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National recognition

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Over the past year, The Bedford College Group celebrated ten national awards

as a reflection of its dedication to being the best post-16 provider in the local authority area of Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire.

The awards that our staff, students, and Group has been recognised for are as follows:

Connolly Centre
The Association for Decentralised Energy Awards 2022

The Association for Decentralised Energy annual awards celebrates innovative energy solutions designed around the needs of the user.

Heat & Efficiency Award for Design and Innovation – The Bedford College Group alongside Salix Finance (WINNER)

The Group won a national award for sustainability projects across its estate alongside Salix Finance. As part of efforts to significantly reduce carbon emissions, the Group utilised a £2.8 million grant from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS), which was delivered by Salix Finance and funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). This allowed the Group to implement major infrastructure changes across a number of campuses throughout 2021, in support of its goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The cutting-carbon event was held in June 2021where CEO Ian Pryce CBE and colleagues accepted the top prize at the ceremony held at The Hurlingham Club in London.

For more information of the infrastructure changes the Group completed to receive this award please visit:

Energy saving award
Ellen AoC
Daniel McAllister
The Association of Colleges (AoC) Student of the Year Awards 2022/23

Each year, the AoC Student of the Year awards celebrate truly unique students from colleges across England who deserve recognition and will go on to inspire others.

These awards are an opportunity to highlight outstanding and exceptional individuals and showcase their achievements, talents and successes. These students have gone above and beyond to give back and positively impact their college and community.

Results were announced on 15 November 2022 during the AoC Annual Conference.

HE Student of the Year – Ellen Stultiens of Bedford College (RUNNER UP)

Ellen was a truly remarkable student, overcoming multiple complex mental health conditions and years of school problems to become the highest achiever in the cohort and passionate about giving back to the community both locally and nationally.

Find out more about Ellen’s story

Adult Student of the Year – Daniel McAllister of Bedford College (RUNNER UP)

Daniel McAllister, was an extraordinary student who consistently exceeded expectations and went above and beyond during the past five years that he studied at Bedford College. Not only does he work full-time and is a busy father, but he is also deaf and communicates in class via a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter who translates spoken English into BSL.

Find out more about Daniel’s story

Chamber Award
Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce Awards 2022

Diversity & Inclusion Award – The Bedford College Group (WINNER)

The SME Bedfordshire Business Awards recognise and promote the best of British business through a series of regional heats, culminating in a campaign to showcase the winning businesses on a national stage.

The Bedford College Group took the top prize in the Bedfordshire Chamber Business Awards for being the best “Equality Trailblazer” in the county. Accepting the award from Chamber CEO Justin Richardson, was Chief Executive Em Lowe along with the Group’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager Ashley Spiers.

The Group was the first FE college to be awarded Gold from Stonewall for its LGBTQ+ work. Additionally, the Group has a Diversity in Leadership programme and students have been part of The Student Commission on Racial Justice.

Find out more
Art Win 1
Creative Conscience Awards 2022

Ellie Di Carlo and Konrad Konopka of Bedford College – (HIGHLY COMMENDED)

Creative Conscience is a global creative community and not-for-profit organisation who believe creative thinking and innovation can make positive change – values and beliefs which align closely with those of the Group. The charity aims to empower, mentor and reward members of the creative community to use their talent for positive social and environmental impact.

Two Graphic Design students from Bedford College, Ellie Di Carlo and Konrad Konopka, were highly commended in the international ‘Creative Conscience Awards’. Their work was selected from over 1,000 entries from universities and art colleges around the world. Awards were announced at an online ceremony in September.

Find out more
All awards 2022 (CMN Awards 2022)
FE First Awards 2022 hosted by The College Marketing Network (CMN)

Best of the Best Award – The Bedford College Group (GOLD AWARD)
Innovation & Creativity Award – The Bedford College Group (GOLD AWARD)
Internal Impact Award – The Bedford College Group (GOLD AWARD
Social & Digital Media Impact – The Bedford College Group (SILVER AWARD)

The FE First Awards, hosted by the CMN each year, is a nationally recognised event to celebrate the amazing work achieved by colleges and sixth forms from all over the UK and is supported by businesses who believe in and support the education sector.

The Bedford College Group won four prizes at the national awards ceremony held in November at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Solihull. Representatives of the Group’s marketing team attended the awards evening to collect the awards along with Chief Executive Officer Ian Pryce, CBE. The awards highlighted the work of FE Marketing Teams across the UK and showcase fantastic campaigns that are used to engage potential applicants, external stakeholders, employers and staff.

Find out more
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Motor Vehicle Team-Pearson Award
The Pearson National Teaching Awards

The Pearson National Teaching Awards were set up to celebrate the impact of invaluable education within the UK. Run by the Teaching Awards Trust and supported by Pearson and the BBC, they are the UK’s most prestigious celebration of transformational teaching. The awards ceremony was held in November at The Brewery, London.

FE Lecturer of the Year Award – Steph Lee-Vae (GOLD AWARD)

Tresham College lecturer Steph Lee-Vae was awarded the FE Lecturer of the Year 2022 by the Pearson National Teaching Awards. Steph’s boundless energy, prolific ideas and networking drive the extensive list of opportunities they proactively seek and implement for students. Steph was filmed by the BBC’s One show for the announcement at Tresham College in Kettering.

Find out more

Team of the Year Award – Motor Vehicle Team (SILVER AWARD)

The Motor Vehicle Team of Bedford College was honoured with a Silver Award in The Award for FE Team of the Year for their outstanding commitment to changing the lives of the children they work with every day.

Led by Head of Motor Vehicle, James Woolley and the team worked hard to redevelop a new Centre in Bedford to lead the way in offering cutting-edge training in electric vehicle maintenance.

Find out more

What else is going on?

The latest from The Bedford College Group

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