Shortlisted SET members gear up for results of Tes FE Awards 2020

Six Society for Education and Training (SET) members are gearing up to find out if they have won an award at this year’s Tes FE Awards 2020, taking place online on Friday 16 October.

The awards look to celebrate and reward the dedication and expertise of the people and teams who make a significant contribution to improving the skill levels of young people and adult learners.

Eleanor TurnerMandy GutsellNeil GodfreyCheryl Hall and Peter Brown, have all made the shortlist for the Tes FE Teacher of the Year Award, alongside Jacqueline McAllister who has been shortlisted for the Tes Leader of the Year Award.

Additionally, a number of SET Corporate Partners have been shortlisted, including Bridgwater and Taunton College for the ‘Professional services team of the year’ award, Lambeth College for the ‘Best teaching and learning initiative’ award and Newcastle College, part of the Newcastle Colleges Group (NCG) for the ‘Support for learners’ award.

Award categories include:

  • Lifetime achievement
  • Adult and community learning provider of the year
  • Apprenticeship programme of the year
  • Best teaching and learning initiative
  • Contribution to the learning community
  • Sixth-form college of the year
  • FE college of the year
  • Employer engagement
  • FE leader of the year
  • Professional services team of the year
  • Specialist provider of the year
  • FE teacher of the year
  • Outstanding GCSE resists provision award
  • Support for learners
  • Outstanding use of technology for improving teaching, learning and assessment
  • Worldskills unsung hero
  • Training provider of the year
  • Overall FE provider of the year

Over the past week we caught up with some of the finalists ahead of the virtual ceremony, which begins at 8pm and can be attended for free by registering via the Tes FE Awards 2020 website.

How you feel to be nominated and make the final shortlist?

Jacqueline McAllister: “I am delighted to have been shortlisted for the Tes FE Leader of the Year award. It is both a pleasure and a privilege to work at Northern Regional College, where we put the learner at the heart of everything we do. To be acknowledged at the prestigious Tes awards is such an honour, no matter the outcome.”

Eleanor Turner: “It feels very surreal to be nominated for the Tes 2020 Teacher of the Year Award, let alone being selected as one of the finalists. It seems a very long time ago now as there has been so much going on, with education adjusting to Covid-19. I am pleased that TES has been able to reschedule the awards night. It will be great to have Covid-19 take a back seat for the night and to put FE success in the front row! I look forward to hearing about all of the success stories in FE – it is a bit of positivity, which I think everyone needs.

“I think this award is not necessarily about me, it’s about the students I work with and the college I work at. I feel very fortunate to teach the students I do; they help me enjoy my subjects more and they care and look out for each other. They are such wonderful young adults and being able to support them, help them realise how great they are and what they are capable of, is such a privilege. The college I work at has been extremely supportive over the six years I’ve been teaching – allowing me to continue learning and do lots of CPD. I love to learn; this is one reason I went into teaching. Strode’s College (part of Windsor Forest Colleges Group) has allowed me to be a better teacher, because of the opportunities they have given me, and this has developed my confidence in what I can bring to my students. If I were to win this award, it would be a huge ‘thank you’ that I could give back to Strode’s College over the years. I hope everyone has a wonderful night.”

Mandy Gutsell: “I am very excited about getting shortlisted. I felt initially both shocked and humbled. I have tried not to think too much about the idea of winning as I don’t want to be disappointed. So, I am holding on to the fact that being shortlisted is a massive achievement. And if I won it would be an amazing bonus. I also feel that the acknowledgement is more of a lifetime achievement in a way.

“I have worked in various roles in FE over the years so this feels like an acknowledgement of my hard work and dedication. The role of SET Local Network Group Lead for Birmingham has brought renewed energy for my passion in FE and lifelong learning. It has also enabled me to demonstrate my values of connection, learning, collaboration and personal growth. Bringing new skills and workshops to a range of practitioners and seeing them network with others has been inspiring. I have also been able to connect some of the priorities of Fircroft with the workshops including Transformational learning, dyslexia, mental health and coaching to name but a few.”

Neil Godfrey: “I am overwhelmed to make the shortlist for the Tes FE Awards 2020. At Hartlepool College of Further Education where I teach, we advocate the idea that “hard work pays off”. This nomination proves that this is the case. The hard work in this case is not only by me, but by the college’s Executive Leadership Team and staff, along with our amazing hardworking students. I lead a team of Advanced Practitioners at the college, whose dedication, perseverance and unrelenting focus on excellence is inspirational, and I am also extremely proud to represent them. I believe that whilst I have personally made the shortlist, I represent the entire college.”

Peter Brown: “I have been working as a British Sign Language teacher at City Lit for 16 years, teaching a range of courses and levels. There have been some very challenging learners, but they have further stoked my passion for teaching and learning. I am so exhilarated to have been nominated – let alone shortlisted!  It is a great accolade and I think winning would fill me with an overwhelmingly feeling of warmth to know that what I do is appreciated.”

Cheryl Hall: “I am so honoured to have made the short list for FE teacher of the year and I am very happy to think that my manager considered me and supported my nomination. I love coming to work every day and our team are amazing. I enjoy seeing how my students develop and grow, and the progression and job roles they move on to.”

Congratulations from all of us at the Education and Training Foundation (ETF)

David Russell, Chief Executive of the ETF, said: “Congratulations from the ETF to all the shortlisted candidates and especially to the winners,” said David. “It has been another fantastic year and the ETF is very proud to sponsor both the Tes FE Teacher of the Year Award and FE Leader of the Year Award.  I was particularly delighted that so many of the finalists in the Teacher of the Year category were active members of SET, showing their professionalism through participation in the national professional body for teachers.”

To find out more please visit the Tes FE Awards 2020 website

SET, part of the Education and Training Foundation, is the only membership body dedicated to professionals working across further education, vocational teaching and training.

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