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BTEC heroes recognised at awards night

A college lecturer who works 13-hour days and marks all his students' work within two days has been recognised at the inaugural National BTEC Awards.

FE learners, teachers and providers were among those recognised in the awards ceremony, held yesterday at the RSA in London.

The awards were created by publisher Pearson, owner of exam board Edexcel, to recognise vocational excellence. BTECs were taken by more than 500,000 learners in 2010-11.

Euthan Newman, who teaches health and social care at South Thames College in London, was named the Outstanding BTEC Teacher or Tutor of the Year.

After 20 years managing care homes, he came to the college and has since started a tutor group for youngsters who need extra support to encourage them to apply to university. He regularly takes after-hours workshops until 9pm.

A Pearson spokeswoman said: "The school keep cereal available for him as he is in by 8am each day to do his marking. He has a two-day turnaround marking policy as he feels his learners need to know how they have done ASAP . A lot of the school learners don't have a positive male role model in their lives and Euthan is a consistent, caring, jovial and professional man that all look up to."

Keith Southern, a learner at Mid Cheshire College, was named Outstanding BTEC Adult Learner of the Year. When he found himself out of work after 30 years of working as a technician at chemical firm ICI, Mr Southern, who is profoundly dyslexic, enrolled on the national diploma in music technology, and has been awarded a series of distinctions for his work.

The spokeswoman said: "Every year, thousands of BTEC students go on to achieve great things in a wide variety of careers and yet, summer is traditionally characterised by GCSE and A-level results.

"We feel it is just as important to support and officially celebrate the hard work and achievements of BTEC students and their teachers."

The ceremony was hosted by BBC Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills, and among the judges was TES editor Gerard Kelly.

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