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Record breaking results for Yale College

Record breaking results! Yale College confirmed as Outstanding by Government Inspectors with highest ever results in Wales for work based training!

Yale College has had its reputation confirmed as one of the very best in the country, achieving eleven straight grade ones – the highest grade achievable – in its latest inspection by ESTYN (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales).

The final report, released today, confirmed that Yale College is one of only a very few colleges in the country to achieve grade ones across the board in every area of inspection. Not only this, but the College has achieved the highest results ever awarded in Wales for the quality of its work-based learning and training.
The inspectors in February 2008 focussed on 11 aspects of work based learning including Engineering & Manufacturing, Construction and Retailing and judged the quality of teaching and learning, support for learners, leadership and management and overall results as outstanding, achieving no fewer than 11 grade ones
Yale College has held one of the largest work based learning contracts awarded by the Welsh Assembly Government since 1998, supporting over 800 apprentices and Skillbuild learners annually. Its work based learning success rates are currently the highest in Wales and it now has Grade One inspection results across the board to match, confirming its position as a beacon for work based learning in Wales.
These record breaking results also coincide with the recent £5million rebuild and refurbishment of the Bersham Road centre for Yale College, placing Yale College firmly as not only one of the best work based learning institutions in Wales, but also the UK. 
Rhodri Morgan, First Minister for Wales commented: “I warmly congratulate Yale College on its truly outstanding Estyn inspection results. By achieving 11 Grade ones, Yale College has proved itself to be a shining example to others on how to provide work-based learning. When I opened the College’s new Engineering and Construction Centre recently, I got to see first-hand the impressive facilities there that are used to train students of all ages. The work carried out at Yale exemplifies the sort of collaboration that is needed to ensure our young people fulfil their potential and contribute to the ongoing economic growth of Wales.”
The report also made special mention of the innovative use of technology to accelerate learning along with both the enthusiastic motivation of the staff and learners, and that learners have access to outstanding facilities and benefit from the wide range of progression routes available.  Additionally, Yale College also received a record 27 outstanding practice boxes (these are used by inspectors to highlight particularly exceptional examples that show why a provider is being classed as outstanding); the highest received by any institution across Wales.
These outstanding practice boxes highlighted how learners take responsibility for their own learning – demonstrating how the training programmes are individually tailored to meet the needs of each learner and employer.
Yale College hasbeen delivering work-based learning for ten years from its base in Wrexham and has one of the largest work based contracts held by a Further Education College in Wales.  The College has over 800 work based learners enrolled on a wide range of apprenticeships and skill build programmes annually, the report goes on to comment that “.standards achieved by learners in all learning areas inspected is outstanding”.
Wrexham MP, Ian Lucas comments: “I’m absolutely delighted that Yale has achieved so much, these results are a testament to the students, the staff and everyone who has worked so hard to bring such great achievement. Good companies are choosing to come to Wrexham as they know that we have the infrastructure, the training and the colleges that can help them to train a first class workforce. So Yale is not only part of doing things better for Wrexham, but also for Wales and for the United Kingdom”
The report states that the work based learning programmes are working well with the local community and highlights its role in meeting local skills shortages: “The provider’s response to local skills needs and the needs of local employers is outstanding.”
It stressed how the College had developed innovative partnerships to address the skills shortages in both the logistics and care sectors.
Wrexham AM, Lesley Griffiths also adds: “It’s fantastic news that Yale College has achieved 11 grade ones in their work based learning inspection from ESTYN and this shows how good the FE colleges’ in North Wales are. I’m very proud that I represent Wrexham where the college is based, and I will certainly be singing from the rooftops about it at the Assembly.”
Wrexham Mayor, Joan Lowe says: “I think this is very important for Wrexham and North East Wales and as Mayor of Wrexham, I offer my congratulations to Yale for all the fine work they do. Now that Yale College has got such close links with our secondary schools I believe this will have a positive effect for the future.”
The official ESTYN report also highlights the College’s excellent relationship with local employers: “The College works particularly effectively in partnerships with employers.  Employers speak very highly of the range of training and other services given by the provider”. 
Gary Griffiths, Strategic manager of apprentice programmes & vocational competencies for Airbus UK, comments: “Congratulations to Yale College on the fantastic work-based learning inspection results. I am especially pleased that Estyn has recognised how the College works with employers such as Airbus UK. We have worked in partnership with Yale College for over 8 years developing and delivering a range of apprenticeships as well as our in-house bespoke first and second party quality programmes for operators and team leaders. The College has demonstrated their flexibility and responsiveness by adapting national apprenticeship programmes to meet Airbus’s very specific requirements and standards.”
Gary Griffiths, Co-author – ‘Promise and Performance – Webb Review’ comments: “Congratulations to Yale College on these outstanding results. It is particularly pleasing to note Estyn’s comments on how the College has worked extremely closely with a range of employers to identify specific skills shortages and develop innovative solutions through partnership and collaboration. This is an excellent example of where a provider has taken ownership of quality and is driving the changes required to sustain the high standards it sets itself.”
Leadership and management were described as outstanding at the College. The report noted that “..both leaders and managers have a clear mission with a strong emphasis on learners…the College has an extremely strong ethos and culture for continuous improvement which managers promote very successfully, inspiring a passion for quality throughout.”  
Yale College Principal, Paul Croke comments: “We at Yale College are delighted to achieve these record breaking results and I believe the strength of this success story will help to raise the profile of work-based learning programmes across Wales and indeed the UK. We understand that employability skills are key in today’s world and are sure that the achievements of our apprentices at Yale will encourage more young people to go into Further Education and apply for the many different modern apprentice routes that we have within the college.”
Chair of the Governing Body of Yale College, Carole O’Toole adds: “I think this modern apprenticeship success story is absolutely crucial on several fronts for students who live and work in North Wales, but also for the wider population. Across Wales historically, we’ve always been aware of the vocational/academic divide and we have to work very hard to bridge that gap. The best way to do that is through the provision of high quality modern apprenticeship schemes, and this Estyn inspection proves that Yale College has done this with tremendous success.”
– ENDS –
We have quotes and case studies available for your use from Rhodri Morgan, MPs, employers and work based learners as well as a welsh translation of this press release. For further editorial information and requests for interviews or high resolution images contact PR Director Emma Bithell at Prodo on 0870 756 2828 or email [email protected]
Other quotes and interview opportunities are also available from Prodo – please contact us for use.
Notes to editors:
  • Yale College is a tertiary college with approximately 3,200 full-time, 10,000 part-time and 800 work based learners in the age range 14-85 and over 40,000 enrolments situated in Wrexham town centre.
  • It has around 850 staff (450 FTE) and an annual income of £24.2 million.  The curriculum portfolio at Yale is extremely broad and provides for all learners at every level from Entry to Level 5.  Apart from the traditional FE and work-based curriculum, it includes pilot Welsh Baccalaureate courses, 14-16 taster and vocational pathways in partnership with local schools and some higher education courses in partnership with the North East Wales Institute of Higher Education.
  • There are two “state of the art” campuses, one on Grove Park Road (opened in 1998 in the centre of Wrexham) and another half a mile away on Bersham Road where the Engineering and Construction provision is located.  The latter has had a recent rebuild and refurbishment completed as part of a £5 million capital project which has been 50% funded by the Welsh Assembly Government (and which Rhodri Morgan officially opened in April 2008). 
Summary of Results
Grade Awarded
How well do learners achieve?
How effective are teaching, training and assessment?
How well do the learning experiences meet the needs and interests of learners and the wider community?
How well are learners cared for, guided and supported?
How effective are leadership and strategic management?
How well do leaders and managers evaluate and improve quality and standards?
How efficient are leaders and managers in using resources?
Learning Area
Grade Awarded
Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies
Construction, Planning and the Built Environment
Retailing and Customer Services (including Transportation)
Business and Administration (including Accountancy)
Emma Bithell
PR Director

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