The Skills Awards ran for its second time this year. Focused specifically on the delivery of English and Maths, The Skills Awards aims to reward the quality and diversity of educational delivery and achievement in the best educational establishments, along with the most dedicated members of the teaching profession.
There were three categories to enter this year and after much deliberation from a panel of specially selected judges the winners were as follows:
The award for Provider of the Year went to Weston College. The judges found that this provider recognises English and maths as key to unlocking opportunities in life, and developed a wide range of initiatives to engage and support their learners. A dedicated English and maths faculty is led by subject specialists who are empowered to try new approaches, and embed these subjects within vocational subject areas.
The winner for Maths Teacher of the Year went to Sarah Richardson from learningSkills. She has been described by colleagues as someone who “sets a high standard for others to follow and is a shining example of good practice”. One classroom observation stated that her knowledge was “absolutely exceptional” and that learners are “extremely motivated and engaged throughout the sessions”. Sarah has taught all levels of both Functional Skills and GCSE and her results across the board are outstanding. She regularly supports other tutors to develop their own teaching skills, and set up a drop-in sessions outside her usual lessons to support more learners. One of her learners sent her an email that said: “I have actually enjoyed every minute of learning maths whereas before I met you I hated it. You have taught me to love maths as well as giving me skills for life. I couldn’t be more grateful”.
The winner for English Teacher of the Year went to Justine Purcell from Dudley College. She leads a team of nine GCSE teachers, and her outstanding contribution has been fundamental in ensuring her college achieves success rates 26% above the national average, with her own personal achievement rate 41% above the national average. She tirelessly evaluates delivery strategies to help learners understand the subject, and gives up her own time creating bespoke booster courses. 93% of learners say their confidence and skills have greatly improved due to the methods being introduced. She also mentors new members of staff and hosts other colleges seeking to improve their own performance.