Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Update

This page will provide you with the latest information and updates about Covid-19 (Coronavirus) in relation to the College.

UPDATED 01-04-2020

College Campus Closure
Furness College closed for face-to-face teaching across both the Channelside and Rating Lane campuses, and its other sites, from 5pm on Friday 20th March, except for our most vulnerable students. This is in line with national guidance from Public Health England and the Department for Education. Student and staff safety is our top priority and we are playing our part in minimising the transmission of the Coronavirus/Covid-19.

The college campuses will not reopen until advised to do so by Public Health England and the Department for Education, which is envisaged to be in several weeks’ time. This page will be updated when the campus reopening dates are available. Please note that this is relevant to all but our most vulnerable students – see opening times below.

Teaching and Learning Continues

All students are urged to check their emails regularly.
Our experienced staff will continue to teach students using the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) https://moodle.furness.ac.uk and students can access their work on this platform as instructed by their tutors. The college’s campuses may be closed to most students but teaching and learning carries on.

Tutors have advised students of the work they are expected to complete and they will also arrange video-conferences, group phone chats or email workshops. The learning never stops at Furness College.

It is critical that students continue with their study programme and work and learn from home. Some guidance on how grades will be calculated has been released by the Department for Education but this is a work in progress and is likely to take several weeks to finalise. The college is working with exam boards to ensure that students will gain the best results under the current circumstances and students should be reassured – Furness College will work extremely hard to get you the results you deserve.

It is very likely that work you continue to do may make an essential contribution to your grades so please continue to work with your tutors, complete the course work you have been set and prepare in the same way that you were planning if exams and assessed course work were to continue. This will stand you in good stead when we fully understand how grades are to be calculated. This is of the utmost importance.

Any updates on expected reopening will be posted on the VLE, our website www.furness.ac.uk and social media platforms (Facebook. Twitter. Instagram)

Exams and Grades
Click on the links below for the latest Government information on exams and grades:
Further details on exams and grades
Questions and answers on exams and grades

Opening Hours for Vulnerable Students
A dedicated is open at our Channelside campus at the dates/times below. This is to ensure that Vulnerable Students still have access to face-to-face support from members of our student services, pastoral or inclusion team. The team will also be able to answer urgent questions about bursaries and meals.

Week commencing Tues 14 April, 2020
Channelside campus: Tuesday 14 April, 10am to 2pm and Friday 17 April, 10am to 2pm.

Dates for the week commencing 20 April will be announced shortly.

All college sites are closed over the Easter break but students are still able to contact the college using the contact details below.

If you need to contact the college during the times when the campuses are closed, you can reach us by emailing info@furness.ac.uk or calling the switchboard, which will be staffed remotely from 9am to 5pm on weekdays, on 01229 825017.

The remote support for students will continue to be provided by tutors and it is crucial that students continue to undertake the work they have been set.

Free College Meals
Furness College has a number of students who are entitled to free college meals (comparable to free school meals). We await information from the Department for Education on the national voucher scheme it is implementing but, in the interim period, eligible students will have funds transferred to their bank accounts to enable them to buy meals at available outlets. The amount of funds paid will be directly related to the number of days per week which students attend the college. If you require further information, please contact the college on 01229 825017 or email at info@furness.ac.uk.

Please only contact college if the information you require is not available on our website.

Response from Furness College Students’ Union
The Union is proud to say that the college has reacted incredibly well, with the students’ welfare at the front of every decision. So far, the college has the following provision:

  • A drop-in service for vulnerable students with a handful of key staff (daily, 10am-3pm). This allows students to get support, if needed;
  • Shared mental health resources (links to Kooth, SAFA etc.)among staff to help struggling students;
  • The Union has been promoting GoodSAM among the student body to help increase the community response to the virus;
  • The college staff have delivered food parcels (and other essential supplies, I.e. hygiene packs) to the students who need them most;
  • The tutors are all delivering sessions online, however the sports facilities are also doing daily exercise videos for students to help them keep active during the lockdown.

Further Information
The Department for Education (DfE) has launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and students can contact the helpline by telephone and email:
Phone: 0800 046 8687 Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
The helpline is open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

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
Business Support Tel: 01229 844 836
Email: businesssupport@furness.ac.uk