The very best of the UK’s further education sector has been celebrated at the prestigious TES FE Awards in the heart of London.
The glittering ceremony saw ten colleges, two individuals and one learning provider take home coveted trophies for their innovative and inspiring work.
The major prize of the night, FE Provider of the Year, went to Walsall College, which last February became the first FE college in the country to be graded outstanding under the new Ofsted framework.
After a remarkable transformation, the TES FE Awards judges said that Walsall had demonstrated exceptional performance and epitomised the strengths of FE.
“It is a fantastic college that has done a wonderful job,” was the judges’ verdict.
Ros Morpeth, chief executive of the National Extension College (NEC), was named FE Leader of the Year for her “tenacity and inspirational leadership”.
She came out of retirement to rescue the ailing NEC from administration some eight years after she originally retired as its chief executive, ensuring that it has a bright future once more.
“There are lots of outstanding leaders, but only one miracle worker,” the judges said.
The winner of the lifetime achievement award was described by judges as an “unsung hero” for her incredible contribution to the sector over the last four decades.
Jayne Walker, director of student support at East Kent College, has been unwavering in her determination to get the best possible outcomes for all students, resulting in her student support team being recognised by Ofsted as an outstanding feature of the college.
She has implemented many significant changes, including giving students a greater role in decision-making, establishing the role of paid student union president and developing a new tutorial system.
TES editor Ann Mroz described all the winners as “a roll call of the most imaginative, innovative and inspiring professionals and institutions to be found in this impressive sector.”
TES FE Awards 2014 winners in full:
FE Provider of the Year – Walsall College
FE Leader of the Year – Ros Morpeth, National Extension College
Lifetime Achievement Award – Jayne Walker, East Kent College
Sporting Initiative Award – Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College
Initiative for Lifelong Learning Widening Participation Award – Adult, Family and Community Learning, Doncaster
Contribution to the Local Community Award – Bournville College Birmingham
Marketing/Communications Campaign of the Year – Blackburn College
University HE Access Widening Participation Award – Edinburgh College
Support for Students Award – Barking and Dagenham College
Outstanding Use of Technology in FE – Hull College
Employer Engagement Award – Bridgwater College
Teaching and Learning Initiative Award – Pembrokeshire College
Most Innovative Teacher of the Year – Richard Reid, Forth Valley College