[S]taff and students are celebrating after Furness College topped the national league table for the progress students make after school.
The college is now rated as the highest-performing general Further Education college in the country for value added score, according to the government performance tables.
It shows that each student taking applied general qualifications at the Channelside campus gained an average of 0.7 of a grade higher than they would have been expected to achieve given their GCSE results. These include BTEC nationals and qualifications awarded by the Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education (CACHE).
The value-added measure was also very high for A levels at Barrow Sixth Form College, now part of Furness College, putting it in the top quarter of colleges across the country. Its rating of +0.17 was easily the best in South Cumbria and was significantly above the national average for A level providers.
Principal and Chief Executive Andrew Wren said the Furness College was delighted to find it was at the top of the table. “We knew our results were good but we were taken aback when we discovered that we are the top performing college nationally,” he said.
“At our sixth form campus, we knew that the headline A level results were the best ever but to have them backed up by an equally excellent value added rating is an outstanding achievement.
“School leavers, their parents and employers can all be assured of a bright future for school leavers in Barrow and the surrounding area.”
Furness College merged with Barrow Sixth Form College last year and Mr Wren said the results recognised the hard work of students and staff across both its campuses. The college has high rates for progression with some 96 per cent of students going on directly to employment or further study.
Mr Wren said: “The focus at the college is the quality of teaching and learning which takes place in the classrooms, workshops and laboratories. This ensures that students achieve much better grades than at the average college, leading to great value added scores and very high rates of student progression into employment or further study.”