The winners of the ninth annual BTEC Awards have been recognised at a ceremony featuring performances, celebrity appearances and a bucket load of vocational talent.

Awards were presented to 21 winners in 20 categories, following deliberations by an expert panel of 52 judges, including the managing director of FE Week publisher Lsect, Shane Mann.

The winner of the creative media student of the year award, Sam Pope from The Bath Studio School, was described by his teacher as a “serious talent” who “goes beyond what is expected” while mentoring classmates too.

His short films have even landed him a role in an upcoming professional feature film by award-winning director Kae Bahar.

The awards were held in Westminster and run by Pearson, and its president in the UK, Rod Bristow, said: “All of those that won this year deserve huge congratulations and stand every chance of continuing that success into the careers they are now ready to start.

“This year’s awards are a fantastic celebration of them, alongside the schools, colleges, universities, training providers, and employers, who have underpinned their efforts.”

Hosting the awards was TV’s Steph McGovern, and the ceremony was also attended by Olympic gold medallist Max Whitlock, presenting the award for School of the Year.

The winner of the business and enterprise student of the year award, Ttanya Sachdev from Braeburn International School Arusha in Tanzania, earned her award after starting her own tuck shop business for teachers and students.

Performing at the ceremony were the four winners of the Showstopper Challenge, groups from schools and colleges offering BTECs in the performing arts: Deanery High School, D16 Performing Arts College, Jackie Palmer Academy and Bury College.

In a recent poll, Pearson has found that two thirds of medium sized businesses have hired BTEC graduates in the last five years. One such graduate is the winner of the hospitality, travel and tourism student of the year award Luke Bearpark from Exeter College, who has landed himself a job on the international cabin crew for British Airways.

Another college winner was East Surrey’s Francesca Horn, the winner of the art and design student of the year gong, whose work has previously been featured on BBC News.

The winner of the child, health and social care student of the year award, Teanna Maguire from Sir John Deanes sixth form college was described as a “shining star” with an “exemplary work ethic”.

Kasra Soltani, only came to England four years ago, yet his time and effort at Croydon College earned him this year’s construction student of the year award.

Shalini Rajan, the winner of teacher of the year, was said to be “empowering her students by embracing modern teaching and learning strategies” at The Winchester School in Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates.


The winners are:

  • BTEC Art and Design Student of the Year: Francesca Horn, East Surrey College, UK
  • BTEC Business and Enterprise Student of the Year: Ttanya Sachdev, Braeburn International School Arusha, Tanzania
  • BTEC Child and Social Care Student of the Year: Teanna Maguire, Sir John Deane’s Sixth Form College, UK
  • BTEC Construction Student of the Year: Kasra Soltani, Croydon College, UK
  • BTEC Creative Media Student of the Year: Sam Pope, The Bath Studio School, UK
  • BTEC Engineering Student of the Year: Ryan Kimber, Isle of Wight College, UK
  • BTEC Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Student of the Year: Luke Bearpark, Exeter College, UK
  • BTEC Land-based Student of the Year: Chloe Rochester, Bishop Burton College, UK
  • BTEC Music Student of the Year: Katie Cherry, Holmer Green Secondary School, UK
  • BTEC Performing Arts Student of the Year: Millie Davey, Scarborough TEC, UK
  • BTEC Public Services Student of the Year: Ryan Jolly, East Surrey College, UK
  • BTEC Science Student of the Year: Abbie Densham, Exeter College, UK
  • BTEC Sport Student of the Year: Dominika Bzdon, Nelson and Colne College, UK
  • BTEC Apprentice 16-18 of the Year: Connor Coupland, Leeds College of Building, UK
  • BTEC Apprentice 19+ of the Year: Christopher Meredith, Leeds College of Building, UK
  • BTEC School of the Year: Milton Abbey School, UK
  • BTEC College of the Year: Sunderland College, UK
  • BTEC Teacher of the Year: Shalini Rajan, The Winchester School, Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates
  • BTEC Tutor of the Year: Gwyn Williams, Abingdon and Witney College, UK
  • BTEC Students of the Year 2019: 
    • Josephine Kiaga, Braeburn International School Arusha, Tanzania
    • Christopher Meredith, Leeds College of Building, UK

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  1. Lorraine Pope

    Hi there, as a parent of one of the students I wanted to bring to your attention that the school that helped/saved my sons education was a School reported on by Billy Camden last year in BBC Bitesize report . Its such a shame that Studio Schools are in decline.

    It is no suprise that the Academy who have chosen to close the school have not acknowledged the success of the Studio school in achieving this award which is a great shame for not only Sam but for all of the hard working staff at the school.