Tips on applying

Your entry should show evidence of imaginative yet sustainable teaching and learning practice or other relevant provision. The initiative can be a programme, course, project or other form of teaching, involving learning, advice, guidance or support.

  • Best submissions were well written and succinct, explaining clearly how the project met all of the award’s criteria – both the general and specific.
  • Careful attention to the sponsor’s criteria enabled assessors to celebrate outstanding projects.
  • The use of comprehensive data and testimonials brought alive submissions and their impact.
  • Close adherence to the application form’s requirements and structure significantly increased transparency and readability.
  • Careful proofreading ensured that applications were anonymous, accurately written and of the right length.
  • Outstanding applications were able to demonstrate that they met all the general Beacon criteria. In particular projects were specific about how equality and diversity were promoted, quality assurance practice improved the project, and the development of innovative teaching and learning proved sustainable.
  • Many shortlisted projects were truly ground-breaking and could clearly describe wider applicability across the sector.
  • Whilst the size of the project is not a determining factor of success, all the winning applications could demonstrate the huge impact on students’ lives.

Get more useful tips on applying in the Chief Assessor's Annual Report (PDF,344.22 KB).

Incorporating evidence

Including evidence from beneficiaries is vital for every entry and they can include comments from student evaluation forms, feedback from partner organisations, or solicited or unsolicited letters. Similarly, colleges are likely to have a wealth of supplementary information contained in various college documents.

There are two ways in which colleges can incorporate evidence into their submission:

  • To ‘lift’ quotes from the forms, letters etc and put them in the submission to illustrate points or as part of the ‘Outcomes and Benefits’ section. A footnote can be added to indicate that the original documents can be made available to the assessors, should they wish to see them.
  • To include copies of a sample of feedback forms, letters, documents etc, highlighting the words on the page you are including within the word count and again indicating in a footnote that similar examples can be made available to the assessors, should they wish to see them.

Written evidence from beneficiaries and appendices should be included in the word limit for the award entry.

Anonymising entries

All entries must be anonymous to ensure the rigour of the awards process.

Many submissions will need to refer to college partnerships with local authorities, schools, employers etc. Where these organisations are not area/region specific you need not anonymise the partner. For example, if you are working in partnership with your local Tesco or have a partnership with a St Michael’s Primary School then you can refer to them by name. If, however, you have a partnership with, for example, Levenshulme High School or Liverpool Football Club – an organisation that could mean the college is easily identifiable – then you should refer to them as a local secondary school or a local Premiership football club.

If you would like to include letters from your partners as evidence, you are requested to conceal the address on the letterhead if it could identify the college and any direct reference to the college by name within the body of the letter. Please ensure that you remove these from any copies of the letter so that the assessors can still see the original on a site visit.

Submissions will be checked before sending on to the assessors and if there is anything found that could identify your college, they may be returned for the reference to be removed.