HMS Sultan has become the first military training academy to be rated outstanding by Ofsted inspectors.
The Royal Navy’s engineering school in Gosport was praised by inspectors following a visit earlier this year.
It comes 12 months after Sultan – which employs 3,000 people – was saved from closure when the government axed plans to build a new £13bn military training establishment in St Athan, Wales.
There are still concerns over Sultan’s future as the government carries out an ongoing review of MoD training bases. But Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said the top Ofsted grade will boost efforts to keep the Military Road establishment open.
She said: ‘This is fantastic news for HMS Sultan and for Gosport. It confirms what we have all known – that the engineering training delivered at Sultan is second to none and is a massive asset for the military.’
The base, which trains 5,000 sailors every year, is the first military training facility ever to achieve an outstanding grade during the annual inspection, which looks at the welfare and the duty of care for recruits and trainees in armed forces training across all of the MoD’s 11 sites.
Inspectors praised Sultan’s attention paid to supporting each trainee’s personal, training and learning needs.
Commodore Mark Slawson, who is commanding officer of HMS Sultan, said: ‘I would like to pass my sincere thanks to all personnel who were involved in the recent Ofsted inspection.
‘Sultan staff involved in the welfare and duty of care for trainees should be rightly proud of their achievements.’