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TES FE Awards: 'Winning was a brilliant recognition for our team'

With less than two days to go before the deadline for entries for the TES FE Awards 2016, one of last year's winners, Hayley Lomas, reflects on what the ceremony meant to her

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Receiving the TES Vocational FE Team of the Year Award last year was a brilliant recognition for our team, who worked so hard to support all of our learners by providing them with high aspirations and building relationships with employers to create tangible opportunities for our graduates. Bradford College has 22,000 learners overall, situated in the heart of a city which is changing beyond all recognition; we are constantly seeing new opportunities developing for our learners and the people of the district.

The awards ceremony was an exciting and glitzy event, and there were lots of fantastic opportunities to network with other colleges and providers. It was an honour to be recognised for the hard work our FE sector does in supporting Bradford’s young people to become the next workforce generation. This was actually the first time the team had entered any competition, and it has inspired us to enter more; more recently, we were shortlisted for the Pearson Teaching Awards!

Both the staff and learners alike were incredibly proud of the award. What’s more, having included the logo on all of our marketing materials, we have consequently seen an increase in student numbers. We were also contacted by other FE colleges asking for advice and to observe our teaching methods, which has enabled us to build our networks with other colleges.

Hayley Lomas (pictured) is head of services industries at Bradford College and was last year's recipient of the TES Vocational FE Team of the Year Award. She tweets at @HayleyLomas

The deadline for entries for this year’s TES FE Awards is midnight, Sunday 13 December. There is a range of awards, recognising the most inspiring individuals and institutions in the sector. We have introduced new categories for this year, including Apprenticeship Programme of the Year. For the first time, there will be three categories for different types of institutions: FE College of the Year, Sixth-Form College of the Year and Training Provider of the Year. These three winners will compete to be crowned the Overall FE Provider of the Year.

The awards ceremony will take place on 22 April 2016 at the Grosvenor House hotel in London. To enter, or to find out more about the categories up for grabs for 2016, click here

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