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.


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
  • Sport
  • Public Services
  • Independent Living and Leisure
  • Foundation English.

Dr Paul


Here are a few of the highlights from the last few years ...

The Bristol Life Awards are in their second year now, and celebrate the best businesses in Bristol, Bath and the wider region. As an expanding college group, delivering a variety of training from fulltime study and apprenticeships to teaching in prisons, Weston College has become a strong educational force across the West.

Beating off competition from education providers including ASDAN, Claremont School and Boomsatsuma, Weston College was recognised for its work with leading employers, and for its success rates which consistently surpass national benchmarks.

Read more - https://www.weston.ac.uk/news/college-wins-bristol-educational-award

Weston College has won Association of Colleges Beacon Awards in the following areas: Effective Use of Digital Technology in Further Education (2022), Innovation in Careers and Enterprise (2022), Effective Use of Digital Technology in FE (2021), Inclusive Leadership (2021), Employer Engagement (2019), Social Action (2019), Mental Health and Wellbeing (2019),

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.

Weston College Principal, Dr Paul Phillips CBE, was named FE Leader of the Year at the 2019 TES FE 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.

2022, 2020, 2019, 2018. The award recognises the College’s hard work and expertise in delivering the training programmes.

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.

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.

From the National Association for Managers of Student Services (NAMSS) Awards

For the Hospitality and Catering Department from the professional Association of Catering Education (PACE)

From the National Centre for Diversity Annual Awards (UK FREDIE)

Sir Phillips collected the Gold Award from Pearsons

Presented at the 2022 Celebration of Partnership and Progress event by the Association for Accredited Learning

Weston College has been recognised for its outstanding mental health and wellbeing provision by becoming the first College in the UK to be awarded the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools ‘Further Education Mental Health Award’ – Gold Status.

The award was established in 2017 by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools – part of Leeds Beckett University – and social enterprise Minds Ahead. The Award aims to strengthen students’ mental health by supporting schools and colleges to make a positive change at all levels of the UK's education system, improving students’ outcomes and life chances.

The Department for Education recognises a direct link between positive mental health and successful outcomes; the Further Education Mental Health Award builds on this link and provides a framework for educational institutions to evidence policies and initiatives that work towards improving emotional health and wellbeing for both staff and students.

The award ensures the institutions are using evidence-based approaches that align to professional and government guidelines. Utilising a developmental framework, which allows schools, colleges and sixth forms to evaluate current mental health practices, identify gaps, develop and strengthen these and work towards building an emotionally healthier environment. Through this process, the institution commits to making mental health a strategic priority and developing a positive culture that promotes mental well-being for everyone.

Red more here - https://www.weston.ac.uk/news/weston-college-awarded-carnegie-school-education-further-education-mental-health-award-gold

The winners of the 2022 Annual Apprenticeship Conference (AAC) Awards have been revealed at a glitzy ceremony in Birmingham, with Weston College being named as the Engineering and Manufacturing Apprenticeship Provider of the Year.

The AAC Apprenticeship Awards are supported by FE Week and AELP (Association of Employment and Learning Providers) and it celebrates apprenticeships across the UK – this year it received a staggering 370 nominations for the awards.

Weston College won the award due to its strong engineering apprenticeship provision, which supports employers of all sizes across the south west.

Red more here - https://www.weston.ac.uk/news/weston-college-scoop-national-apprenticeship-award

The AAC Apprenticeship Awards is supported by FE Week and AELP (Association of Employment and Learning Providers) and celebrates apprenticeships across the UK.

Weston College was commended for its partnership with the FA and AoC Sport, to create and promote the FA Women’s Football Apprenticeship Programme, which has the aim of increasing female participation in football.

With the support of a strong marketing campaign the apprenticeship vacancies went live in August, it proved popular, with 146 applications, for just ten vacancies. The apprenticeship itself has had some fantastic backing, with football clubs across the UK endorsing the programme, to encourage more females to get involved with football.

The ever-popular awards received over 350 nominations for the 21 categories this year, with the judges praising the innovation and tenacity of apprenticeship providers.

Read more here - https://www.weston.ac.uk/news/weston-college-win-national-aac-apprenticeship-award

Investors in People is delighted to award Weston College, a Weston-super-Mare based FE and HE college, the “We invest in people” Platinum accreditation.

Platinum is the highest level of accreditation possible to achieve and is a category that only 2% of organisations secure nationwide.

Building on its existing Gold accreditation and Champion status, the College received Platinum as a result of a whole-College approach to prioritising the development and well-being of its employees.

The quality standard was awarded following rigorous assessment, an online survey, staff interviews and the submission of detailed evidence. The College has had a track record with Investors in People since 1997, rising up the ranks each time it is assessed.

Read more - https://www.weston.ac.uk/news/weston-college-retains-its-investor-people-accreditation-new-award-platinum-status

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Wellbeing at Work (2020), Leader of the Future (2020)

FE leader of the Year (2019)

From the AAC

Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (2019), Investors in People (2019), Lifetime Achievement (2019), Also recognised as having Best Practice for Transition Back Spotlight on NEETs (2019)

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 The Queen's Anniversary Prizes Beacon Award Winner 2018/2019  Investors in People Platinum European Union Social Fund Disability confident employer Committed to Care Leavers Matrix world Skills uk Skills Competitions Apprenticeships partner Authorised Training Centre - Education Microsoft IT Academy Program Member UAL: University of the arts london 100 best not for profit organisations to work for 2019 Education and Training Foundationcentre for assessment, UKAS management systems logo
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