`Inspiring' award winners are the pride of FE
Hundreds of the UK's most committed further education professionals gathered last week to celebrate the sector's success stories at the TES FE Awards 2014.
A total of 13 prizes were handed out at the event, celebrating the innovation and achievements of this year's outstanding colleges, training providers and individuals.
Named most innovative teacher of the year, Forth Valley College's Richard Reid was described by the judges as "imaginative, transformational and inspirational".
Mr Reid used mini cameras to film students enrolled on the college's modern apprenticeship scheme, allowing both the apprentices and their employers to review progress. His use of technology was "truly innovative", the judges said.
Meanwhile, Edinburgh College picked up the University HE Access Widening Participation Award. Together with Queen Margaret University, East Lothian Council and leading local employers, the college formed the East Lothian Hospitality and Tourism Academy to encourage young people aged 16-18 to stay in education.
"This is a solid project based on strong partnerships with the HE [higher education] sector and major businesses," the judges said. They were particularly impressed with the range of powerful testimonials from the college's industry partners.
The flagship FE Provider of the Year Award went to Walsall College in the West Midlands, which last year became the first FE college in England to be graded outstanding by schools inspectorate Ofsted under its new framework. After a remarkable transformation, Walsall had become a "fantastic" college that epitomised the strengths of FE, the judges agreed.
Principal Jat Sharma said the college was "absolutely thrilled" to claim the gong. "Our journey to Ofsted `outstanding' has involved the support, hard work and commitment of our students, staff, governors and local partners," he said.
"Every aspect of college life is truly focused on ensuring that students enter employment or higher levels of education, and we remain committed to them, together with adding prosperity to our local businesses and communities.
"We are deeply proud for Walsall and wish to convey our thanks to everyone who has helped us on our journey so far."
TES editor Ann Mroz said the award winners were "a roll call of the most imaginative, innovative and inspiring professionals and institutions to be found in this impressive sector".
For more information, see www.tesfeawards.co.uk
Just deserts: the winners in full
FE provider of the year Walsall College, West Midlands
Most innovative teacher of the year Richard Reid, Forth Valley College, Scotland
FE leader of the year Ros Morpeth, National Extension College
Teaching and learning initiative Pembrokeshire College, Wales
Employer engagement Bridgwater College, Somerset
Outstanding use of technology in FE Hull College, Yorkshire
Support for students Barking and Dagenham College, London
University HE access widening participation Edinburgh College, Scotland
Marketingcommunications campaign of the year Blackburn College, Lancashire
Contribution to the local community Bournville College, Birmingham, West Midlands
Initiative for lifelong learning widening participation Adult, Family and Community Learning, Doncaster, South Yorkshire
Sporting initiative Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College
Lifetime achievement Jayne Walker, East Kent College