Shining a national spotlight on their work, a Tees Valley teaching team has been shortlisted for an “Oscar” of the education world.
Transforming lives is part of the day job for the Education Training Collective (Etc.) tutors, who work in partnership with The Prince’s Trust to help inspire and motivate young people who might not otherwise step foot in a college.
Their efforts have now been recognised as the team has been shortlisted for a Silver Award in the Pearson National Teaching Awards for Further Education Team of the Year.
“We are over the moon,” said Gillian Hutchinson, who heads up the Prince’s Trust Teams at the college group, which delivers courses from Stockton Riverside College, Redcar and Cleveland College as well as locations in Middlesbrough, Darlington, Bishop Auckland and Catterick.
Working with some of the hardest to reach young people, aged 16 to 25, who may, for a whole host of reasons, have found themselves out of education, work or training, Gillian said: “There is no denying the team has a really tough job at times. They support our young people through the many challenges they may face on a day to day basis. They do it with dedication and enthusiasm and their commitment to the young people is endless.”
With the ability to engage learners who may have previously put up barriers to traditional education, the department head said: “With the right motivation and support, these young people can turn their lives around, and so often do.”
Many go on to vocational courses, start work, or take up further training or volunteering opportunities.
For the Etc. Team, Gillian said it is seeing that first spark of enthusiasm return that makes all of the hard work worthwhile.
She added: “It’s fantastic for the tutors, and also for other FE workers who teach non-traditional learners, to be recognised by the Pearson Awards.”
The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of exceptional teachers. If the team go on to be named among the Silver Award winners they will compete for one of just 14 Gold Awards announced at a televised BBC UK ceremony later in the year.
Steve Munby, Chair of the Teaching Awards Trust, said: “Congratulations to all of the amazing staff in the running to win a Silver Award. This is fair recognition of the outstanding job they are doing and their efforts in going well beyond their role to make sure their students get every chance in life. Now more than ever is the time to appreciate our teachers and the fantastic work they are doing.”