About Us

College achievements


We are proud of our college and student achievements outlined here


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In 2017 and 2013 we received Ofsted inspection results, which rated the college as GOOD and position the college as one of the best in the region.

We received particular praise for the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.

What Ofsted had to say:

  • Leaders and governors have a clear vision, underpinned by clearly defined strategies for Northumberland Collee to deliver high-quality learning programmes that meet the diverse needs of Northumberland's communities and employers.

  • Leaders and staff at Northumberland College reinforce effectively the importance to learners of developing good work-related skills and attitudes. As well as carrying out work experience placements, learners on 16 to 19 study programmes benefit from many good realistic working environments at the college.

  • Leaders and governors are ambitious for Northumberland College to provide high-quality education and training that enables learners, to achieve and progress to further learning or employment.

  • Governors, the principal and other leaders have successfully established a culture of high expectations for staff and for what learners can achieve.

  • The quality of provision and outcomes for learners on programmes in arts, media and publishing are outstanding.

  • Art - A very high proportion of learners join higher education courses, many at prestigious universities.

  • Learners receive good advice about the learning and course options available to them based on their planned next steps in learning and their career ambition.

  • The feedback also praises progress at the College to support those 16 to 19 year-olds who have not already achieved GCSEs at grades A* to C in English and/or maths to improve their grades in those subjects. 



Our friendly, helpful and experienced Help Hub Student Services Advisors achieved Matrix accreditation for the high standard of information , advice and guidance they provide to our students.


We are able to offer students the chance to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award - the most respected personal development award in the world, which is highly valued by employers and universities.


In 2013 our hair salon, The Graduate, became the first salon in the North East and one of just 30 throughout the UK to be awarded Centre of Excellence Status by Wella.


Our Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens has achieved full membership to the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquaria (BIAZA), a body which shows commitment to animal welfare, education, research and conservation.
The zoo achieved the membership by completing a mentoring scheme with members of two BIAZA associated zoo collections. 
All areas of the zoological gardens were assessed during a series of mentor visits including record keeping, welfare of animals, ethical review process, licensing, diets, education and health and safety. 
This membership places Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens in a unique position alongside just two other college collections in the UK that have BIAZA membership and over 100 other leading zoological collections in the UK.

In 2014 our Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens was honoured with two Blue Cross Animals in Education Awards.

Blue Cross, a nationwide organisation that has been dedicated to caring for injured animals since 1906 recognised the college zoo with the Best Mammal Welfare award for our Primates and the Best Bird Welfare award for our Wetland Aviary.


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