National assessor gives college top marks

National assessor gives college top marks

A prestigious company has praised Suffolk New College leaders, staff, students and apprentices during an independent review of its information, advice and support services.

A team from the Growth Company’s ‘matrix standard’ spoke to staff, students, apprentices and the college’s senior leadership team, during a seven day assessment of the college’s information, advice and guidance (IAG) practices in May of this year.

(An international quality framework, the matrix standard is the Department for Education’s benchmark for ensuring that establishments who provide IAG do so at a high level and with integrity, supporting individuals in their choice of career, learning, work and life goals).

Although already accredited to the matrix standard, May’s review gave the College’s leadership team an exciting opportunity to include its IAG provision at Suffolk Rural (at Otley) and On The Coast (Leiston) for the first time.

At the end of the week-long assessment, the college received high praise indeed for their IAG services, successfully maintaining their previous accreditation of this gold standard – only this time with the addition of two more campuses. Within the outcome report, it was noted that the college has ‘clear leadership and direction’, ‘learners spoke of trust in staff’ and it stated that the college has ‘responded well to the demands of lockdown learning’.

The assessors went on to conclude that ‘Suffolk New College’s Accreditation Review against the matrix Standard showcased that high-quality IAG support permeates all aspects of the learner experience’.

Director of Student Services at Suffolk New College, Greer Hill, led the team during the week long scrutiny. She said:

“I’m absolutely thrilled with the result. Being recognised in this way for the high quality, independent advice and guidance we provide to our students and apprentices at each stage of their individual journey with us, enabling them to reach their potential, achieve and succeed, is immensely rewarding.
“Having to go through the process remotely brought about its own set of challenges and as a college we are exceptionally proud of the outcome. Maintaining our accreditation at this time is an important endorsement of our efforts to adapt to and embrace change. Providing exceptional care, safeguarding, support and opportunities for our students and apprentices remains as high a priority as ever”.

Mrs Hill, continued, “It’s particularly pleasing that all of our campuses have been recognised for the information, advice and guidance they provide, especially considering the huge challenges we have had to overcome during lockdown. Looking ahead, we cannot wait to welcome both existing and new students to the college from September. Staff are available throughout the summer for anyone wanting to find out more about what we offer across the college”.

Roger Chapman, Head of Service, matrix Standard, for The Growth Company, said:

“This is a fantastic achievement for Suffolk New College and I would like to congratulate the team on their success. We believe that at the heart of high-quality advice and support services are strong leadership, excellent service and a focus on continuous improvement. With their accreditation success, Suffolk New College is working to provide the best possible support to their clients.”