Furness College has been honoured by receiving chartered status in London.
The Barrow college is one of the first in the country to become a member of the Chartered Institution of Further Education. The college has received chartered status for the high quality of education it provides.
Members of the team from the Channelside institution headed to London on Wednesday, February 1 for an admissions ceremony at Apothecaries' Hall, hosted by Lord Lingfield, chairman of the Chartered Institution for Further Education.
Furness College had to demonstrate quality across the board in areas including teaching and learning, governance, finance, and engagement with the local community and employers.
The Chartered Institution for Further Education said Furness College passed a "rigorous process", confirming its position as "a leading performer in the sector."
Only three other colleges nationally have chartered status.
Andrew Wren, principal and chief executive of Furness College, said: "To receive this recognition as one of the highest performing colleges in the country shows that the quality of education on offer in Furness holds its own on the national stage. We have a fantastic college that is very much part of our community, helping students to achieve their career goals and providing quality training to meet employers' needs and we're delighted to receive chartered status today."
College staff including Deputy Principal Curriculum and Quality Mark Nicholson and Deputy Principal Finance and Resources John Smith were joined by Chair of Governors John Butler, Vice Chair of Governors Trish Kidd and Jonathan Lee from CN Group at the ceremony.
Schools Minister Nick Gibb also attended the event alongside former Further Education Minister John Hayes, who received an honorary fellowship.
Speaking at the event Minister John Hayes said people who acquired practical skills gained a sense of value and that practical learning was creative, whether it was high tech skills or craft.
“You are changing lives by changing life chances and the difference you are making to those lives makes me proud of the work you are doing and my small part in it,” he said.
Furness College also topped the national league table for the progress students make after school.
The college is rated as the highest-performing general further education college in the country for value added score, according to the government performance tables.
Figures showed that each student taking applied general qualifications at the Channelside campus gained an average of plus 0.7 of a grade higher than they would have been expected to achieve given their GCSE results.
Barrow Sixth Form College is now part of Furness College. The Rating Lane campus also has a high valued-added measure of plus 0.18 which is in the top quarter of colleges across the country.