Furness College is among the first in the country to achieve chartered status for the high quality of education.
The college – a partner of Choose Cumbria – has been accepted as a member of the Chartered Institution of Further Education after meeting the high standards set out by the organisation.
It had to demonstrate quality across the board in areas including teaching and learning, governance, finance and engagement with the local community and employers.
Making the announcement today (Tuesday, November 15), Lord Lingfield, Chairman of the Chartered Institution for Further Education, said: “Furness College has passed a rigorous process which has confirmed their position as a leading performer in the sector. I look forward to working with them and our growing membership to begin driving forward professionalism in further education.
“This is the next step along the path to recognising and celebrating what the sector does well, and achieving for it a status both nationally and internationally equivalent to that enjoyed by our higher education colleagues.”
Mark Nicholson, Deputy Principal Curriculum and Quality at Furness College, said it was a significant achievement.
He added: “This mark of quality is awarded only to high performing organisations and shows we are helping lead the way in how the further education sector is shaped in future to meet the needs of students and employers.”
The college was supported in its application by local employers including BAE Systems and CN Group, the award-winning company behind Choose Cumbria. Only three other colleges nationally have chartered status.
Ted Creighton, head of early careers and skills, Shared Services, at BAE Systems, also supported the application explaining how the company turned to Furness College to ‘provide outstanding programmes in support of the development of its staff at all levels from apprenticeships to Higher Education programmes’.
The college, which has recently merged with Barrow Sixth Form College, now runs across two sites – Channelside and Rating Lane – offering a broad range of vocational and academic qualifications from apprenticeships to A levels.