Winners of the highly anticipated Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) STAR Awards have been celebrating their success in London.

The annual event, now in its fifth year, has been deemed as the Oscars of the further education sector, and recognise the commitment and expertise of individuals making a significant contribution to the skill levels of young people and adult learners every day.

Over 500 further education staff and learners from across England attended the ceremony in London to congratulate the winners, who were selected from more than 2,500 nominees.

The winners, and those highly commended, in the 10 categories were:

Skills for Life category, sponsored by NIACE

Winner: Lynn Evans, ESOL Coordinator at Stafford College

Engaging employers category, sponsored by LSC

Winner: The Business Development Unit at The Isle of Wight College

Response to learners’ needs category, sponsored by Remploy

Winner: Lynn Reddick, Head of Entry and Pre-Entry Level at North East Surrey College of Technology

Teaching, training and learning practitioner category, sponsored by IfL

Winner: Jean Bartley, Teacher and Course Leader at Herefordshire College of Technology

Highly commended: Ed Anderson, SRC Bede Sixth Form College, Billingham

Lifetime Achievement category, sponsored DIUS

Winner: Helen Sexton, Principal of The National Star College (Cheltenham)

Highly commended: Iris Corfield, The Royal National College for the Blind and Julie Mclean, City College Plymouth

Support role category, sponsored by Unison

Winner: Evelyn Shaw, Head Cook at Ruskin College (Oxford)

Highly commended: Lynda Turner, Stafford College and Peter Vaughan, City of Westminster College

Learning Support category, sponsored by Nord Anglia Education Partnerships Ltd

Winner: Susan Parr, Student Liaison Advisor at Cheadle and Marple Sixth Form College (Cheshire)

Highly commended: Jill Herrington, HMP and YOI Ashfield and Marie Keeley, Warrington Collegiate

Leadership category, sponsored by LSIS

Winner: Merron Mitchell, Head of Offender Learning at The Manchester College

Highly commended: Sunaina Mann, NESCOT

Innovation category, sponsored by Becta

Geoff Rebbeck, ILT Development Coordinator at Thanet College (Kent)

Highly commended: Mike McDermott, Uxbridge College

Workforce development category, sponsored by Lifelong Learning UK

Winner: The Senior Teacher Team at North East Worcestershire College

Highly commended: Leadership & Professional Development Team, Hackney Community College and Suffolk Fire Brigade Union Learning Team, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service

Siôn Simon MP, Minister for Further Education at the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS), said: "The LSIS STAR Awards recognise the tremendous contribution made by those who work in the further education and skills sector and, in particular, the unsung heroes who make such a difference to the lives of learners. This year’s winners and nominees have inspired countless young and adult learners and have helped them to achieve their full potential; I congratulate them all warmly.

"These awards highlight the vital importance of the further education and skills sector and those who work in it to build a strong UK economy and a cohesive society, helping thousands of young people and adults gain skills, confidence and new qualifications every day."

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