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Furness College named Best in Cumbria

10 October 2017 CandoFM News

Furness College has been named the Best College in Cumbria in the prestigious Golden Apple education awards.

Judges praised the wide range of courses and the college’s close links with industry, which is helping to meet the growing demand in the county for highly-skilled workers.

The county-wide awards, organised by CN Group, recognise excellence in education and learning in Cumbria.

Furness College has gone from strength to strength following a merger with Barrow Sixth Form and now runs across two campuses with a further education college at Channelside and a specialist sixth form campus at Rating Lane, both in Barrow.

Principal and Chief Executive Andrew Wren, who collected the award at a glittering ceremony at the University of Cumbria, praised staff and students. “This caps a remarkable year in which we have become the largest provider of education and skills training in Cumbria and won multiple counts of national recognition for the high quality of our programmes,” he said.

“The dedication and commitment of staff on both campuses to ensure the success of the merger has brought about fantastic results for our students and sound finances during challenging economic times. All of this was taken into consideration by the judges which led them to the conclusion that we are the best college in Cumbria. I am very proud to lead such a good college.”

The college maintains excellent links with industry and in 2016-17 opened the county’s first £4million Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Centre. In the government’s Teaching Excellence Framework report this year, Furness College scored an ‘excellent’ rating for ensuring students go into highly skilled employment after their studies and for the academic support it offers.Among the notable achievements in the past year, Furness College has been:

  • Awarded the county’s top placing of silver in the government’s Teaching Excellence Framework for the high quality of higher education and ‘consistently exceeding’ rigorous national quality requirements;
  • Rated as the highest-performing general Further Education college in the country for value added score in applied general qualifications in the government performance tables;
  • Recognised as a leading national performer in further education by becoming one of the first in the country to achieve chartered status after demonstrating quality across the board in areas including teaching and learning, governance, finance and engagement with the local community and employers;
  • Recognised by the National Skills Academy for Nuclear (NSAN) as a High Quality Provider for delivering excellence in skills training;
  • Become the first college in Cumbria and one of only 100 in the country to be awarded Leadership Academy Status by Sports Leaders UK recognising commitment to developing students’ leadership skills;
  • Awarded Fair Train’s Work Experience Quality Standard in recognition of best practice in delivering work experience programmes including work placements, internships, traineeships and apprenticeships. 

The Teaching Excellence Framework silver award followed in-depth analysis from a panel of experts who looked at the range of courses offered at the Channelside campus – from HNC and Foundation degrees to full Honours degrees – to rate the teaching quality, learning environment and outcomes for students.


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