Bridgend College was crowned FE College of the Year at the 2019 Tes FE Awards during a lavish awards night at the Grosvenor House hotel in London on 22nd March 2019.
The remarkable turnaround that saw Bridgend College transformed from one of the worst-performing colleges in the country to one of the best made it a clear winner. Bridgend College tops league tables in Wales for qualification completion rates. In the most recent statistics, these stood above 90 per cent across all qualifications.
The College is rooted in its community, supporting other education providers and businesses across the region.
This includes work with a nearby secondary school, which led to a 13 percent increase in the number of learners gaining A to C grades at A level. Estyn, the Welsh education and training inspectorate, awarded the College a rare “double excellent” grade at its most recent inspection.
The College was praised for the “very good progress” learners make, often from low starting points. Inspectors also praised the culture in the College of supporting staff to “innovate and take risks” as well as helping to build their confidence in order to meet future challenges. The College’s own latest staff survey showed that 98 percent of staff are happy to work there.
The judges at the TES FE awards were impressed by the way in which the College had responded to local needs and the difference that it has made to the wellbeing of its learners. They also praised the work dedicated to improving its fortunes under the able leadership of the governing body, principal and staff.
This TES FE awards ceremony is where the most outstanding individuals and institutions that the FE sector has to offer, all come together, to celebrate their hard work and dedication that contributes to the FE sector of education.
Simon Pirotte, CEO and Principal of Bridgend College praised the College following the ceremony;
“This amazing accolade is the icing on the cake, not for only Bridgend College but the Bridgend County Borough.”
“I have the honour of working with some of the most inspirational people and each and everyone of our staff, learners and Governors have helped us secure this title. This award is a huge boost for the FE sector in Wales and for the Bridgend county borough.”
“I’m so proud be part of the Bridgend community. We play an important part in the education of our 16-19 year olds and we want to continue to improve the delivery and choices for our young people”.
Bridgend College was up against some larger institutions throughout the UK, such as Exeter College, Truro College and Weston College. Bridgend College was also shortlisted for Apprenticeship Provider of the Year and Principal Simon Pirotte was one of the eight finalists named for FE Leader of the Year.
At the beginning of March, Bridgend College was once again shortlisted for the ‘WhatUni’ Student Choice Awards, the only FE college in Wales to be shortlisted in this category. These awards are an annual celebration of student satisfaction in higher education and is completely student led.
The College would like to congratulate and thank all its learners, staff and Governors who have made this award possible.