South Devon College

Inspiring our community through learning for all

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Awards and Successes



2008 South Devon College graded as outstanding in all areas


2014 The QAA conducted a review of our Higher Education in December 2014 awarding the College 2 commendations, and recognising 8 areas of particularly good practice. They judged both the quality and the enhancement of student learning opportunities to be exemplary. The full review can be read here.

South Devon College reassessed as Investors in people Gold/Champion in 2014

The role of an Investors in People Champion is a diverse one,commited to sharing and promoting best practise. Champions do this through:

  • Arranging and delivering four best practice activities a year (presentations, mentoring or hosting days)
  • Encouraging their suppliers, where appropriate, to work with Investors in People
  • Promoting Investors in People and their Champion status via their website or newsletters
  • Contributing to the development and evaluation of the Investors in People framework


Jobs, Education and Training

South Devon College worked in partnership with PETROC on an ESF funded NEET re-engagement project in 2014-15. The successful partnership helped engage young 16-18 year olds across Torbay and South Devon in innovative ways. The project over-exceeded its recruits and achieved 97% in both positive achievements and progressions.


Employer Engagement Award - TES FE Awards 2017

South Devon College has a long and successful track record of developing curricula in partnership with local employers. In South Devon and Torbay, there is a growing high-tech sector, with a cluster of businesses employing more than 1,000 people. South Devon College’s high-tech and digital department is seen as a hub of innovation, supporting businesses with a host of new ideas and developments. 

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Winner of Food and Drink category for sustainability initiative - Green Gown Awards 2016

South Devon College was crowned winner of the ‘Food and Drink’ Category at the annual national Green Gown Awards 2016 for their innovative project ‘Samphire- What a Pickle’. Established in 2004, the Green Gown Awards recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities, colleges and the learning and skills sectors across the UK and Ireland as the education sector leads a path to efficiency, employability and better quality of life for us all.

Highly Commended in Skills and Learning - Green Gown Awards 2015

This commendation recognised the exceptional work of the College's South West Energy Centre in opening new market opportunities for renewable technologies and promoting sustainability throughout the local area. 

National Training Awards 2012

In 2012 the Teacher Training Team reached the regional final for the National Training Awards.

Selected from a long list of over 1,500 entries the team were included on a short list of only three providers and ended the evening Highly Commended for their work delivering the Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS).

The team were delighted for this recognition of their outstanding contribution to professional development at the college and the right to describe initial teacher training at South Devon College as truly award winning.

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AAT Training Provider of the Year 2016

In May 2016, South Devon College was highlighted as the training provider of the year for delivering AAT (Accounting) qualifications. The Awards Ceremony celebrates the outstanding contributions of AAT training providers and students around the world.

Recognised by leading employers in the UK and around the world, AAT is the perfect qualification whether

you're just starting a career in finance, already working in industry or are looking to retrain in a new career.

British Marine Training and Development

British Marine Training and Development Award 2016

Noss Marine Academy, based at Noss Marina in Kingswear, won the award for Training and Development at the British Marine Awards Ceremony in London in March 2016. The award recognises Noss Marine Academy as a stimulating and supportive workplace with well-motivated, well-trained, ambitious and developed staff.

The team were delighted to be recognised as a leader in maritime skills.

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South Devon College receive Investor in Careers accreditation

The College received the accreditation as a result of their exemplary careers education, information, advice and guidance. The quality standard was awarded following rigorous assessment.

The Investor in Careers quality standard is a framework that assesses the management of careers education and support. This relates directly to students' awareness of career opportunities, as well as supporting them in achieving their goals and encouraging their career aspirations.

Beacon Status

2009 South Devon College awarded Beacon Status by LSIS. This is the top level educational status and recognises the College's achievements, amongst its peers, with particular emphasis on Ofsted's 'Outstanding' judgements concerning excellent provision.

Beacon Awards (National Awards co-ordinated by the Association of Colleges in respect of United Kingdom best practise)

2014 The JLT Employee Benefits Awards for Health and Wellbeing

2012 LSIS Award for Efficiency through Effective use of Technology in FE & Skills. Winner

2012 The 1st4sport Qualifications & Sportscoach UK Award for Sport in the Curriculum - Winner

2010 The YPLA Award for 14-19 Collaboration - Winner Outstanding Staff’ approach to employee development.Highly Commended

2008 The Jardine Lloyd Thompson Benefit Solutions Beacon Award for Health and Community Care (Health & Social Care) Winner

2007 The Edge Award for Practical Teaching and Practical Learning (in Automotive Engineering): Winner

The FENC Award for the Creative Use, Adaptation and Delivery of Learning Resources: Winner

The Eversheds Award for the Effective Use of Capital Development: Winner

The City and Guilds award for Staff Development in Further Education: Highly Commended

2006 Centre for Excellence in Leadership for Innovation in Curriculum Leadership & Development (Construction) Winner

STAR Awards (recognising staff contributions to national best practice in education and learner support)

2010 Tessa Aimes ACL Awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award

2009 Debi Smithson ACL Nominated for a STAR Teacher & Learner Practitioner

2008 Marie Hubbard ACL Runner up in ‘Skills for Life’ practitioner award

Marie Hubbard ACL Runner up in ‘Skills for Life’ practitioner award

2007 Michael Prossser, Learning Support Technician Shortlisted in the Category ‘Outstanding Contribution to Learning Support’

Pearson Teaching Awards 2013

South Devon College is celebrating the fact that in March 2013, three members of staff were named as regional finalists in these prestigious Awards.

  • Rob Shears, Computing & IT Lecturer is a finalist for the University of Exeter Ted Wragg Award for Lifetime Achievement
  • Nicky Hawkins, Teacher Training Lecturer and Anna Heath, Section Head for Children, Health, Access & Public Services are both finalists for the Pearson Award for FE Teacher/Lecturer of the Year.

Staff Awards

Gail Tucker, an ACL tutor at Brixham, was awarded the ‘Education Worker of the Year’ in 2010. The College also had finalists in two other categories, Katie Babbs in the ‘Green/Contribution to the Environment’ category.

FE Choices latest comparators – General Further Education and Tertiary Colleges

As at March 2016

Measure Data Year Performance Average Sector Performance
Learner Satisfaction 15/16 8.8 8.2
Employer Satisfaction 15/16 9.2 7.9

Courses delivered at South Devon College are used by the European Social Fund to enable them to invest in reducing the differences in prosperity across the EU and enhance economic and social cohesion.

Matrix accredited

South Devon College is fully accredited for the effective delivery of impartial careers information, advice and guidance for applicants and current students.

BECTA Technology Exemplar Status

South Devon College is recognised for its exemplary use of technology to support learning by an award from BECTA and has been an advisor to support selected colleges to help them develop their technology strategies.


National Student Survey 2015 (University Students)

The National Student Survey for 2015 identified that 94% of students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course with a response rate 84%. The national satisfaction rate for England in 2015 was 86% with a response rate of 67%, which placed South Devon Collage as the leading institution in the South West and in the top percentile of all universities and colleges delivering university level courses in England.

The College has achieved a satisfaction rate higher than the national rate in the key areas of Academic Support, Teaching and Assessment & Feedback, and for all courses in Academic Studies in Education (into which the Foundation Degree in Early Years Care and Education falls), satisfaction with the College’s course was an amazing 100%. With a response rate of 96% of students this placed the College top of all university providers in the country.

The National Student Survey, is conducted by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and IPOS Mori, supported by the National Union of Students (NUS) and undertaken by all final year university students in England.

Duke of Edinburgh Award

2009 South Devon College recognised as an Independent Operating Authority Licensed Centre for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (the DofE).

Fairtrade Status

We have been awarded Fairtrade Accreditation by the Fairtrade Foundation, who have granted us ‘Fairtrade’ status. This means we officially: use Fairtrade products as far as possible; learn about how global trade works and why Fairtrade is important; and take action for Fairtrade in College and the community

Special Inspiration Games

Pupils and teachers at South Devon College celebrated on 2nd February 2010 when they were officially welcomed in to London 2012’s Get Set network in recognition of their commitment to the Olympic and Paralympic Values.

Podium Award

The sports department were also Bronze medallists for the Award for Outstanding Sporting Project at the National “Podium” Awards in 2012. Podium is a government funded body facilitation London 2012 legacy opportunities. The award to South Devon College was in recognition of the Special Inspiration Games, which aims to inspire young people with learning difficulties or disabilities aged 14-25 to take part in activities that they may not have tried before. The project involved community groups, local schools and colleges.

Established in 2004, the Green Gown Awards recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities, colleges and the learning and skills sectors across the UK and Ireland as the education sector leads a path to efficiency, employability and better quality of life for us all.