This is your chance to shine

14th May 2010 at 01:00
As nominations open for the 2010 STAR Awards, FE Focus reveals plans to take over and transform the event from next year, allowing further education's dedicated and inspirational staff an even greater shot at glory

Nominations were opened today for the 2010 STAR Awards, celebrating and rewarding the best of further education and training.

The awards, which attracted some 2,300 entries last year and are now in their sixth year, will be handed out across ten categories and will culminate in a glittering central London ceremony in November. But they are about to undergo significant change.

FE Focus is delighted to announce that TSL Education, our publisher, will be running the awards from 2011. Our aim is to give further education, and the people who work in it, the national recognition, reward and voice that they deserve.

Our sister publication, the THE, is now in the sixth year of running its hugely successful awards, and last year's inaugural TES Schools Awards proved an instant hit with teachers and support staff.

As the further education sector grows in prestige, quality and ambition, we hope to take the awards to a new level, giving FE an annual event on a par with those enjoyed by schools and universities.

The STAR Awards, initiated by the then Department for Education and Skills and, for the last four years, expanded by the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS), have achieved a great deal in celebrating the sector's success.

But a 50 per cent cut in the funding received by LSIS this year forced the body to review its budgets and placed a question mark over the future of the awards.

Announcing the decision this week, LSIS chief executive David Collins said: "Not only does this agreement secure the long-term future of the awards but it also marks the coming of age of the STAR Awards, becoming a mainstream ceremony run by a leading player in the education media rather than by a public body. It shows that the learning and skills sector is no longer the `Cinderella sector' but of equal weight to schools and HE.

"This agreement means that the awards can continue while LSIS can focus its funding on other improvement priorities."

LSIS will run the STARs this year, with FE Focus as media partner.

Dr Collins said: "I am pleased that we have been able to find the funding for the awards in 2010. By working with FE Focus and TSL, this year we have managed to make some savings on previous years, and that is appropriate given the current cuts facing the sector."

There are ten award categories this year, which are: teaching, training and learning practitioner; learning support; Skills for Life; support role; engaging employers; workforce development; innovation; response to learners' needs; lifetime achievement; and leadership.

The STAR Awards are open to anyone working in the learning and skills sector, in an organisation which receives funding from the Skills Funding Agency or the Young People's Learning Agency: colleges, work-based learning providers, adult and community learning providers, offender learning establishments and specialist designated institutions.

Nominations should be no more than 250 words plus contact and other details. The deadline for nominations is July 9 and shortlists will be announced in FE Focus in September.

- http:starawards.excellence gateway.org.uk

AS THEY HAPPEN

May 14 Nominations open

July 9 Deadline for nominations

July - August Judging takes place

September Shortlist announced

October LSIS regional events

November Awards ceremony

In it to win it: key questions the judges will ask in the ten STAR Awards categories

TEACHING, TRAINING AND LEARNING PRACTITIONER

Open to lecturers, tutors or other teaching staff

1. How do nominees excel in teaching, resulting in the demonstrable success of learners?

2. How do they inspire, motivate and encourage learners to succeed?

3. How do they effectively respond to individual learning needs?

4. How does their work show a high level of commitment to promoting equality and diversity?

Skills for Life

Open to lecturers, tutors or other Skills for Life staff

1. How do nominees excel in the way they present literacy, language or numeracy, resulting in the demonstrable success of learners?

2. How do they inspire, motivate and encourage learners to succeed?

3. How do they successfully equip learners with Skills for Life?

4. How does their work show a high level of commitment to promoting equality and diversity?

Lifetime achievement

Open to any individual whose work in the learning and skills sector has consistently had a positive impact on the lives of learners and colleagues

1. How have nominees improved and raised the reputation of the learning and skills sector through their work?

2. How have they made a positive and sustainable difference to the lives of individuals or communities?

3. In what ways have they developed andor introduced new approaches that have improved the experience of learning?

4. How does their work show a high level of commitment to promoting equality and diversity?

Support role

Open to any individuals in non-teaching roles who support the effective operation of the organisation

1. How do nominees excel in supporting people, the estate or resources (but not learners directly), including any actions to promote environmental sustainability?

2. How do they approach their work with a positive, can-do attitude?

3. How do they provide excellent customer care?

4. How does their work show a high level of commitment to promoting equality and diversity?

Learning support

Open to any individuals who provide learning support

1. How do nominees provide excellent support to learners?

2. How do they approach their work with a positive, can-do attitude?

3. How do they promote the health and well-being of learners?

4. How does their work show a high level of commitment to promoting equality and diversity?

Leadership

Open to any individual who has demonstrated high leadership skills and practice

1. How have nominees brought about significant organisational development over a period of time?

2. How have they demonstrated behaviour that either promotes the health and well-being of staff and learners or promotes environmental sustainability?

3. How do they inspire, motivate and lead others?

4. How does their work show a high level of commitment to promoting equality and diversity?

Innovation

Open to any individual who has demonstrated high levels of innovation and creativity

1. How do nominees demonstrate innovation or creativity?

2. How have they instigated a significant change in culture, organisation or attitude to achieve successful outcomes?

3. How have they raised standards of practice within their area of work through their innovation?

4. How does their work show a high level of commitment to promoting equality and diversity?

Engaging employers

Open to individuals and teams who provide programmes to meet the needs of employers

1. How do nominees liaise and negotiate with employers to identify and meet their training needs?

2. How do they provide successful coursesprogrammes to meet the needs of employers?

3. How do they foster excellent relationships with the employers with whom they work (attested by the employers)?

4. How does their work show a high level of commitment to promoting equality and diversity?

Workforce development

Open to individuals and teams who provide programmes to develop the workforce in their own organisation

1. How do nominees provide learning programmes or opportunities which actively promote workforce development in their own organisation?

2. How does their work link to their organisation's business plans and to an effective performance review process?

3. How do they provide customised or innovative learning activitiesprogrammes to meet specific development needs?

4. How does their work show a high level of commitment to promoting equality and diversity?

Response to learners' needs

Open to individuals and teams who provide programmes to meet the needs of specific groups of learners

1. How do they liaise and negotiate with learners or communities to identify and meet their learning needs?

2. How do they provide successful coursesprogrammes for specific learners or communities?

3. How do they inspire, motivate and encourage learners to succeed?

4. How does their work show a high level of commitment to promoting equality and diversity?

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