Achievements, awards and accreditations
Weston College is the top-performing College in the West of England.
Aside from outstanding academic success, the College and its staff and courses have won a string of prestigious awards, accolades and accreditations in recent years.
This shows that quality and excellence run through everything we do and means that that, whether you’re thinking about enrolling on a course, training your staff, or working with us, you can be confident Weston College is the best choice for you.
Look below to find out more about our achievements.
An Ofsted Outstanding College
'Outstanding' Ofsted rating
In our most recent Ofsted review, we received he highest possible rating – ‘grade one Outstanding’ – following a rigorous, week-long inspection in December 2013.
The inspection related to every area of the College’s education programme –14-16 provision, 16-18 study programmes, 19+ learning and apprenticeships.
The College was rated 'Outstanding' in all four areas of inspection:
- Overall effectiveness
- Outcomes for learners
- Quality of teaching, learning and assessment;
- Effectiveness of leadership and management.
Ofsted also singled out many curriculum areas for praise, particularly the outstanding provision in:
- Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy
- Public Services
- Independent Living and Leisure
- Foundation English.
More than just a College
Weston College has been awarded the contracts to deliver education to thousands of offenders in 19 prisons across the south of England.
The three contracts were awarded under the Prison Education Framework (PEF) and are worth £15.7 million over four years. The contracts cover prisons in Avon and South Dorset (including South Gloucestershire and Somerset); Devon and North Dorset (including Cornwall); and Kent, Surrey and Sussex.
We deliver nationally recognised qualifications and a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities to thousands of offenders. We focus on transformational learning and raising aspirations, ensuring that education packages meets the needs of offenders when they complete their sentence.
Read more about prison education at Weston College.
National Skills Academy
Weston College is an accredited ‘hub’ of the National Skills Academy for the environmental technologies sector.
This prestigious status means the College plays a major role in transforming the ability for businesses to access key training skills in the design, installation and maintenance of environmental technologies.
Read more about Weston College's National Skills Academy status.
Institute of Technology status
Weston College led a successful bid to create one of 12 new Institutes of Technology (IoTs).
The South West Institute of Futures Technology (SWIFT) aims to address gaps that exist in technical provision, by delivering high-quality technical training at Level 4 and 5.
It will deliver greater opportunities by creating routes into skilled employment and pathways for progression that are on a par with academic equivalents. SWIFT will also help reduce inequality by unlocking potential that has, traditionally, struggled to find an outlet.
Read more about SWIFT.
Our Awards and Accreditations
Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For
Weston College was included in the 2019 Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to Work For list. It was the highest ranked college and was also 28th in the not-for-for profit category. This renowned list recognises businesses and organisations that strive to make a difference.
Leader of the Year
Weston College Principal, Dr Paul Phillips CBE, was named FE Leader of the Year at the 2019 TES FE Awards.
Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) awards
The College’s ‘Into Work’ programme has won two major accolades – the SEND Apprenticeship Champion category at the Annual Apprenticeship Awards and the ‘Inclusion in Employment’ category at the National SEND Awards.
‘Into Work’ is a one-year internship for 16 to 24-year-olds with SEND.
Bristol and Bath Apprenticeship Training Provider of the Year
Weston College has been named Bristol and Bath Apprenticeship Provider of the Year for two years running. The award recognises the College’s hard work and expertise in delivering the training programmes.
Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education
Presented to the College at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace, the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education recognises the outstanding efforts of the College - particularly in the field of special educational needs and disabilities.
College of the Year
Presented at the Times Educational Supplement Further Education Awards, 2015.
Overall Further Education Provider of the Year
Presented at the Times Educational Supplement Further Education Awards, 2015.
Weston College has won Association of Colleges Beacon Awards in the following areas: Mental Health and Wellbeing; Widening Participation in Education; Mental Health and Wellbeing; Learning Difficulties and Disabilities; Careers Education and Guidance; Staff Development; Inclusive Practice; and the Effective Integration of Libraries/Learning Resources Centres in Curriculum Delivery.
Sword of Honour
Weston College is one of just 79 organisations and the only Further Education college to have been awarded the Sword of Honour by the British Safety Council.
This five-star award was presented to the College for the very high standards of health and safety implemented at the Knightstone Campus after an intense five day inspection.
National Training Award
Weston College won the South West category at the National Training Awards.
The award recognises the Business Enterprise Centre’s outstanding partnership work, delivering professional driver training with their partner, Somax Ltd.
Weston was the only college in the South West to reach the regional finals.
Investors in People - Gold
Weston College holds the highest accolade awarded by Investors in People - the UK's leading people-management standard.
The ‘Gold’ award was achieved after a week-long assessment, which involved interviews with over 40 members of staff, from all levels in the organisation.
Inspectors described the leadership of the College as “inspired” coupled with “a significant culture of continuous learning”.
Weston is the first Further Education college in the South West to gain this prestigious award.
Investors in People - Champion
By achieving Investors in People Champion accreditation, Weston College is part of a prestigious group of role model organisations, drawn from the private, public and third sector and ranging in size from less than ten to thousands of employees.
It’s the role of Investors in People Champions to mentor and inspire organisations who would like to benefit from their first-hand knowledge of Investors in People.
By gaining the Matrix standard, Weston College has achieved a specified benchmark in for the information, advice and guidance it provides in terms of learning and work. It is awarded by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.
Somerset Heritage and English Heritage Awards
The College's redevelopment of the derelict Hans Price designed School of Science and Art won the Somerset Heritage Award and was nominated for an English Heritage Angel Award in 2013.
Building Excellence Awards
In 2015, the College's South West Skills Campus was a finalist for two Building Excellence Awards in the Change of Use and Best Educational Building categories.
Marketing Excellence Awards - Education
Weston College has been shortlisted in the Education category of the prestigious national Marketing Excellence Awards, hosted by the Chartered Institute of Marketing. The College was shortlisted for its successful campaign to promote the pre-employment programmes, ASPIRE and Ngage.
Best Business Award - Communication
Weston College won the 'Best Communication' category in the Best Business Awards for its marketing of the ASPIRE and Ngage pre-employment courses. Judges said: "With a budget of only £10,000, Weston College has done a terrific job at promoting its two new courses for the unemployed. The campaign used a combination of traditional advertising with new media plus a few innovations such as advertising on petrol caps at petrol stations and running a promotion at a pop-up shop."
Positive about Disabled People
Weston College is an accredited Positive about Disabled People employer.
The ‘two ticks’ symbol is awarded by the Jobcentre Plus to recognise employers who have agreed to meet five commitments regarding the recruitment, employment, retention and career development of disabled people.
Apple-Authorised Training Centre
Weston College is an official Apple Authorised Training Centre in education (AATCe), enabling us to deliver Apple-authorised qualifications as part of the full-time curriculum offer and evening classes. Our selection was based on a number of criteria, including curriculum quality and recognition, facilities, equipment, staff expertise and infrastructure.
Microsoft IT Academy
As an accredited Microsoft IT Academy, Weston College offers certified and bespoke training courses covering a wide range of software packages including the entire Microsoft Office suite.