Furness College has been unveiled as the latest member of the Chartered Institution for Further Education.

The news was announced by Lord Lingfield, chair of the institute, today and means Furness College will pay £8,000 to become the fourth member of the body for “high-performing” FE colleges and training providers.

It comes after Hawk Training, Blackpool and The Fylde College, and Bridgwater College were announced as the first three members of the institute in July.

Mark Nicholson, deputy principal at Furness College, said it was a “significant achievement” for the college.

Mark Nicholson
Mark Nicholson

“We join the three other organisations who have so far succeeded in achieving this status. This mark of quality is awarded only to high performing organisations and demonstrates how we are helping lead the way in how the further education sector will be shaped to meet the demands of the future.”

The Chartered Institution for Further Education was granted chartered status in October last year and has been open to members rated outstanding or good by Ofsted and in receipt of public funding from the Skills Funding Agency since November.

Membership costs £5,000 a year and colleges and training providers joining for the first time also have to pay a £3,000 non-refundable fee to join the institution, which is propped up by almost £1m in government funding.

Membership will supposedly allow providers to come together and “promote, recognise and celebrate their professionalism and success”.

Lord Lingfield said Furness College has “passed a rigorous process which has confirmed their position as a leading performer in the sector”.

He added: “I look forward to working with them and our growing membership to begin driving forward professionalism in further education.

“This is the next step along the path to recognising and celebrating what the sector does well, and achieving for it a status both nationally and internationally equivalent to that enjoyed by our higher education colleagues.”

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