Some students will be returning to Furness College later this month.

Deputy principal, curriculum and quality, and head of sixth form Mark Nicholson said a selected number of students would go back on campus on June 15.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the college closed both its Channelside and Rating Lane campuses for face to face teaching on March 20, except for vulnerable students.

Mr Nicholson said some staff had begun returning this week.

Social distancing and hygiene measures would be in place to protect staff and students as they returned, he said.

“It's really the students who are finishing off the year and preparing for next year, for those students who are taking practical tests and also the A-level students taking their exams next year,” he said.

“We think about 10 per cent at any one time will be in.

"There will be quite small numbers at any one time but hopefully we will get through about 25 per cent of the student population of 16 to 28-year-olds.

“We’ve got the BAE Systems apprentices who need to complete their practical work before entry to the business and similarly with our own full time students in construction and engineering, and also the A-level students and keeping up to date with vulnerable students as well.”

He said it was likely online teaching methods could become a permanent feature of education at the college.

“I think there will be lots of distancing measures in place and quite strict class size limitations and also still some remote working and remote learning going on," he said.

"It may well be that half the students are in class and half are elsewhere.

“Perhaps there won’t ever be a return to what we had previously, perhaps we will use digital learning much more effectively, although there is no substitute for face to learning and seeing your friends."