The Isle of Wight College has been awarded the prestigious whole-college re-accreditation for the Matrix Standard. The Matrix Standard is the unique quality framework for the effective delivery of impartial information, advice and guidance (IAG) about learning and work.

Although many colleges have partial matrix accreditation not all have been successful in obtaining accreditation for the whole college; and many have no IAG accreditation at all. At The Isle of Wight College this means the quality of the service extends to the main campus and outreach centres and with the service meeting the needs of school students, adults and businesses alike. The College has continued its development of a broad range of support services to learners and IAG is now fully embedded across the College.

Not only does the college have its own Careers Adviser (Catherine Jackson, formerly with Connexions) but also a team trained in information, advice and guidance skills and mandated to offer impartial guidance to all learners. The matrix Standard has given the whole college a focus for IAG and their role within it and how to continue to improve the support for clients.

During the Accreditation Review, which involved assessment over 3 days, and interviews with learners, employers and partners, many areas of good practice were identified including:

  • “Resources at the College are exceptional and they offer learners environments where they are well-cared for, safe and have access to eminently suitable facilities and equipment to aid their learning. From the superb Sixth Form building, the Learning Resources Centre, teaching areas and through to the vocational skills areas, learners have the ultimate provision and support to meet their educational ambitions.”
  • “Innovation and application of technology has been taken to a new level at the College, whereby internal expertise has embraced emerging trends and developed realistic usage that informs and enhances the daily lives of its learners.”
  • “The ICT resources at the College are at least equal to, and in most cases, beyond those of other further education institutes.”
  • “Learners were genuinely in awe of the quality and speed of information resources available to them.”

It was commented within the report that all learners interviewed were unanimous in their appreciation of the advice and continuing support they received over time and the dedication of the staff and commented:

It’s a very safe place here and there is always someone to help you if you need it

You’re allowed to be independent; they treat you like adults; which is a totally new thing for me

I’m doing management Level 3, but already they have said I could go on to a HND or go to university; that has surprised me

I was nervous about computers, but they show you and help you to look for things yourself on the internet

It’s so much better than school; they even know your first name – you are an individual

The report concluded…

“The Isle of Wight College not only presents itself as a nationally recognised ‘College of Outstanding Status’, but is clearly intent on retaining that accolade in its future strategy. A focused, dedicated and committed leadership supported by an equally fervent team of professionals, offers excellence in an on-going manner. The desire to exceed and improve is palpable and spreads to the learners themselves.”

We are delighted with this re-accreditation as the College continues to go from strength to strength. It proves The College is customer centred, learner centred, client centred, and students are knowledgeable and informed. The college is providing dynamic information, advice and guidance. WOW!

Debbie Lavin CBE, College Principal

Fulfilling the mission of ‘Putting Students First’, ‘Working with Employers’ and ‘Developing the Community’.


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