Welcome to Furness College and Barrow Sixth Form College!
Whether you are looking to learn new skills, progress on to a degree or thinking of a career change, we are delighted that you are considering studying at Furness College. Here, excellent teaching and support, world-class facilities and outstanding links with our many employer partners come as standard. Following our merger with Barrow Sixth Form College, we now offer the largest choice of courses in Cumbria ranging from professional and technical courses, such as CTECs, BTECs, apprenticeships and T Levels, through to a range of more than 20 A Level subjects and higher education courses.
2020-2021 has been an extraordinary year and posing some incredible challenges to our staff and students. However, I am delighted with the response of our team to maintain teaching and learning, to ensure that students are not disadvantaged when progressing on to the next stage of their lives. We will all work closely with students during 2022-2023 to ensure they are not behind with their studies and that they go on to achieve their full potential.
We were inspected by Ofsted in March 2019 and judged to be a good college. We were particularly praised for our strong outcomes for students and excellent links with employers leading to good job prospects. We have also been judged to have outstanding financial health by the Education and Skills Funding Agency which enables us to continue investing in our world-class facilities. We are one of the first colleges in the country to hold chartered status recognising us as a leading national performer for further education and our higher education is graded as the best in the county with a silver award under the national Teaching Excellence Framework.
From September 2022, Furness College will offer five pathways for the new, prestigious T Level qualifications. T Levels are new two-year courses which follow GCSEs and are equivalent to three A Levels. They combine classroom theory, practical learning and a 315-hour (45 day) industry placement to give students real experience of the workplace. T Levels have been developed alongside employers and businesses to meet the needs of industry and prepare students for work. They provide the skills, knowledge and experience needed to open the door to highly skilled employment, higher level study or an apprenticeship. Furness College will offer T Levels in digital, education and childcare, health, science and new for September 2022 engineering.
T Levels are ideal if you have completed your GCSEs and want to get into a skilled job. This qualification will help ensure you build the knowledge and experience to get the job you want. T Levels are being developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so it means the skills learned match the industry requirements.
T Levels offer students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days). Skills learnt in the classroom can then be applied to the workplace. They provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door into skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship.
In addition to curriculum developments, there has been significant investment recently across both of our fantastic campuses at Channelside and Rating Lane so the quality of the learning environment can match our excellent teaching. In its leafy environment at Rating Lane, the sixth form has a university feel and a solid reputation for academic excellence. Our experience shows that whatever your GCSE grades, you will go on to achieve better A Level results with us. Our Channelside campus provides outstanding technical and vocational facilities, recognised as state of the art by the employers with whom we work.
Outside of the classrooms and workshops, we also offer a range of extra-curricular opportunities including trips, sports, clubs, guest speakers, work experience and volunteering opportunities to get involved in community life. If you are interested in future leadership roles, you could become a student representative or student governor.
We hope that you will visit us soon at one of our open evenings and taster days where you can talk to staff and students and have a look around our superb facilities, and that you say ‘yes’ to beginning the next step of your journey with us. I look forward to meeting you.
Professor Andrew Wren
Principal and Chief Executive