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Seven sponsors join award scheme;FE Focus

Seven new sponsors which have agreed to support the prestigious Beacon Awards for excellence in further education this year include the British Council, the mental health charity Mencap, and NIACE, the national organisation for adult education.

Awards from the Association of Colleges for 1997-98 were presented this week by Baroness Blackstone, minister for further and higher education.

New awards among the 27 on offer for 1998-1999 include one for excellence in business and finance, sponsored by the exam board AQA, and one for international student support from the British Council. Two new awards in the effective use of technology and programmes for land-based industries are available from the further education national consortium. The RSA is sponsoring a new award to promote NVQs in business, and an award for foreign language teaching is backed by the Northern Council for Further Education.

Other sponsors include the BBC, BT, the Duke of Edinburgh's award scheme, Education Lecturing Services, the Edexcel Foundation, Marks amp; Spencer and The TES.

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