the top performing post-merger institutions in England.

The results were highlighted in the latest National Achievement Rate tables, published on Thursday 22 March 2018, and are based on the 2016-2017 academic year. Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group officially formed on 1 November 2016, following a merger between Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC) and Stafford College. Achievement rates are a measure of how many students completed and passed the course they studied.

NSCG’s overall achievement rate during the last academic year stood at 88.2%, placing the Group in the top spot in Staffordshire and South Cheshire and in the top 15% of Colleges nationally. In addition, retention rates across all areas score higher than all local competitors, reflective of the Group reputation for providing outstanding academic and pastoral support throughout the student journey.

Full time courses for young people aged 16-18 account for over three quarters of the College’s total delivery and achievement rates for learners in this category stand at an impressive 88.9%, firmly cementing NSCG’s position as the top performing college for young people in Staffordshire and South Cheshire, in the top 5% of General Further Education (GFE) Colleges in England and the leading merged college nationally.

Significantly, disaggregated data for the period 2014-2017 shows Stafford College is the most improved college in the Midlands for 16-18 year old learners, and the most improved college nationally following a merger.

In addition, NSCG’s apprenticeship performance is strong with an achievement rate of 77.1%, more than 9% above the national average, again placing NSCG as the leading College provider in Staffordshire and South Cheshire and in the top 20% of GFE Colleges nationally.

NSCG boasts a wide and varied range of Apprenticeship, A Level and vocational courses covering a vast array of subject areas, from Business and Science through to Engineering and Performing Arts. In 2017, A Level and vocational results exceeded the national average and NSCG sent more students to university in than any other college in Staffordshire^.

Karen Dobson, Principal and Chief Executive of Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group said: “When we formed NSCG in 2016 we had the significant challenge of amalgamating two colleges with vastly different infrastructure, performance and cultures. We were committed to build upon NULC’s reputation as ‘college of first choice’, restoring a sense of pride and quality at Stafford College and developing a merged group with high quality standards and student focus at its heart. Over the last 18 months a significant amount of work has been undertaken in all areas and these statistics demonstrate the fantastic progress that has been made on curriculum and quality in a relatively short period of time.”

Karen continued: “We are delighted to be identified as one of the highest performing post-merger institutions in England, in our first year post merger. It is a tremendous achievement and reflective of the hard work, passion and dedication of our amazing students and staff.”

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