Inspection and Review Reports

Ofsted Inspection
Furness College is a GOOD college with OUTSTANDING provision in Engineering.

Furness College was graded a GOOD college.
Engineering was graded OUTSTANDING.

We were inspected by Ofsted from 24 – 27 March 2015

Inspection Grades:

Overall effectiveness:  Good 2
Outcomes for learners:  Good 2
Quality of teaching, learning and assessment:  Good 2
Effectiveness of leadership and management:  Good 2

Furness College is a good provider:

  • The proportions of students and apprentices aged 16 to 18 who achieve are high
  • Students benefit from very good information, advice and guidance, which ensures they undertake the most appropriate course, make good progress and support their choice of destination
  • Managers have very strong working and strategic relationships with employers and the Local Enterprise Partnership and have led on the development of the Furness economic delivery plan; they develop the curriculum to meet students’, employers’ and local skills needs very well

Outcomes for Learners:

  • Successful outcomes for functional skills students aged 16 to 18 are above average and for adults they are typical of the sector.
  • Most students make the progress expected of them, given their prior attainment and the proportion doing so has increased.
  • A very high proportion of students on 16 to 19 study programmes undertake or have planned work experience with external employers.
  • Many students develop good employability skills.
  • The proportion of apprentices who are successful increased last year and is high,
  • Most leavers progress to suitable employment, higher education, other further education or self-employment.

The quality of teaching, learning and assessment

  • Teaching, learning and assessment are good as reflected in the good overall outcomes for students.
  • A large majority of teachers and assessors are well qualified and use their extensive industrial experience to develop students’ and apprentices’ skills.
  • Students enjoy college because they feel valued and they enjoy gaining skills that will aid their future progression
  • Students receive challenging long-term targets.
  • Information, advice and guidance are good. Improved and clear processes put the welfare of the student at the heart of the college.

Teaching, learning and assessment in engineering are outstanding because:

  • the proportions of students making better progress than expected, moving on to higher levels, and achieving their qualifications are very high;
  • teachers have extremely high expectations of learners;
  • links with employers and the local community are exceptional and very well-established;
  • full-time students engage with extremely meaningful work-related activities to help them develop very good skills for employment;
  • teachers are very well qualified and experienced; accommodation, resources and equipment are of a very high standard and local employers provide outstanding specialist materials, tools and equipment
  • teachers exploit opportunities in lessons to explore social and cultural diversity very effectively;

Manufacturing Apprenticeships

  • Apprentices produce a high standard of work,
  • Enthusiastic, highly motivated and highly qualified teachers and assessors have good industrial experience,
  • Teachers and assessors provide effective one-to-one support on a frequent basis, helping apprentices to make good progress;


  • The proportion of students who gain their functional skills qualification is high,
  • The development of speaking and listening skills in lessons is good


  • Students develop good work-related skills in lessons,
  • Teachers integrate information learning technology very effectively to develop students’ self-study skills.

For the full report visit the Ofsted website

Quality Assurance Agency Review
The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) visited Furness College in February 2016 to undertake a full Higher Education Review. The result was exceptionally positive and complemented many areas of the College’s HE practice across a broad range of subjects.

The QAA team formed the following judgements about the Higher Education provision at Furness College:

  • The maintenance of the academic standards of awards offered on behalf of degree-awarding bodies and other awarding organisations meets UK expectations;
  • The quality of student learning opportunities meets UK expectations;
  • The quality of the information about learning opportunities meets UK expectations;
  • The enhancement of student learning opportunities is commended.

Good practice The QAA team identified the following features of good practice at Furness College:

  • The drawing together of data from a range of sources to inform comprehensive action plans, which are aligned to internal and external benchmarks;
  • The effective relationship between the College and stakeholders that enables the College to make timely adjustments to the curriculum to maintain relevance and currency;
  • The strategic approach that enables all stakeholders to work together to identify and seamlessly develop enhancement opportunities of mutual benefit;
  • The culture of enhancement that pervades all aspects of College provision.

Recommendations The QAA team makes the following recommendations to Furness College. By September 2016:

  • Implement formal structured training for student representatives.

For the full report, visit the QAA website

LA14 2PJ
Rating Lane
LA13 9LE
Contact Us Tel: 01229 825 017 (Channelside Campus)
Tel: 01229 828 377 (Barrow Sixth Form College)
Email: info@furness.ac.uk
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Email: businesssupport@furness.ac.uk