Students and staff from a specialist art and design college in the north east are celebrating after achieving a series of fantastic results in A-levels and BTEC Extended Diplomas.

Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD) in Middlesbrough has maintained its record of a 100 per cent BTEC pass rate for more than 11 successive years. 66 percent of its BTEC Extended Diploma students gained a triple distinction (DDD) or above, which is the equivalent of three As at A-Level, an increase of three percent on last year.

Among the outstanding results revealed at the campus on Green Lane this year are the BTEC Extended Diplomas in Fashion and Textiles, which saw 75 percent of its students achieve DDD or above, and Graphics, where 73 percent of its students achieved a triple distinction or higher.

A-Level students have also have had another successful year at the college, with 85 percent achieving three A-C grades – well ahead of the national average.

18-year-old Eleanor Brennan from Chop Gate near Middlesbrough achieved three As for her A-levels in History of Art, Graphics and Fine Art. She is now going on to study Fine Art at Manchester Metropolitan University, her first choice of university.

The student, a former pupil at Stokesley School, was delighted with her results, which were better than expected. She said: “I got my results by email and opened them up when I was in bed early this morning. My friend had texted me earlier with her results so I thought I would check mine and when I saw it was three As I started crying. I wasn’t expecting an A in Graphics so it was a bit of a shock. My mum cried when I told her and my Dad cried as I told him when he was driving to work!

Eleanor Brennan 1

Eleanor with her fantastic results outside the college in Middlesbrough

Eleanor has really enjoyed her time at CCAD. “There is so much freedom with what you can study here and I really enjoyed that. As part of my Fine Art course, some students were painting but I did installation and others did sculpture. If you have an idea you can run with it, there is no restrictions, which is fantastic. It is more like a mini university and has given me the best preparation for university that I could ask for.”

After university, Eleanor would like to create her own street wear clothing brand. She added: “I think there is definitely a gap in market for clothing based on fine art and street wear so I would like to do something a bit different. A background in fine art is the best you can have as it is so varied.

“I would love to work as part of an art collective where creative people like tattoo artists, designers and writers are in one place and working together to create something really cool.”

Fellow A-level student Robyn Stock, 18 from Norton, also gained excellent results, with two As and one B in Fine Art, History of Art and English Language, and was over the moon with her results.

A former pupil at St Michael’s Catholic Academy in Billingham, Robyn said: “As soon as I got up this morning I clicked on the email. Even though the results are what I wanted and hoped for, I still can’t believe they are real, so I had to show my Mum straight away.”

Robyn is now planning to study a degree in The History of Art at Edinburgh University and visited the university last week for a look around. She added: “I had no idea what history of art was until I came to CCAD and it has introduced me to my career. Although I am not sure what my plans are after the four years at university, as I also plan to study for my masters, I am just going to enjoy it, learn and see where it takes me.”

Mum Gerry, said: “I think studying at CCAD has given her a step up in terms of university experience, as lots of people visiting university before they study History of Art have never experienced the subject before. I feel very proud of Robyn, she has worked very hard for these results, and I am thrilled.”

Martin Raby, Principal at Cleveland College of Art and Design, said: “We are exceptionally proud of the successes of our students this year and these fantastic results are testament to their commitment and hard work. I would like to congratulate them all on their achievements and wish them well as they move to university or employment.

“Cleveland College of Art and Design has again demonstrated its commitment to be one of the UK’s leading specialist art and design colleges. We pride ourselves on the quality of teaching, along with the employer-led learning, training and mentoring opportunities that are offered to our students, which mean they are better equipped for whatever choice they make next, whether that’s university study or the world of work.”

Patrick Chapman, Head of Employability and External Relations, added: “These results and our outstanding graduate employability record show that CCAD really is the place to study if you are serious about a career in the ever growing creative industries.”

Recently the north east art and design college announced its excellent performance in its higher education provision’s student employability statistics, taking on some of the best education institutions in the country and outperforming them with a stunning graduate success rate of 96.6 percent.

Employability statistics have put the college not only top in the region but fifth in the UK overall rankings and joint number one in the country for art and design degrees. This follows results from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) national survey of recent graduates, issued recently.

Comparing its HESA submission with employability data from the annual Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) league table, the college’s dedicated university level campus equals the top performing UK art and design institutions, with 96.6 percent of its 2015 graduates in work or further study six months after graduating, well above the national average of 93.9 percent.