Beacon Awards 2018/19

The AoC Beacon Awards celebrates the best and most innovative practice among UK further education (FE) colleges. It is managed by AoC and run through the AoC Charitable Trust - a registered charity.

Now in its 24th year, the awards showcase best practice and innovation in colleges. It is designed to promote the interdependence of colleges, businesses and professional and voluntary organisations. The awards also highlight excellence and helps share best practice across the sector.

The hashtag for the awards is #AoCBeacons

Digital Partner

Jisc is delighted to be the Digital Partner of the Beacon Awards this year and to witness first-hand the amazing work taking place across further education. 

Finalists for 2018/19

The finalists were announced at the AoC Annual Conference gala dinner held on Tuesday 20 November, in Birmingham. Also announced at the gala dinner were the finalists the Tes FE Awards.

British Council International Award (category details)

  • National Star College (Cheltenham)
  • Glasgow Kelvin College (Scotland)
  • Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education
  • Southern Regional College(N Ireland)

The Careers and Enterprise Company Careers Education and Guidance Award (category details)

  • North West Regional College (N Ireland)
  • Sunderland College

Edge Award for Excellence in the Practical Delivery of Technical and Professional Learning (category details)

  • Wiltshire College
  • Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education
  • EKC Group (East Kent)

Skills and Education Group Award for Social Mobility and Widening Participation (category details)

  • Birkenhead Sixth Form College
  • Bridgwater & Taunton College
  • Abingdon & Witney College

AoC Mental Health and Wellbeing Award (category details)

  • Middlesbrough College
  • Weston College
  • Reaseheath College (Cheshire)
  • Cardiff & Vale College (Wales)

Effective use of Technology in Further Education Award (Jisc) (category details)

  • Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education
  • Preston's College
  • Bolton College

City and Guilds College Engagement with Employers Award (category details)

  • Weston College
  • City of Glasgow College (Scotland)
  • Havering College of Further & Higher Education
  • Belfast Metropolitan College (Northern Ireland)

RCU Support for Students Award (category details)

  • Barking & Dagenham College
  • National Star College (Cheltenham)
  • Activate Learning (Oxford/Reading)

Awards ceremony 

For the first time, The AoC Beacon Awards and the Tes FE Awards will be presented alongside each other at the annual TES FE Awards ceremony in London, on Friday 22 March 2019. We are delighted that Tes will be the AoC Beacon Awards media partner to help us share and celebrate the commended and winning case studies.

The application and assessment of the AoC Beacon Awards and Tes FE Awards will remain independent.


If you have any questions, please contact the Charitable Trust team: Director, Ian Munro or Manager: Charitable Trust & Member Services, Rachel Costello by email

Award prospectus and guide to applicants 2018/19