Post-16 - Limber up for your chance to shine in TES FE Awards

New categories added as search begins for sector's star performers

It was not just the hard-working staff at Exeter College who were delighted when it was named outstanding provider of the year at last year's TES FE Awards.

"I have actually heard students saying to one another, `This is the college of the year, you know'," principal Richard Atkins said. "Clearly, they've realised how big a deal this is; it gives them great pride to be part of it."

The college, which also won the Outstanding Leadership in Learning and Skills Award, is no stranger to success: it was the first college to be rated "outstanding" in a pilot no-notice inspection by England's schools inspectorate Ofsted in 2012.

But Mr Atkins said that picking up two prestigious titles at last year's awards ceremony in Birmingham had been transformational for the college.

"It's been a really positive experience for Exeter College," he said. "It was great to win the Outstanding Provider of the Year Award, and it's been a pleasure to hold the title all year. TES is a strong brand - it's the most famous brand in the world of education - and to be a TES FE Award winner is a real honour.

"The awards ceremony itself was great, too - we took the whole senior team and the chair of governors, as the staff are incredibly proud of what we've achieved. It's raised our profile, and our 16-18 recruitment for full-time courses and apprenticeships has significantly increased from last year."

The TES FE Awards were created to raise the profile of the sector and to recognise excellence on the part of providers and their staff. Entries for the 2014 awards are now open to anyone working in the learning and skills sector in an organisation that receives funding from the Skills Funding Agency, the Scottish Funding Council or the Young People's Learning Agency.

If you work in a college, work-based learning provider, adult and community learning provider, offenders' learning establishment or specialist designated institute, you are eligible to enter.

Ann Mroz, editor of TES, said: "We are delighted to help the FE sector celebrate its amazing successes. FE providers are responsible for some of the most inspirational, but sadly often unrecognised, work in British education. Through the TES FE Awards, we want to reward those teams and individuals whose innovation, passion and dedication deserve to be put in the spotlight."

There are 13 categories for 2014. Several new awards have been introduced, including the Most Innovative Teacher of the Year Award, the Outstanding Use of Technology in FE Award, the University HE Access Widening Participation Award and the Support for Students Award.

After a year of sporting success for the UK, TES has also introduced a Sporting Initiative Award to recognise those institutions that have gone the extra mile to encourage students to get involved with sport.

The deadline for entries is 10 November.

Categories for 2014

  • Lifetime achievement
  • Most innovative teacher of the year
  • Employer engagement
  • Outstanding use of technology in FE
  • Marketingcommunications campaign of the year
  • Teaching and learning initiative
  • Contribution to the local community
  • FE leader of the year
  • TES FE provider of the year
  • Support for students
  • Sporting initiative
  • Initiative for lifelong learning widening participation
  • University HE access widening participation
    • How to enter

Full details of the awards and how to enter are available at The deadline for entries is 10 November. A shortlist of candidates will be published in December in TES magazine and online, ahead of the awards ceremony on 28 February at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, London.

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