FAREHAM College has been labelled 'outstanding' in a glowing report by Ofsted inspectors.
Staff at the Fareham establishment say they are 'absolutely thrilled' with the result which see's the college in Bishopsfield Road receive the highest accolade for the first time in its 33-year history.
It is also only one of four other further education colleges across the country to receive the 'outstanding' status under the new tougher Ofsted framework that came into play in September 2015.
The college received 'outstanding' in six of seven respective fields, including leadership effectiveness, the quality of teaching, 16 to 19 study programmes and apprenticeships following the four-day inspection last month.
Nigel Duncan, the college's principal said: 'We are absolutely thrilled with the outstanding Ofsted result.
'Our dedicated team of academic and support staff have worked incredidbly hard to ensure we are driving the best technical and professional education in the South.
'Every member of staff, no matter what role they play in the organisation, our students and our employee partners, gave their all during the inspection. Staff performance is consistently outstanding and student behaviour exemplary - what more could a principal ask for?'
Student employment prospects at the college were cited as exemplary, with 98 per cent of students and apprentices, of all ages, progressing to positive destinations that include employment, apprenticeships or further study.
The college's manufacturing and engineering campus CEMAST in Lee-on-the-Solent also received particular praise.
Within the report, an inspector noted: 'Students work confidently and studiously during learning activities and demonstrate very well developed personal and social skills.
'Students gain employability skills that employers value, such as problem-solving, professionalism, resilience and working well in teams. They are respectful of each other and of teachers and visitors.'
At its last inspection in 2013, the college was rated 'good with outstanding features.'
Andrew Kaye, its deputy principal added: 'It has been a long road to the top, but, with extremely hard work from everyone in the organisation, particularly our amazing students, we are proud to say we've made it!
'It is onwards and upwards from here to maintain our success and ensure we continue to provide the excellent training and education we have become known for.'
The college is currently home to 3,381 students with 628 of those students studying apprenticeships.
It has recently completed the construction of a new civil engineering training centre (CETC) on the site of Daedalus which opened in August 2017.
This academic year also saw the return of A-Levels for the college's top students across a select number of subjects.