BTEC Awards highlight achievements of one million learners

Megan Turner, a 17-year-old engineering student from Loughborough, has won the Overall Outstanding BTEC Student of the Year at the National BTEC Awards.

The awards ceremony will take place this afternoon (Thursday 5th July) in London and will be hosted by Reggie Yates co-host of the BBC’s The Voice.

The 2nd 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 today 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. On applying to Aston University to study a Design Engineering degree the admissions tutor recommended Megan 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 6th 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. Whilst studying at college she has already received a total of 14 Distinctions and 2 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 women’s wear collection, using traditional printed fabric from Nigeria targeted at 18-25 year olds balancing Western and African styles. She is currently working with the Sandwell Woman’s Enterprise Agency to set up her own fashion business.

The Awards will be hosted by Radio 1 DJ and The Voice host Reggie Yates, at The Royal Horticultural Halls in London and will be 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.”

About the awards

The full list of winners of the National BTEC Awards will be formally announced at the ceremony on 5th July 2012, but please contact Sam Cunningham for more information if you wish to speak to specific winners.

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 & Design Student
Outstanding BTEC Child & 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

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)

Find out more about the National BTEC Awards