Royal Honour for London South East Colleges

London South East Colleges was today presented with a Queen’s Anniversary Prize by HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall at a special Buckingham Palace ceremony.

Collecting the prestigious medal on behalf of the College were Chair, Stephen Howlett CBE DL and CEO & Principal, Dr Sam Parrett OBE. Joining 22 other prize-winning institutions, London South East Colleges was one of just four Further Education colleges nationally to receive the accolade, which is the highest honour that can be awarded to a further or higher education institution.

The College was chosen in recognition of its high quality technical and vocational provision, specifically in relation to its recent work within the construction industry - the ‘Construction Skills Generator’. This pioneering initiative is helping to support housing ambitions across greater London, in partnership with employers and stakeholders.

Immediately following today’s ceremony, a winners’ reception was hosted by His Royal Highness, at which Stephen and Sam were joined by three members of college staff and five construction students.

Speaking after the event, Chair of London South East Colleges, Stephen Howlett, CBE, DL said: “This is a hugely exciting day for all of us at London South East Colleges. On behalf of the College, I am honoured to accept this accolade and grateful to all our students, staff, employer partners and stakeholders for their ongoing support.

“Being awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize represents our commitment to the communities we serve – in particular, the work we are involved in to support Mayoral housing ambitions across London. I am proud to be part of such an organisation and offer my congratulations to all this year’s most deserving prize winners.”

CEO and Principal of London South East Colleges, Dr Sam Parrett, added: “Receiving this prize is a real honour for all of us at London South East Colleges – and fantastic for Further Education a whole. This award recognises some of the great work taking place in our sector and the positive effect this work is having on so many lives.”

Attending the event at Buckingham Palace was student Level 2 Plumbing student Melissa Cummins. She said: “I'm so proud to be one of the students attending this ceremony today, it is a huge honour for me to be representing the College and meeting HRH The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. Can things really get any better than this?”


The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes are awarded every two years to universities and colleges to showcase excellence. Past winners have been recognised for work in a wide range of disciplines – science, engineering, arts and the creative industries, education, the humanities, the environment and medicine. Prize-winning work has involved vocational training, research and development, resourcing and new facilities, and new approaches to teaching and learning. Direct benefits have been delivered at local, regional, national and international level.


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