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Weston College


Weston College

Weston College
Weston College Logo
Motto "Creating Brighter Futures"
Principal Paul Phillips
Founder Henry Stacy
Students 10,997[1]
Undergraduates 862[2]
Location Weston-Super-Mare, North Somerset, United Kingdom
Website .uk.acweston
Knightstone Campus
Weston College Conference Centre
University campus

Weston College is a general college of further and higher education in Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset, England. It provides education and vocational training from age 14 to adult. At the end of 2013 it had 2883 full-time and 8114 part-time students.[1] In an OFSTED inspection in January 2014 it received an overall grade of "outstanding".[3] On 27 February 2015, the college was named "College of the Year" and "Overall FE Provider of the Year" at the TES FE awards.[4] It is a major employer in Weston-super-Mare.[5]


  • Courses 1
  • Campuses 2
  • Assessment 3
  • Notable Alumni 4
  • References 5


The college offers A level courses, vocational courses, apprenticeships, traineeships, courses for the unemployed and work-related courses in nine subject areas: administration, business management, foundation English, hair and beauty, independent living and leisure, public services, science, sport, and vehicle engineering.[1] It also provides training for work in the building,[6] catering and plumbing trades.[1] It has facilities for learners with difficulties and/or disabilities (LDD). It also offers some associate degree courses; its degrees are validated by Bath Spa University and by the University of the West of England.[6]

The number of students enroled in the college's higher education provision has grown considerably over the last decade.[2] In 2009/2010 there were 450 undergraduate students on degree courses.[7] In September 2015, the number of students enroled in the college's higher education provision had almost doubled to 862.[2]

In 2012, Weston College won a £10 million contract to provide education to inmates of 13 prisons in the South West of England.[8]

In 2015, Weston College invested £1.5 million into creating a "Future Technology Centre" at the South West Skills Campus, enabling the college to teach a full engineering curriculum.[9] In September 2015, Weston College announced that it had won a contract to train apprentices for GKN Aerospace.[9][10]


Weston College has three main campuses: Knightstone Campus, which used to be Weston-super-Mare Technical College; University Campus, on the site of Broadoak Sixth Form Centre on Loxton Road; and South West Skills Campus.[11] Care and management of horses and other animals are taught at Badgworth Equestrian and Animal Centre.[12] The former Hans Price School of Science and Arts, designed and built by local architect Hans Price, was completely refurbished from a derelict state in 2012, and is now the Weston College Conference Centre.[13] In August 2013, the college's redevelopment of the building was nominated for an English Heritage Angel Award to "recognise the time, effort and determination" of the college for the rescue of the building.[14]

In 2012 the 10-bedroom Weston Bay Hotel was refurbished as residential accommodation for learners with special educational needs, with a focus on learners on the autism spectrum.[15] The facility promotes independent living and social skills, and assist its learners by increasing their access to Higher Education and career opportunities.[16]

In January 2015, North Somerset Council agreed to sell Weston-super-Mare's Winter Gardens Pavillion to the college for the nominal fee of £1.[17] The sale is part of the council's plan to regenerate Weston-super-Mare's town centre and the college intend to turn the building into a Law and Professional Services Academy.[18]

In August 2015, the College's South West Skills Campus was nominated for the Best Educational Building and Best Change of Use of an Existing Building categories at the Local Authority Building Control Building Excellence Awards.[19]


In 2011, higher education teaching at Weston College was assessed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, which had confidence in its management of award standards and learning opportunities.[6]

The college was assessed by OFSTED in December 2013, and was classified in Grade 1, "outstanding", for overall effectiveness, for its results, for teaching quality, and for management effectiveness. It was the first general further education college in the West of England to receive this grade under the new OFSTED framework.[20][21] It was assessed as Grade 1 in five of its nine subject areas, and Grade 2, "good", in the remaining four.[1]

In 2014 the A level pass rate at the college was 98%, one percent higher than in 2013.[22] In 2015, the A level result pass rate rose to 99%, and 27% of the college's students achieved A* or A grades.[23] These figures are both above the national average.[24]

In 2014, more than 20 per cent of the college's Bachelor of Arts graduates achieved a first class honours degree, beating the national average of 16 per cent.[25] In September 2015, this number of graduates achieving first class honours rose to 21.3%.[2]

Notable Alumni


  1. ^ a b c d e Wilf Hudson (20 January 2014). Further Education and Skills inspection report: Weston College – General further education college; Inspection Number: 423351. Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (OFSTED). Accessed November 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d "Weston College holds biggest ever graduation ceremony". The Weston Mercury. 28 September 2015. Retrieved 25 September 2015. 
  3. ^ Bristol Post, "Weston College rated as outstanding by OFSTED".
  4. ^ TES FE awards, "Weston College celebrate awards".
  5. ^ Cheddar Valley Gazette, "Weston College celebrate awards".
  6. ^ a b c [s.n.] (October 2011). Integrated quality and enhancement review: Summative review: Weston College SR 004/11. The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. Accessed November 2014.
  7. ^ Russell Jordan (21 October 2010). "Weston College: Focused monitoring visit report" (PDF). Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (OFSTED). . Accessed November 2014.
  8. ^ Bethan Evans (25 January 2013). College lands £10m contract to educate prison inmates. Weston, Worle & Somerset Mercury. Accessed November 2014.
  9. ^ a b Thompson, Gavin. "Weston College wins contract to train GKN Aerospace apprentices after investing £1.5 million in facilities". SouthWestBusiness. Retrieved 2 September 2015. 
  10. ^ "GKN Aerospace and Weston College join forces to launch apprenticeship programme". Business Leader. Retrieved 2 September 2015. 
  11. ^ Weston College Guide, The Telegraph.
  12. ^ What Can I Study?, Badgworth Arena.
  13. ^ Hans Price gem is back to its best, Weston, Worle & Somerset Mercury.
  14. ^ "Project to restore Weston-super-Mare heritage recognised at national awards ceremony". South West Business. Retrieved 11 September 2015. 
  15. ^ BBC News, "Weston College opens special needs academy".
  16. ^ "Weston College spends £1 million on new LDD facilities". The Bristol Post. Retrieved 17 September 2015. 
  17. ^ "Weston's Winter Gardens sold to Weston College for £1". BBC. BBC. Retrieved 24 July 2015. 
  18. ^ "New Lease of Life for Weston-super-Mare's Winter Gardens". Bristol Post. Bristol Post. Retrieved 24 July 2015. 
  19. ^ Millett, Briana. "Weston College campus finalist in two design awards". The Weston Mercury. Retrieved 2 September 2015. 
  20. ^ The Guardian, "Winning over Ofsted: how to become an outstanding college".
  21. ^ Bristol Post, "Ofsted College's 'amazing result' up with UK best".
  22. ^ Bethan Evans (23 August 2014). Pass rate is up for Weston College. Weston, Worle & Somerset Mercury. Accessed November 2014.
  23. ^ Millett, Briana. "A-level results: Weston College pass rate hits 99%". The Weston Mercury. The Weston Mercury. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  24. ^ Adams, Richard. "A-level results show falling proportion of top grades". The Guardian. The Guardian. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  25. ^ Robinson, Sarah (19 September 2014). "Gallery: College students celebrate degree success". The Weston Mercury. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
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