Independent inspectors have rated City College Brighton and Hove as good with some outstanding features.
The Ofsted inspectors gave the further education college, based in Pelham Street, an upbeat report after carrying out a week-long inspection last month.
The report said: “City College is a good college, with outstanding leadership and with outstanding capacity to sustain and make further improvements.
“It has made significant progress since the previous inspection.”
The report said that teaching and learning were good and added: “Outstanding leadership and management have created a culture of high expectations for staff and learners and an ethos of reflection and review to promote continuous improvement.”
City College’s development and use of partnerships was also rated as outstanding.
The report said: “Its use of links with employers provides tangible benefits to its learners, including opportunities for progression to jobs and the development of enterprise and employability skills.”
In terms of full-time course success rates, it has also recently been confirmed that City College is 14th in the league of England’s 234 general further education colleges.
For success rates on Level 3 courses – A-levels and their equivalents – the college is the 5th best in the country.
The principal Phil Frier said: “It’s a tribute to the hard work and commitment of every member of staff over the last four years.
“These are excellent inspection results of which we’re incredibly proud.
“I’ve known for some time that we’re very good at what we do in providing a great experience for our students and ensuring that they get the best qualifications possible.
“It’s terrific though that Ofsted have now confirmed this.
“These results now give us the high-level foundation on which to build an outstanding college over the next few years – the kind of college where we’ll be proud for our families and friends to be educated.”
Student Dan Ancell said: “City College provided me with an opportunity to thrive as a motor vehicle student when I came back into education as a 22-year-old and I’m extremely proud of the Ofsted result and all the students I’ve spoken to feel the same way.
“When the inspection was happening, we had the opportunity to represent our course areas and let the inspectors know what the college is like from a student’s perspective and I think the report reflects how excellent the student experience is here.”
Simon Fanshawe, chairman of the Brighton and Hove Economic Partnership, said: “By training so many local people, City College is in the driving seat of the city’s economy.
“With this latest spectacular Ofsted result under Phil Frier’s leadership, it’s really moved into the fast lane.”
College governor Pat Hawkes, a former president of the National Union of Teachers, said: “I’m so delighted with this report because it recognises the fact that the college not only provides an excellent learning experience for traditionally high-achieving students en route to university but also nurtures those who may have struggled at school to successfully find their vocation and follow their passion.
“I think this seal of approval from Ofsted is a real tribute to the college’s incredibly committed staff and will make more and more local people of all ages realise that City College has something to offer them when it comes to gaining new qualifications and skills.”
Mr Frier said: “All the curriculum areas inspected were a real credit to the college as the grades show but I’m particularly pleased to see the superb teaching staff from our Visual and Performing Arts department getting the recognition and praise they deserve with this outstanding grade.
“The department’s reputation locally for being a hotbed of creativity where students continually excel is well deserved but this report puts the official stamp on its excellence.”