Skip to main content

Inspirational lecturer honoured in prestigious UK celebration of Teaching

Pearson Awards -Steph Lee-Vae holding award.

Today, 26 May, Steph Lee-Vae, lecturer at The Bedford College Group has been named as one of 80 Pearson National Teaching Award Silver Award winners across the country.

Steph is honoured with a Silver Award in The Award for FE Lecturer of the Year 2022 for their outstanding commitment to changing the lives of the children they work with every day.

Steph’s boundless energy, prolific ideas and ability to network drive the extensive list of opportunities sought and implemented for students. Steph’s courses have a track record of 100% retention and achievement over the past few years and last year, 100% of Level 3 Graphics students progressed into Year Two. Steph set up a YouTube channel in 2020 with video tutorials and digital workshops for students to access at their own pace, so that no one is left behind. It remains in place in 2022.

Ian Pryce, Steph Lee-Vae, Charlotte Sallabanks-Busby
Steph Lee-Vae, Charlotte Sallabanks-Busby
Art & Design Dept


As a Silver Award winner, Steph has now been shortlisted to win one of just 16 Gold Awards later in the year. These once in a lifetime achievements will be broadcast on the BBC’s The One Show as part of a week-long celebration of teaching, which sees famous faces honour award winners every night in the run up to the ceremony. This is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the exceptional school staff who have worked wonders to bring together their local communities despite the challenges of the past few years.

The Silver Award winners are being honoured as part of the wider celebrations for national ‘Thank a Teacher Day’, bringing together everyone across the country to celebrate the schools and colleges at the heart of our communities.

The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of excellence in education, founded in 1998 by Lord Puttnam to recognise the life-changing impact an inspirational teacher can have on the lives of the young people they work with. This year marks its 23rd year of celebrating our school teaching staff across the UK.

Steph Lee-Vae commented:

“I’m so grateful to have won this award. It’s an honour to have won silver and I am just so surprised.”

Mother of one of Steph’s students, Charlotte Sallabanks-Busby attended the presentation of the award on Thursday 26 May and said:

“As a tutor Steph has been amazing, whatever we needed they have helped to organise. For Lee’s last day at college Steph arranged a fancy dress day with the other students and had a photoshoot that I was invited too as well. Amazing memories for Lee to have.  

Lee passed in December and Steph has gone above and beyond. They gave him strength when he most needed it. Steph gave him a few weeks of being an independent young man. Myself, my family and Lee will be forever grateful for Steph.”

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said:

“Congratulations to Steph on this incredible achievement, and for the hard work and dedication which led up to it. Winning this award is impressive, well-deserved and shows Steph’s commitment to helping students achieve their full potential.”

Michael Morpurgo, celebrated author and former Children’s Laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards Trust, said:

“For so many of us, it was someone at school who changed our lives, was at our side through hard and difficult times, who lifted us up when we were down, helped us find our voice, gave us confidence when we needed it most, and set us on a path that we have followed ever since. 

“No matter who we are, school has touched our lives and played a central role in our childhoods. School is about so much more than learning, and we see that now more than ever before. Schools really are the beating heart of our communities. Every person that cares for our children in schools should be celebrated loud and clear on Thank A Teacher Day 2022.” 

What else is going on?

The latest from The Bedford College Group

View more