Teacher of the year


This award seeks to reward the individual whose passion, knowledge and skill have inspired students to success and who has made a major contribution to educational life. It is open to all UK further education institutions. Up to five members of staff can be nominated from any one institution.  

  • Give evidence of excellent impact on learners’ progress, attainment and growth
  • How has this teacher brought about positive change beyond his/her own learners?
  • How does this teacher demonstrate commitment and achievement in his/her own professional development?
  • This award is open to anyone working as a teacher, trainer, tutor, lecturer or assessor in the FE sector
  • Student testimonials will be welcomed – maximum of four 

Employer engagement


This award recognises strategic and innovative approaches to delivering employers' workforce development needs. It covers the year 2015-16 and is open to all further education providers in the UK.

  • Describe any new ways you have developed working with employers
  • Provide evidence of your high-quality, flexible provision, and show how it is responsive to employer and employee needs
  • Explain how you have ensured that the staff who delivered this programme were up to date and had relevant business experience.
  • Explain the positive impacts on the businesses you work with  

Outstanding use of technology for improving teaching, learning and assessment


This award will recognise and reward an FE provider that has demonstrated an innovative, strategic and far-reaching use of technology in support of the goals of that institution. The judges will be looking in particular for evidence of the contribution of the individuals involved, how they gained support within their institutions, overcame challenges and brought about real change with a significant impact.

  • Describe the background to and context of your entry
  • Outline the form the initiative takes, how it works and why it is innovative and effective
  • Detail how the individuals involved contributed to the success of the initiative
  • Explain how you built awareness of what you were doing 

Assessor of the year


This award seeks to reward the individual whose passion, knowledge and skill have inspired apprentices to success and who has made a major contribution to educational life. It is open to people working in all UK further education institutions. Up to five members of staff can be nominated from any one institution.  

  • Give evidence of excellent impact on learners’ progress, attainment and growth, plus benefit to the employer where appropriate
  • How has this assessor brought about positive change beyond his/her own learners?
  • How does this assessor demonstrate commitment and achievement in his/her own professional development?
  • This award is open to anyone working as an assessor in the FE sector
  • Testimonials will be welcomed – maximum of four

Professional services team of the year


This award recognises the administrative and professional services teams working behind the scenes at colleges and FE providers It covers the year 2015-16 and is open to all further education providers in the UK. 

  • Explain how a specific team achieved or exceeded its objectives
  • Include supporting evidence, where available, to demonstrate clearly the contribution of the team in achieving those objectives
  • Outline how the team supported the wider aims of the organisation, and worked collaboratively with other teams and individuals, inside and outside the organisation
  • Explain how your team's work improves on standard practice in the sector, and enhances the performance of your organisation as a whole
  • Outline how the team supports the organisation’s mission and values by putting learners’ needs at the core of service design and delivery

Marketing/communications campaign of the year


This award recognises outstanding work within marketing and communications departments. It covers the year 2015-16 and is open to all further education providers in the UK. 

  • Explain how a specific communications, public relations or marketing campaign achieved or exceeded its objectives
  • Include supporting evidence, where available, to demonstrate clearly the contribution of the campaign in achieving those objectives
  • Outline how the campaign supported the wider aims of the organisation
  • Explain how your team's work improves on standard practice in the sector
  • Include other notable achievements that you think make your work stand out – including creativity, teamwork, impact, success against the odds
  • Judges welcome supporting evidence. While samples of tactical work such as advert proofs, media cuttings, screen grabs are helpful, we are more interested in supporting measurement and evaluation data, including: research relating to awareness, attitude or behaviour change as a results of the campaign; relevant recruitment information; media and social media analysis etc.

Best teaching and learning initiative


This award recognises a team or teams that have launched exceptional ideas to improve the quality of teaching or learning. The initiative or initiatives should be carried out jointly between departments and evidence of shared ownership should be provided. The award covers the year 2015-16 and is open to all further education providers in the UK.

  • Describe what your team has done and how this has had a major impact on learning and teaching
  • What makes it unique and innovative?
  • Explain the nature of your initiative and the challenges involved
  • What were the results? Provide evidence of demonstrable progress or success
  • What could be the impact if your initiative were adopted more widely?
  • Examples of inter-departmental collaboration should be provided
  • What are the key points of your best practice that you would like to share with the sector?

Contribution to the local community


This award recognises the individual, team or FE provider that has made the most impact in supporting the community socially, culturally or economically. It covers the year 2015-16 and is open to all further education providers in the UK.

  • Describe the background to and context of your initiative
  • Explain the nature of the work, and the challenges involved
  • Provide evidence of demonstrable impact.
  • Show how the project has supported the target community to sustain the impact
  • Outline how staff and students contributed to the success of the project and what they gained from the experience

FE leader of the year


This award is aimed at recognising exceptional leadership in FE in the UK for the year 2015-16. As previous short-listed candidates demonstrate, leadership includes but is not confined to institutional leadership and extends beyond and below the CEO.

Nominations from staff, boards/trustees and/or stakeholders should make clear what characterises the exceptional achievement with particular emphasis on impact. Judges welcome, in particular, robust independent testimonials in support of the nomination.

Lifetime achievement


This award will be given to the individual who, in the opinion of the judging panel, deserves to be honoured for his or her contribution to further education above and beyond their own academic interests. Institutions and individuals are welcome to submit nominations for consideration.

Support for learners


This award will be given to the FE Provider that helps students gain the maximum benefit from their time at the college or learning provider. 

  • Describe the background to and context of a specific initiative to support students
  • Explain the nature of the support package, detail how it works, and explain why it is original and effective
  • What were the results? Have you attracted more students? Have achievement or retention rates increased? How were the measures received by student bodies? Provide evidence of demonstrable progress or success including more than one year’s statistics where possible
  • Outline your principal achievements that cover the year 2015 - 2016
  • Summarise in no more than 500 words what you were trying to achieve, how you set about achieving it and how you plan to monitor the impact of their scheme

Training Provider of the Year


This will be awarded to the provider that has demonstrated exceptional performance in the past academic year. It covers the year 2015-16 and is open to all independent training providers. High quality teaching and learning, learner achievement and business performance are important factors, the main criterion will be evidence of particular bold, imaginative and innovative initiatives that have advanced your reputation and performance over the last year.   

FE College of the year


This award seeks to reward the colleges whose imagination and passion have led to stellar provision in all areas. We are looking for evidence of excellence in providing a high-quality curriculum with excellent student outcomes, reflected in strong recruitment and success rates. It is open to all UK further education colleges.

  • Explain how you evaluate and develop your college’s professional progress with regard to teaching, learning and assessment.
  • How has your engagement with students impacted positively in and beyond your institution? If applicable explain how it has had an effect beyond your own institution.
  • Judges will be looking for evidence of sustained commitment to advancing and positively influencing the student experience.
  • Testimonials from students and employers will be welcomed
  • How has your college made a significant and distinctive contribution to your local economy and wider community?

Apprenticeship programme of the year


This award recognises strategic and innovative approaches to delivering apprenticeships, and the work being done to access new groups of potential apprentices and support them as they start their careers. It covers the year 2015-16 and is open to all apprenticeship providers in the UK including employer providers.

  • Describe any new ways you have developed working with employers or in case of employer providers the main workforce.
  • Provide evidence of how your programme meets the standards and the employers’ requirements. Show how it is responsive to employer and employee needs
  • Explain how you have developed the route into your programme, including links with schools and colleges. In doing so describe how diversity has been addressed.
  • Explain the positive impacts on the businesses you work with

Sixth form college of the year


This is a new award which seeks to recognise sixth form colleges which best epitomise the qualities which make the sector so distinctive. We are looking for evidence of excellence in 16-18 education across the board in terms of the quality of teaching and learning as well as outcomes. We would also want to see evidence of reaching out to other institutions and a commitment to sharing good practice and raising achievement more widely. It is open to all designated sixth form colleges in England. The award is open to both incorporated colleges and former incorporated colleges which have converted, of are in the process of converting to, academy status.

  • Demonstrate consistently strong outcomes: using success rate, progression, value added and other measures
  • Demonstrate teaching and learning practices which are particularly effective and innovative.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to disseminating good practice which has had a positive impact beyond your own institution.
  • Case studies will be welcomed but submissions need to demonstrate that they exemplify qualities which are common rather than exceptional in the college.

Giving FE's finest the recognition they deserve.

Photos from the 2017 TES FE Awards.

The winners will be revealed on Friday 24 February 2017 at the Grosvenor House Hotel.

See why the TES FE Awards are valued by the sector.

If you have an enquiry, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us.

Sign up here to receive the latest news on the TES FE Awards.