The Department for Education and Skills Success for All Strategy - reforming further education and training, published November 2002, set out its Vision for the Future. One of its commitments is to introduce a scheme of awards for teachers, lecturers, trainers, managers and support staff who work in the learning and skills sector. The STAR Awards is that scheme.
The awards recognise and reward the unsung heroes who educate and train people aged 16 and over. Stars come from the thousands of people working in this field in a diverse range of jobs - from workplace trainers, evening class tutors and college teachers, to receptionists, caretakers, cleaners, technicians and creche workers, to name but a few.
The STAR Awards is the flagship scheme for those who work in post-16 education, outside schools or universities. It has support from all levels within government, and is working in partnership with the Learning and Skills Council and all key stakeholders in this learning and skills sector who are all engaged by the awards.
On November 4, 2003, Charles Clarke, the then Secretary of State for Education and Skills, launched the STAR Awards at the Department for Education and Skills second annual Teaching and Learning Conference in London.
"There are many unsung heroes - working as teachers, trainers, support staff or managers in the learning and skills sector. Every day they make a difference to the quality of learning that six million learners receive.
The STAR Award will recognise and celebrate their achievements," said Mr Clarke.