Two FE Week journalists scooped the top further education prizes at the CIPR Education Journalism Awards 2016 at a ceremony in London last night.
Paul Offord, deputy editor of FE Week took home the award for Outstanding Further and Vocational Education Journalism, with senior reporter Alix Robertson claiming the runner-up prize.
Paul was rewarded for his exclusive investigation into brokers taking millions in government funding meant for front-line training, with judges commending him on demonstrating “the importance of good contacts” and “holding senior bodies to account”.
Alix took second place for her series of features into the Saudi Arabia colleges of excellence programme, which judges deemed “an arresting read, and a very powerful account of how asking challenging questions can result in the right thing being done.”
The pair were up against TES reporters Julia Belgutay and Stephen Exley, Kim Thomas from Public Finance magazine and Freddie Whittaker, political reporter at FE Week’s sister paper, Schools Week.
FE Week’s Jude Burke and Billy Camden (reporter for both FE Week and Schools Week) was also shortlisted for an award in the Most Promising Newcomer category.
Now in their twelfth year, the awards celebrate the best and brightest education and skills journalists for the academic year 2015/16, and attracted entrants from The Guardian, TES, Financial Times, ITV and BBC News.
John Dickens, chief reporter at FE Week’s sister paper Schools Week also took a top accolade, winning first place in the Outstanding National Education Journalism category. Dickens beat off four other reporters who were also shortlisted: Jon Severs, Richard Vaughan, Helen Ward and Kaye Wiggins, all from the TES.
Schools Week Editor Laura McInerney was shortlisted in the category for editorial excellence.
Editor of FE Week, Nick Linford, said: “Last night was well deserved recognition for our talented reporters as well as for both newspapers and all of the team.”
Managing director of Lsect, the publisher of Schools Week and FE Week, Shane Mann, added: “Nick and I were proud and honoured to see our journalists’ hard work recognised and celebrated.
“So many guests at the awards were full of praise for both newspapers – these moments offer an opportunity to reflect and appreciate how much we’ve achieved in such a short space of time. In six years we have become the go-to place for news in the education and skills sector.”