The prestigious Tes FE Awards ceremony will next year for the first time include the presentation of the Association of Colleges’ Beacon Awards, in a celebration of outstanding practice across further education.
The Tes FE Awards recognise exceptional institutions, individuals and teams across the FE sector. Since the first ceremony took place in 2011, the awards have undergone significant growth.
More than 800 guests attended this year’s ceremony in February at the Grosvenor House hotel in London’s Park Lane, which was hosted by comedian Alan Davies. For the 2018 awards, the number of entries increase by around a quarter from the previous year.
Rewarding innovative practice
The AoC Beacon Awards, founded in 1994, capture and celebrate the best and most innovative practice in colleges across the UK. The two highly- espected sets of awards will remain independent, with separate entry and judging processes.
However, acknowledging the alignment between the awards, both will be launched simultaneously later this month. The Tes FE Awards will focus on celebrating the success of FE providers and the individuals behind their achievements, while the Beacon Awards will acknowledge best practice in college teaching, management and governance.
Celebrating FE providers
The shortlists for both sets of awards for 2019 will be announced at the AoC Annual Conference in November, with the winners to be revealed at the Tes FE Awards ceremony in March 2019. Tes FE editor Stephen Exley said: “I am delighted to work alongside the Association of Colleges to recognise and celebrate the exceptional work done by FE providers across the UK.
“The Tes FE Awards have gone from strength to strength in recent years. In 2018, they received a record number of entries, and the prestigious awards ceremony – dubbed the ‘Oscars of FE’ – attracted more guests than ever before. They will continue to celebrate the hard work done by all types of FE providers.
“The AoC Beacon Awards have a proud and distinguished heritage, and have done much to promote and share best practice in the college sector. The two sets of awards share the goal of ensuring that the FE sector receives the attention and plaudits it so richly reserves.”
The AoC Beacon Awards will be open to all colleges across the UK, while the Tes FE Awards will continue to be open for all types of FE providers.
Chair of the Association of Colleges Carole Stott said: "We are delighted that the AoC Charitable Trust is now working in partnership with Tes. The trust works to recognise and celebrate the innovative and high-quality work in colleges that adds so much value to the lives of individuals and to their communities. We believe that this partnership will strengthen that work and help more people to understand and learn from the fantastic work that goes on in colleges across the UK."