Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group has been rated outstanding by Ofsted, in the first inspection since the merger between Newcastle-under-Lyme College and Stafford College in 2016.
Stafford College's last rating in 2016 before the merger was inadequate – the lowest rating.
Inspectors commended the way in which leaders and managers of the former Newcastle-under-Lyme College had "very effectively" brought about the merger with Stafford College.
Karen Dobson OBE, principal and chief executive of NSCG, said: “At the point of merger between Newcastle College and Stafford College, our ambition was to make NSCG one of the top colleges in the country and ultimately a great place to study and work.
"Now, only three years since the merger, Ofsted has recognised us as an ‘Outstanding’ college in all graded areas which is a fantastic achievement and a testament to the hard work, talent and total commitment of our staff team.
“The inspection itself was an intense week, but we wouldn’t have been able to achieve this result without our students, apprentices, governors and employer partners who gave us their total support throughout, each of them playing an important part in this successful outcome.”