From education to employment

College staff reach national awards finals for work on T Levels

An assessor in childcare and an IT tutor from North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) have reached the shortlist of the national NCFE Aspiration Awards for their work on delivering T Level qualifications. Helen Toulouse is in the running for Support Staff of the Year and Pindra Sefton will face her peers in a bid to win the Educator of the Year category.

The awards honour the success of students, apprentices, educators, support staff and educational organisations across the UK and this year are being celebrated as part of NCFE’s 175th anniversary. Winners of the Aspiration Awards are due to be announced in late June. 

Helen Toulouse, who works within the college’s health and life sciences team, sources work placements for students and supports them as they take their initial steps into the workplace. During 2023-24, Helen became an assessor on the T Level in Early Years and Education and now leads on the assessment of this qualification, supporting the wider team. Helen is dedicated to her own professional development and growth and is currently studying for the DTTLS teacher training qualification.

Helen Nixon, Learning and Skills Manager at NWSLC, said,

“Helen is always positive, she is friendly, supportive and a real team player. She has built strong relationships with our work placement providers and works collaboratively to create a supportive network that promotes well-being and development of others. Helen always gives 110 per cent in all that she does; she devotes her time to improving our provision to best meet the needs of students and placement providers. She is now in a position where she can provide support and guidance to other centres as we are now in our second year of delivery which she is always willing to do.”

Pindra Sefton is a lecturer in computing and team leader for computing and business at NWSLC where she has worked for over 15 years. Pindra has been instrumental in supporting her team in developing and delivering the T level in Digital Support Services.

Pindra has worked hard with the industry placement coordinator to ensure all T level students have suitable and meaningful opportunities. Pindra has been supporting staff and students in arranging extracurricular activities which enrich the learning experience, supporting the business students to attend university events and promoting skills competitions for digital and esports learners.

Student Elise said,

“Pindra is a helpful and kind teacher. She goes out of her way to support students and solve any issues they may be facing. She makes sure I am happy at college and am having no issues with the subjects or personally. Pindra is a fantastic teacher, and as a student it is clear to me that she cares deeply about her all students and the subjects that she teaches.”

Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive at NWSLC said,

“This is fantastic news for Helen and Pindra and it’s great to see that our college has finalists in two of the six categories of these awards. They are both completely committed to the college and consistently work with dedication to deliver the best possible experience for their students. T Levels are an important part of our curriculum offer and we are pleased to see the first intake of students successfully completing their qualifications this summer. We wish Helen and Pindra the best of luck for the final.”

T Levels are two-year, Level 3 programmes equivalent to studying three A Levels. They provide students with the opportunity to experience the world of work whilst they learn with a 45-day industry placement each year as part of the course.

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