Truro and Penwith College is one of the best tertiary colleges in the country for education and training. The College offers a diverse range of opportunities in Cornwall including Degrees, Foundation Degrees and HNDs, PGCE and other teaching qualifications, the International Baccalaureate, A Levels, Vocational courses and Apprenticeships.
The offer across the College’s sites includes more than 40 AS/A2 Level subjects in which enrolments are very healthy and continue to grow. Over 45% of the Year 11 (age 16) Cornish cohort annually choose Truro and Penwith College. For example, in September 2016 over 400 learners were studying Biology, over 400 Chemistry, over 600 Mathematics, over 300 Physics and over 800 English Language and Literature courses. The College offers a range of vocational courses at Level 2 and currently has 23 Extended Diplomas with over 2000 learners following these full Level 3 programmes. Vocational provision includes courses in Art and Design, Automotive, Business Studies, Catering, Construction, Health Studies, Care, Applied Science, Computing and IT, Engineering, Hair and Beauty, Media Studies, Public Services, Nursery Nursing, Science and Sports Studies, Leisure and Tourism, Photography and Secretarial Studies.
Learners’ achievements are of an exceptionally high standard. In the DFE Achievement and Attainment Tables (published January 2016) Truro and Penwith College, with by far the largest entry, was the top state funded provider in Cornwall on every A level measure and one of the very best performing colleges nationally.
A particular success of the College in terms of results, and one also recognised nationally, has been its consistently very high value added scores. These measure how far and how fast learners progress from their different starting points on joining the College.
The College has two main sites. Truro College is a purpose built campus with fourteen buildings including the recent White Building for Art and Design and the Seaton Building for Construction and Automotive Engineering.
Truro College and Penwith College merged in April 2008 and the subsequent completion of a £30 million redevelopment at Penwith College has created six new buildings near the centre of Penzance. The facilities and resources are second to none. Five years after merger, numbers attending the Penzance campus have more than doubled, the curriculum offer has grown, and the higher education offer is expanding. Support for local businesses and employers is one of several ways in which the College has become a centre of community activity and local regeneration. Results across all provision - A level, occupational and vocational - are excellent and fully match those achieved at the Truro campus.
The success and socio-economic impact of the merger has been recognised this year with the College being awarded the AoC Beacon Award for Leadership and Governance.
The College continues to grow and is set to open a new campus in September 2017, Callywith College, on the outskirts of Bodmin in response to demand from learners in the north and east of Cornwall. The campus includes a 16-19 Free School and state of the art sports facilities.
The College has also established a multi-academy Trust, Truro and Penwith Academy Trust (TPAT) which currently works in partnership with one secondary school and 16 primary schools. Other Cornish primary and secondary schools are looking to join the Trust. TPAT is supported in school improvement through the College’s Teaching School.
This growth and widening activity reflects the College’s reputation and results. Truro and Penwith College is now the first choice institution for over 45% of 16 year olds in Cornwall, many of whom are prepared to travel considerable distances to access what the College can offer them in terms of course choice, exam results, and their enhanced progression opportunities into work and higher education.
Building on the best individual traditions of both centres, the merged Truro and Penwith College has a local and national reputation as an institution which is lively, innovative, demands high standards of its learners, but is also caring and supportive of individuals.