Truro and Penwith College is celebrating this week after ranking 26th in the top 100 of a national index which highlights the very best in the promotion of inclusion and diversity.

The college has been ranked 26 out of a total of 600 organisations from across the UK, for its work on promoting equality, diversity and inclusion to its 1,200 staff, 5,500 full-time, 16-18 year-old students and 1,000 university level students.

A number of initiatives have been implemented at the college which helped secure its high position in the National Centre for Diversity (NCFD) Top 100 Index. At the heart are the College’s high levels of individual student support, on both academic and welfare matters.

College principal David Walrond said: “We are delighted that the National Centre for Diversity has recognised the college’s commitment and track record in promoting diversity and inclusion. For staff, this recognition reflects the high levels of support they offer to meet the needs of all individuals who come here. It recognises the collective focus on closing the achievement gaps between minority or disadvantaged groups and the rest of the cohort. For students, it gives confidence that our focus is on promoting equality of opportunity to a very diverse range of individuals, irrespective of background. Some of the emerging data and stories about inclusion, diversity, widening participation and social mobility, nationally and locally, can make rather cheerless reading, so it’s great to have something positive to report from Cornwall.”

The new accolade, which was celebrated at the NCFD’s first annual awards evening in Birmingham this week, comes soon after the college was re-accredited by the centre as an Investor in Diversity in 2015.

The top 100 ranking was assessed using data compiled when Truro and Penwith College received the Investor in Diversity award, when NCFD assessors spoke with students, staff, governors, local suppliers and the local community.

That NCFD assessor’s report highlighted a number of ways the college was tackling socio-economic disadvantage to promote inclusion and achievement, such as crèche facilities, assistance with bus travel, and a new cashless catering system introduced to support students in receipt of free school meals.