Baroness Blackstone, the new Minister for Further and Higher Education handed 15 colleges awards for excellence last week. She also formally launched the expanded 1997-98 Beacon Awards,including a new prize for widening participation, sponsored by The TES and the Association of Colleges.
Judith Norrington, curriculum director of the Association of Colleges, which administers the award scheme, said: "I am delighted that the Beacon Awards are increasingly recognised as exemplifying the best practice in the further education sector by sponsors, Government and colleges alike.
"Colleges often don't receive the recognition they deserve for providing innovative and relevant approaches to teaching, leading to the success of students. We are well aware that the winning of these awards represents tremendous enthusiasm, expertise, hard work and collaboration."
Winners * The Bain Hogg (Aon) Award for Lifetime Learning: Community Outreach Department, Aberdeen College.
* The BBC Education Award for Multimedia to Enhance Learning: Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy School, Halton College, Cheshire.
* The Basic Skills Agency Awards for Basic Literacy: ABECommunity Department, City of Liverpool Community College. Runner-up: Telford College of Art and Technology.
* The British Telecom Award for Distance Learning: Halton College.
* The EDEXCEL Foundation Award for Engineering: Plymouth College of Further Education.
* The City Guilds Award for Health and Community Care: Weald College. Runner-up: GNVQ (advanced) Health and Social Care Unit: John Ruskin College, Croydon.
* The NCET Award for IT to Support Learning: Learning Technology Department, Wirral Metropolitan College.
* Partnership Trust Awards: Mathematics: Dewsbury College; Chemistry and Physics: Greenhead College; Biology, Botany and Zoology: Greenhead College; Combined or General Science: Stoke-on-Trent College.
* Post Office Awards for Learning Difficulties: School of Community, Special Education and Catering, Chesterfield College. Runner-up: Hereward College.
* RSA Award for Business Studies: Solihull College.
* United Biscuits Award for Applied Education: Plymouth College of Further Education.
* The Whitbread Award for Hospitality and Catering: Lewisham College.