Three national awards for educational excellence

BTEC College of the Year

Date: Friday 04 July 2014

Local students Rosie Birch and Reanna Kileen McGuirk from Exeter College have won Outstanding BTEC Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Student of the Year and Outstanding BTEC Public Services Student of the Year, respectively, at the National BTEC Awards. Exeter College also secured the overall Outstanding BTEC College of the Year Award, at the ceremony held in London on 3rd July 2014.

The ceremony was held in recognition of the nearly one million students around the country who are studying BTEC qualifications this year. Pearson, who own Edexcel, the awarding body for BTECs, received over 1000 nominations across the 20 award categories for this year's Awards. 

Now in their fourth year, the Awards were hosted by DJ and Presenter Jameela Jamil, at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London.  The attendees (who included the winning students, teachers, and leaders in education) also heard from philanthropist and presenter, Katie Piper, and were treated to a dance performance from BTEC students. 

Ahead of the Awards Ceremony, the winners, their family, friends and nominators attended a Parliamentary reception in the House of Lords, hosted by Government Education Spokesperson Baroness Sharp.

Mark Anderson, Managing Director, Pearson UK said, "The National BTEC Awards are a fantastic way to celebrate all that is excellent in vocational education and I always enjoy meeting these truly inspirational teachers and students.

"Every year, thousands of BTEC students go on to university and good jobs that really value their skills. They achieve great things in a wide variety of industries vital to the economy, ranging from business and engineering to ICT and healthcare. 

"At a time when the value of vocational learning at school and college is continuing to be robustly debated, we believe the example set by these Award winners is part of a growing body of evidence that clearly demonstrates their valuable contribution to both the education system and the broader economy.

"It is vital to support and celebrate the hard work and achievements of outstanding BTEC students and their teachers. This year's judges were impressed by the quality and number of nominations we received, but Exeter College really stood out as being truly exceptional."

Rob Bosworth, Assistant Principal at Exeter College, said: "We're delighted that Exeter College has won this prestigious award and that our students achievements and staff commitment have been recognised nationally as best practice.  

"Employability and progression are embedded at the heart of our curriculum design and delivery, ensuring that all our full-time vocational courses have a line of sight to industry. We are proud of our extensive BTEC provision which underpins this, providing credible and purposeful qualifications for students progressing in their vocational careers. 

"Our outstanding success rates and increasing student recruitment numbers are further evidence that we continue to fully embrace the ethos and values of BTEC."

Award winner Rosie Birch said: "I feel so honoured to have won this award not only for myself but for everyone at Exeter College".  I had the best two years of my life at college, meeting wonderful people and gaining so many amazing opportunities and memories.  I can't believe how quickly it went and how much fun it was.  Winning this award was the icing on top of the cake." 

Award winner Reanna Kileen McGuirk said: "I am ecstatic to have won such a prestigious award.  My Lecturers at Exeter College guided me through, providing me and my peers with the best knowledge and skills to aid us in our futures. I am pleased I have been able to make them proud, as well as my family and friends who have been a huge support".

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