KIRKLEES College chiefs are celebrating after almost 100% of students passed their courses last year.

The college achieved a 96% pass rate – up 1% from 2010/11.

As well as increasing the pass rate for another year, the retention rate of students has increased which had been a priority for college principal Peter McCann last year.

He said: “I’m extremely proud of our staff for the tremendous effort they have made this year to maintain and improve upon these fantastic pass rates.

“The students have been enthusiastic, hardworking and motivated so it was a great combination for success.

“We’re also absolutely delighted that we have improved on helping students to stay the course at college and make sure they complete their qualification.

“In three years our retention rate has increased from 69% up to 82% last year and is now above national average at 93%.

“This has been a key area for improvement for the college and is down to the hard work in recruiting school leavers to courses that are right for them and then supporting students in and outside the classroom.

“The best result is that we are helping students go on to achieve their ambitions and dreams.”

One student who achieved the highest grading possible on his course has praised the college.

Ethan George, 19, from Dalton, didn’t miss a single class during his three years at the college studying NVQ level 3 professional cookery and won an achievement award from the hospitality department in the College Outstanding Learner Success awards.

“The past year has been full of great and challenging experiences,’’ he said.

“I have learned many new skills and met lots of great people.

“The trips throughout the year were excellent and enjoyed by all.

“The course has given me the skills and confidence to work within the industry and has been a great journey.

“After college I worked in a two rosette hotel in the Cornwall for the summer and I’m going to work a ski season in France for the winter.”

Simon Hallas, Ethan’s tutor said, “Ethan is a credit to the college. I know the course has helped to put him on the right path to a very successful career in the catering industry.

“Ethan won an achievement award from the hospitality department in the College Outstanding Learner Success awards. He was also a peer mentor working with the University of the First Age to help schoolchildren learn how to produce a pop up restaurant.

“He supervised them in cooking for the elderly in the community whilst also peer mentoring on the junior chef academy and played a large part in a Kirkwood hospice charity event. He left college with confidence and qualifications.”