Eleven colleges that showcase “the best and most innovative practice” in the sector have been honoured at the Association of Colleges Beacon Awards 2021.

This year’s winners and highly commended were celebrated during the membership organisation’s annual conference today, which is taking place virtually amid the coronavirus pandemic.

AoC chief executive David Hughes highlighted how those rewarded have gone “above and beyond in providing high-quality technical and professional education”.

“The awards showcase exactly why colleges are so important to every community and why people value them,” he said.

“They recognise the very best collaboration, support and education and training that is delivered by expert teaching staff.”

Full details about each entry can be read here. The categories and winners are as follows:


British Council International Award

Winner: DN Colleges Group  


Careers and Enterprise Company Award for Innovation in Careers and Enterprise

Winner: West Suffolk College


Edge Award for Excellence in the Practical Delivery of Technical and Professional Learning

Winner: Strode College

Highly commended: Lancaster & Morecambe College 


Pears #iwill Award for Social Action and Student Engagement

Wnner: East Durham College


NOCN Group Mental Health and Wellbeing Award

Winner: Bridgend College


Jisc Award for effective use of Digital Technology in further education

Winner: TEC Partnership

Highly commended: Petroc College 


City and Guilds Award for College Engagement with Employers

Winner: Bridgwater & Taunton College


RCU Support for Students Award

Abingdon & Witney College


Inclusive Learning Leadership Award, supported by The National Centre for Diversity

Winner: Weston College

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