TES Scotland

Tes FE Awards: the winners

- Diolch

All the glitz, glamour and gossip from the first- ever virtual Tes FE Awards ceremony – plus the full list of winners

The best of the UK’s further education sector has been honoured at the Tes FE Awards 2020.

Taking place online for the first time, the ceremony kicked off with a performanc­e from the UK’s leading Dolly Parton impersonat­or, The Dolly Show, before the 18 winners were revealed.

Ruth Spellman, former chief executive of the Workers’ Education Associatio­n, was recognised for her dedication to the sector with the lifetime achievemen­t award, with a range of sector leaders – including her daughter, Fiona Spellman – paying tribute.

The judges said: “Ruth has given her life to FE … She’s a worthy winner and is well regarded by all who have had the pleasure of working alongside her.”

“I am completely overwhelme­d by the honour I have received tonight,” Ms

Spellman wrote on Twitter. “All those people who have believed in me, my husband Tim, my family, my friends and my wonderful colleagues – thank you for your love and support.”

Having already been named sixth form college of the year, New College Pontefract was crowned overall FE provider of the year.

The Bedford College Group was named as FE college of the year, and also scooped the award for profession­al services team of the year.

Ian Pryce, chief executive of the Bedford College Group, said that he was “in shock” that the group won two awards.

“Our estates team is so unassuming yet so committed to making the student experience special the minute they arrive on campus,” said Pryce. “This year, they have performed exceptiona­lly in the most difficult circumstan­ces, keeping us safe yet still managing to complete three major constructi­on projects on time and budget. I hope every college estates team will feel the award recognises their work, too.

“The shortlist for college of the year was so strong, so to be judged the winner is one of the best moments of my time at Bedford College. It has been a very special year for us on so many fronts. The congratula­tions of so many friends and colleagues in the sector are overwhelmi­ng. I am so proud of our 1,200 staff and 16,000 students and so privileged to be allowed to be their principal. I never thought an online event could be so emotional.”

Cardiff and Vale College also walked away with two awards – for outstandin­g use of technology for improving teaching, learning and assessment, and contributi­on to the local community. “Yay! We did it!” the college said in a Twitter post after the awards were announced. “So honoured to have won this prestigiou­s award. [thank you]!”

Edinburgh College’s Helena Good was awarded teacher of the year, and London

South East Colleges Group’s chief executive Sam Parrett was named leader of the year.

Ms Parrett said that she was “so proud to be part of such an inspiring and amazing work family and to be part of a team that lives the values of our wonderful sector, making a positive impact on lives and local communitie­s every single day.”

And Ms Good said: “I feel so honoured to have been considered alongside all the nominees who all deserved to be recognised for going above and beyond. Thanks to the judges, Edinburgh College and everyone who believes in daydreams!”

Meanwhile, the WorldSkill­s unsung hero gong went to Joan Scott, assistant principal at The Trafford College Group. The judges called Scott the epitome of an unsung hero, describing her as “a grassroots champion who has worked really hard locally to ensure access”.

“I’m so shocked!” Ms Scott wrote on Twitter. “It’s a privilege to be involved with WorldSkill­s UK. Skills competitio­ns make such a huge difference.”

Tes To watch the FE Awards 2020 ceremony in full, head to bit.ly/TesFEaward­s20

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