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6 July 2012

BTEC Awards highlight achievements of one million learners

Megan Turner, a 17-year-old Engineering student from Loughborough, was announced yesterday as the winner of the Overall Outstanding BTEC Student of the Year, one of the 16 categories in the National BTEC Awards. The awards ceremony took place yesterday afternoon in London and was hosted by Reggie Yates, co-host of the BBC’s The Voice

The second annual National BTEC Awards provide a platform for students, teachers, schools and colleges to celebrate their outstanding achievements in vocational learning. 

Nearly one million students around the country are studying BTEC qualifications this year. Pearson, the parent company of Edexcel, the awarding body for BTECs, received over 500 nominations across the 15 award categories for this year’s awards.

The winners announced yesterday include: 

Outstanding BTEC Student of the Year: Megan Turner, Loughborough College. Megan is expected to be awarded a D*D*D* in her BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering. The judges were impressed that Megan had balanced her studies with developing links with local primary schools, encouraging more girls into engineering. As part of her BTEC, Megan has also begun working with Loughborough University on a pioneering engineering project which could have commercial applications in the future. When Megan applied to Aston University to study a Design Engineering degree, the admissions tutor recommended she enter directly on to their Masters programme due to the industrial experience her BTEC qualification had already provided. 

Anne Markland, who teaches Performing Arts at Preston College, is the Outstanding BTEC Teacher of the Year. Judges praised Anne’s outstanding commitment to her students, who constantly exceed their expected grades. In her own time she also arranges numerous school trips abroad and external shows for her students. Anne has also worked tirelessly to develop links with local special schools, developing projects involving both able-bodied students and those with physical disabilities. She also assists her students through the UCAS application system, with many going on to pursue their passion for Performing Arts at university. 

Outstanding BTEC School/College of the Year: Ashton Sixth Form College. Ashton’s Children Care Learning and Development Department currently boasts a 100% pass rate across all programmes and an 84% progression rate to Higher Education. Judges felt these fantastic progression rates were also partly the result of the numerous university visits, preparation sessions and inspirational talks from industry leaders, organised for the students. 

Outstanding BTEC Adult Learner: Tawa Atanda, City College, Coventry. Tawa, desperate to find fashionable clothes post-pregnancy, was inspired to pursue a fashion/textile course to gain skills and experience to set up her own fashion label. While studying at college she has already received a total of 14 Distinctions and two merit grades on the BTEC Extended Diploma in Fashion and is expected to gain a DDD on her final award. She has used her final major project to produce a womenswear collection, using traditional printed fabric from Nigeria and balancing Western and African styles, targeted at 18- to 25-year-olds. She is currently working with the Sandwell Woman’s Enterprise Agency to set up her own fashion business. 

The Awards, hosted by Radio 1 DJ and The Voice host Reggie Yates at The Royal Horticultural Halls in London, were attended by nominated students, teachers, and leaders in education. David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science will also speak at the ceremony.


David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, said: 

“These awards rightly celebrate the practical skills and knowledge which will help our economy grow and remain competitive with the rest of the world.  

“I congratulate all of this year’s award winners who have shown tremendous dedication in their work and who can all be very proud of what they have achieved.”  


Rod Bristow, President, Pearson UK said: 

“I am delighted the National BTEC Awards are now in their second year and going from strength to strength. In a modern economy with complex and rapidly shifting skills needs, we need practitioners who understand the theory, and academics who can put things into practice. BTEC aims to give students access to that kind of rounded education.

“More and more universities and employers are telling us that they value that rounded approach. Every year, thousands of BTEC students go on to great universities and fantastic jobs that really value their skills. They achieve great things in a wide variety of industries vital to the economy, ranging from business and engineering to ICT and healthcare. 

“It is vital to support and celebrate the hard work and achievements of outstanding BTEC students and their teachers. All the judges were impressed by the quality and number of nominations we received.”


Awards host, Radio One DJ Reggie Yates said:
 

“I’m really excited to be part of this year’s National BTEC Awards. To succeed in my industry and any other you need to set yourself high ambitions and work hard to hone the right skills and knowledge. You need to be able to deliver on the day, not just know the theory.

“All the winners today have shown real passion and commitment to achieving their goals and deserve to be put on a pedestal as an inspiration to others.”


- ENDS -
 


Notes to editors: 

1. Pearson aspires to be the world’s leading learning company. We offer many different forms of learning, delivered in a personal style, in over 70 countries around the world. In the UK, we have an educational heritage rooted in names like Longman, Heinemann, Prentice Hall, BTEC and our exam awarding body Edexcel. Every part of the Pearson family is connected to learning and all of them demonstrate our commitment to the very highest standards of learning around the world. In the UK and many other countries, we have built a reputation for improving learning through innovation in education. We are committed to continuing that process for years to come. “Always Learning” is not just what we believe, it’s what we do. Learn more at www.pearson.com/uk.

2. About the Awards: See the full list of winners of the National BTEC Awards here. Please contact Sam Cunningham for more information if you wish to speak to specific winners. 

3. The full list of categories is as follows: 

Sector Awards
Outstanding BTEC Business and Enterprise Student 
Outstanding BTEC IT Student  
Outstanding BTEC Media Student  
Outstanding BTEC Science and Engineering Student 
Outstanding BTEC Creative Art and Design Student
Outstanding BTEC Child and Social Care Student 
Outstanding BTEC Sport Student 
Outstanding BTEC Performing Arts Student 
Outstanding BTEC Beauty and Hospitality Student 

Main Awards 
Outstanding BTEC Student of the Year  
Outstanding BTEC Teacher/ Tutor of the Year 
Outstanding BTEC School/ College of the Year 
Outstanding BTEC Adult Learner of the Year 
Outstanding BTEC Apprentice of the Year (16-18 ) 
Outstanding Adult BTEC Apprentice of the Year (19+) 
Most Innovative BTEC Apprenticeship Provider of the Year

4. The judging panel for the Awards included:
 
Sandra Kelly - Whitbread 
Euthan Newman - BTEC Tutor, South Thames College
Nick Linford - Editor, FE Week
Stephen Exley – Reporter, TES
Maryam Momla – Current Apprentice
Rod Bristow - President, Pearson UK
Rod Smith - MD Vocational, Pearson 
Trevor Luker - MD WBL, Pearson (Apprentice awards only)

5. Contact: Sam Cunningham, Pearson on 020 7190 5372 or 07980 014971 or by emailing sam.cunningham@pearson.com

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