Education leader appointed as head of college board

Furness College takes a step into the New Year with a new chair of governors.

Experienced educational professional Caroline Vernon has been appointed to lead the board.

John Butler, of the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency, steps down after nearly a decade at the helm and will take up a vice-chair role with Jan Fielding, former deputy head at Barrow Sixth Form, who also continues as vice-chair.

Caroline, who is headteacher of Victoria Academy, said: “Furness College is the largest provider of education and skills training in Cumbria with £47million investment over the past few years.

“To have such a high-quality learning environment here in the heart of Barrow is critical to the future of industry. I am looking forward to overseeing future innovative developments across the two campuses to ensure students continue to have the skills they succeed in further study or the workplace.”

Furness College merged with Barrow Sixth Form College two years ago to offer an unrivalled subject choice for young learners with a commitment to high-quality provision for the local community.

Principal and Chief Executive Andrew Wren said: “We are delighted to have three very experienced leaders heading up our board of governors with impressive track records both in education and business to reflect the needs of our college community.

“Caroline is a well-respected education professional who is a great asset to our board. We were very lucky to have John lead us through a successful merger with the sixth form and are very glad he is staying on. Post-16 education is in very good hands.”

The merger has seen the two colleges form one partnership but operate across the two campuses – Channelside and Rating Lane – with both retaining their separate sites and identities.

The Governing Body’s membership includes three student governors, who are all studying at Furness College, they represent the Higher Education, vocational education and academic education the college now offers. As well as sitting on the Board of Governors they are also members of the Learner Experience Committee and provide valuable input and learner voice to the committee.

The college offers a wide choice of qualifications from A levels and apprenticeships to vocational courses and university degrees.

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