Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

'I Struggle to Put into Words How It Felt to Win'

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

'I Struggle to Put into Words How It Felt to Win'

Article excerpt

The countdown to the TES FE Awards begins here - it's time to get your entry in

Previous winners include college leaders and classroom lecturers, and initiatives ranging from community performances including hundreds of students to the establishment of a creative leadership group. And last year, for the first time, an independent learning provider scooped the prize of overall FE provider of the year.

It's fair to say, all the FE sector's rich diversity has a place at the top table of this annual celebration.

Today, the race begins to see who will follow in their footsteps, as nominations open for the TES FE Awards 2017, in association with the Education and Training Foundation. Shining a light on the very best colleges, training providers, lecturers and leaders, the awards celebrate excellence across the FE and skills sector.

This year, two new awards are being introduced. The professional services team of the year category will recognise teams working in administration and back-office positions. And the important role assessors play in the growing apprenticeship programme is being acknowledged with the new assessor of the year category.

Judith Doyle (pictured, above), principal of Gateshead College, was named FE leader of the year at the 2016 awards. She told TES that winning was a highlight of her career and a moment that she would never forget.

"Being among such a formidable shortlist was exciting enough, so I could hardly believe it when they announced my name," she said. "I struggle to put into words how I felt but, without doubt, incredibly proud and honoured; also humbled - there are some fantastic, inspirational leaders in our sector who don't get the recognition they deserve. My whole career has been in FE, and to be recognised nationally was overwhelming."

Ms Doyle added: "My daughter and family were especially thrilled. They know how much my job means to me, and I couldn't do what I do without their support. Of course, it wasn't just my award - it was about the whole team."

Ladder of opportunity

This year, there are 16 award categories, from teacher of the year and best teaching and learning initiative to lifetime achievement and outstanding use of technology.

Apprenticeships and skills minister Robert Halfon said the TES FE Awards were "a crucial way...to celebrate excellence and give those who have worked so hard, and transformed the life chances of so many people, the credit they deserve".

He added: "There are some outstanding individuals and institutions in further education - working tirelessly to ensure all learners get on the ladder of opportunity to fulfil their potential."

Mr Halfon explained that he was looking forward to meeting and working with inspirational people across the sector during the coming months. …

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