We’re proud to be ranked among the UK’s very best colleges

New ƵAPP Durham currently ranks among the UK’s top colleges, thanks to our achievement and success rates (2022/23).

When you enrol here, you’ll be signing up for a top tier college experience, delivered by a team of staff dedicated to continual improvement, and praised for every  aspect of our education and extra-curricular offering.

We are proud to be the first college in the North East to be awarded a ‘Strong’ skills rating from Ofsted, with an overall rating of ‘Good’ with ‘Outstanding’ Personal Development and consistently 'Good' for all other judgement areas completed.

We have a curriculum informed by our close working relationships with employers ensuring our students develop the crucial knowledge, skills and behaviours that are needed to gain employment and progress their studies;  and each year over 92% of our students progress into positive destinations including employment, apprenticeships, higher education and continued further education.

We are  delighted to pioneer whenever possible and were the only North East college to offer all three of the first T levels; and we are the lead further education college for the North East Institute of Technology

Our overall achievement rate places us in the top colleges nationally for performance.  Not only that, but our student achievements and retention rates are among the best in the country!

For  Apprenticeships NCD has a success rate of 72.4%, fourth highest performing General Further Education (GFE) college for Apprenticeships nationally, and 17.8% above the national average. Within the region, the college ranks second highest and holds the title of number one for regional GFEs with more than 100 apprentices. NCD is also the highest performing regional college in these areas:

  • Construction, Planning and the Built Environment
  • Education and Training
  • Health, Public Services and Care
  • Retail and Commercial Enterprise

In Further Education NCD has an achievement rate of 88.4%, surpassing the national average by 4.2%, and placing the college in the top 13% nationally.

Within adult provision, NCD is the 4th ranked GFE college nationally, with an outstanding 94.7% of adults achieving their qualifications. Within the North East region, the college is the 2nd highest performer.

We are particularly proud that our students really enjoy studying at NCD and our student satisfaction levels are consistently above 90%. 

Ofsted 'Strong' rating

NCD became the first college in the North East to be awarded a ‘Strong’ skills rating from Ofsted. An overall rating of ‘Good’ with ‘Outstanding’ Personal Development and consistently 'Good' for all other judgement areas completed a glowing report from the education watchdog following assessment in November 2022.

Feedback from the lead inspector contained many outstanding features including a statement confirming ‘a really consistent and solid strong profile’.

The report highlighted a range of areas where the college was outstanding including a comprehensive enrichment programme that helps learners discover their interests and talents beyond their main programme of study, well qualified and experienced teaching staff and the provision of impartial careers advice and guidance at different stages of learning.  The report also commended the significant improvement in the quality of teaching on functional skills courses.

Inspectors praised the behaviour of learners in lessons and communal areas stating they are ‘respectful, polite and courteous. It was noted that learners participated well in lessons and feel valued and listened to during the many, high-quality interactions that they have with college staff.

pdf Ofsted Inspection Report (166 KB)

Beacon Award Winner

In 2024 NCD won the AoC Beacon award: City & Guilds Award for ƵAPP Engagement with Employers.  

Attracting hundreds of applications from all over the country each year, the Beacon Awards are the most prestigious awards in further education and have been running for 29 years. The Beacon awards celebrate the best and most innovative practice in further education colleges and demonstrate the far-reaching impact of colleges on their students and the communities they serve. 

The award is in recognition of New ƵAPP Durham’s proactive approach to employer engagement and the positive impact it is having on the region. NCD has committed to contributing significantly to the region's skill requirements by implementing a strategic and invested approach to stakeholder engagement and collaboration to create a curriculum that meets skill needs and maximizes opportunities for employers and individuals.  

We’re also charged with leading by example and skill-sharing with other colleges and education providers. As a Beacon Status college, we work to raise the performance of other colleges through example and collaboration.