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Celebrating colleges and their students

28 June 2017

Awards and competitions are a staple in every industry; they’re a celebration of talent, success and achievements, Association of Colleges Beacon and student awards are designed to do exactly that. AoC’s Annual Conference awards ceremony has been a platform to celebrate high achieving students and colleges and I look forward to see the winners at this year’s awards. AoC Beacon Awards are intended to celebrate the top and most innovative practice in our further education colleges, through highlighting excellence and sharing best practice. Last year we saw Calderdale College win an award for College Engagement with Employers, for the development of an impressive range of skills support programme that have seen thousands of business benefit from high quality staff training. Chichester College won the award for Student with Learning Difficulties/Disabilities through their theatre company that recognised the need for young performers and art makers who live with a range of learning difficulties, something that is lacking in the mainstream education and training. It’s the innovative and inspirational work like this that colleges need to showcase and boast about now more than ever. The Student of the Year recognise exceptional achievements of individual students. Over the years we’ve awarded students who have overcome life’s obstacles through shear determination and a drive to succeed. For example last year Michal Kolanski from Craven College won in the 19-years-old category, Living alone in Poland at the age of 14 after his parents divorce, Michal came to this country aged 16 not speaking a word of English, after taking a six month ESOL course he followed this on to achieve GCSE grades. This young man faced with all the challenges still finds the time to volunteer and help students with learning difficulties, the homeless and West Yorkshire Police. He inspires everyone around him. To showcase the create talent in our students we have launched a new and exciting Student Video of the Year competition which no doubt will be as successful as the previous years Student Photographer award. Recognition for hard work and great achievements makes it all worthwhile. Colleges do some amazing work all over the country and they need to be celebrated. Good luck all those who have entered this year! There’s still time to enter the 2017 awards, visit our webpages for more information. Beacons Award Student of the Year Student Video of the Year