STUDENTS who have achieved GCSEs after failing to meet the grade at school are celebrating after their college was ranked as one of the top-performing in the country.

Latest data from the Market Intelligence Data Exchange Servic shows Furness College is in the top 15 per cent of further education colleges nationally for GCSEs in English and maths.

Almost 40 per cent of learners at the college achieve higher grades in maths – exceeding the national average of 17 per cent – while English pass rates are at 45 per cent, bucking the national trend of 26 per cent.

Principal and chief executive Andrew Wren said: “The improvements that have been made have helped far more students to achieve the higher grades in English and maths, which they need to progress.

“More than 80 per cent of our students at the Channelside campus do not have English and/or Maths GCSE grade 4 or more when they join us.

“The fact that so many go on to secure the all-important subjects is a testament to the quality of teaching here and our experienced team who are relentlessly focused on helping students achieve.”

In 2016 Barrow Sixth Form merged with Furness College with courses and subjects split between the Rating Lane and Channelside campuses.

One student who has succeeded is Jade Chelton who completed her GCSEs in maths and English at the sixth form.

She is now studying the access course at the Channelside campus with a view to applying for university.

“I left school at 16 and my GCSE exam results weren’t quite what I wanted," she explained.

"I had a child and was a full-time mum for two years until she had left nursery. In 2017, I wanted to get back into education and applied to Barrow Sixth Form after an informal, helpful chat with my tutor, Kevin.

"Studying at Barrow Sixth Form has certainly built up my confidence and I’ve made new friends.

I’ve always wanted to go to university and that could now be a possibility. I’m glad I made the decision to enrol at Barrow Sixth Form College as I’ve secured a better future.”

Figures also show a high proportion of students at the sixth form were achieving their target grades and have chosen places at university, higher apprenticeships or employment.

Furness College has high rates for progression with 96 per cent of students going on to employment or further study.

nFurness College is holding an advice session for Year 11 students on Saturday at the Channelside campus from 1pm to 3pm.