Top colleges reach the final of AoC Beacon Awards

20 Nov 2018

The finalists for this year’s AoC Beacon Awards were announced at a glamorous gala dinner in Birmingham tonight.

More than 300 staff from the further education packed out the ICC venue to witness the colleges that were nominated in eight different categories for their contribution to the further education sector.

The Beacon Awards were launched over 20 years ago to recognise the fantastic work that colleges do each day, training more than two million people, including over 600,000 16 to 18-year-olds. For the first time this year, the finalists of the Tes FE Awards were also announced at the gala dinner, with the winners of all the awards to be announced at the Tes FE Awards ceremony in London next March.

The shortlist for the 2018/19 Awards is as follows:

British Council International Award 
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 
North West Regional College (N Ireland)
Sunderland College

Edge Award for Excellence in the Practical Delivery of Technical and Professional Learning
Wiltshire College
Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education
EKC Group (East Kent)

Skills and Education Group Award for Social Mobility and Widening Participation
Birkenhead Sixth Form College
Bridgwater & Taunton College
Abingdon & Witney College


AoC Mental Health and Wellbeing Award
Middlesbrough College
Weston College
Reaseheath College (Cheshire)
Cardiff & Vale College (Wales)


Effective use of Technology in Further Education Award (Jisc)
Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education
Preston's College
Bolton College


City and Guilds College Engagement with Employers Award
Weston College
City of Glasgow College (Scotland)
Havering College of Further & Higher Education
Belfast Metropolitan College (Northern Ireland)

RCU Support for Learners Award
Barking & Dagenham College
National Star College (Cheltenham)
Activate Learning (Oxford/Reading)

Carole Stott MBE, Chair of the AoC Charitable Trust, said:

“The Beacon Awards were created to highlight the great work that goes on in colleges every day.

“Colleges put in a fantastic effort to transform the lives of more than two million people each day and are deeply embedded within their communities. These finalists have done exceptionally well to get this far, and we wish them the best of luck for the final in February.”

To find out more about the Tes FE Awards, click here.