Revealed: The winners of the Tes FE Awards 2020

Eighteen winners across further education and skills were recognised at the first virtual Tes FE Awards 2020

Kate Parker

Tes FE Awards 2020: Winners revealed

The best of the UK's further education sector has been honoured at the Tes FE Awards 2020. 

Taking place online for the first time, the ceremony kicked off with a performance from the UK's leading Dolly Parton impersonator, The Dolly Show, before the 18 winners were revealed.

Ruth Spellman, former chief executive of the Workers' Education Association, was recognised for her dedication to the sector with the lifetime achievement award, with a range of sector leaders, including her daughter, paying tribute.

Having already been named sixth form college of the year, New College Pontefract was crowned overall FE provider of the year. 


Rewatch the ceremony: Click here

Read about lifetime achievement winner: Ruth Spellman 

Tes FE Awards 2020: Who is the overall winner?


The Bedford College Group was named as FE college of the year, also scooping the award for professional services team of the year. Cardiff and Vale College also walked away with two awards – for outstanding use of technology for improving teaching, learning and assessment and contribution to the local community. 

Ian Pryce, chief executive of the Bedford College Group, said that he was "in shock" that the group won two awards. He said: "Our estates team is so unassuming yet so committed to making the student experience special the minute they arrive on campus. This year, they have performed exceptionally in the most difficult circumstances, keeping us safe yet still managing to complete three major construction projects on time and budget. I hope every college estates team will feel the award recognises their work, too.

"The shortlist for college of the year was so strong, so to be judged the winner is one of the best moments of my time at Bedford College. It has been a very special year for us on so many fronts. The congratulations of so many friends and colleagues in the sector are overwhelming. I am so proud of our 1,200 staff and 16,000 students and so privileged to be allowed to be their principal. I never thought an online event could be so emotional."

Edinburgh College's Helena Good was awarded teacher of the year, and London South East Colleges Group's chief executive Sam Parrett was named leader of the year. 

Ms Parrett said that she was "so proud to be part of such an inspiring and amazing work family and to be part of a team that lives the values of our wonderful sector, making a positive impact on lives and local communities every single day."

And Ms Good said: "I feel so honoured to have been considered alongside all the nominees who all deserved to be recognised for going above and beyond. Thanks to the judges, Edinburgh College and everyone who believes in daydreams!"

Full list of winners

Lifetime achievement award: Ruth Spellman

Apprenticeship programme of the year: Skills Training UK

Best teaching and learning initiative: Grimsby Institute 

Contribution to the local community: Cardiff and Vale College

Employer engagement: North West Regional College

Outstanding GCSE resits provision: Birkenhead Sixth Form College 

Support for learners: Cambridge Regional College

Outstanding use of technology for improving teaching, learning and assessment: Cardiff and Vale College

WorldSkills unsung hero: Joan Scott

Professional services team of the year: Bedford College Group

FE leader of the year: Sam Parrett

Teacher of the year: Helena Good

FE college of the year: Bedford College Group

Training provider of the year: The Skills Group

Adult and community learning provider of the year: Inspire, Nottinghamshire

Sixth-form college of the year: New College Pontefract

Specialist provider of the year: Coleg Elidyr 

Overall FE provider of the year: New College Pontefract

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Kate Parker

Kate Parker is a FE reporter.

Find me on Twitter @KateeParker

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