From education to employment

Accrington and Rossendale College Delight at Queen’s Anniversary Prize

Accrington and Rossendale College are delighted at the announcement that they have been awarded The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for 2005.

The Queens Anniversary Prize is the most sought after Academic Award in the UK and is part of the nation’s Honours System, awarded biennially to Higher & Further Education Institutes. Other Award Winners this year are 17 Universities including prestigious institutions such as Oxford and Cambridge Universities. A delegation from the college travelled to Buckingham Palace on the 16th of February and received their prize from Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.

The Delegation

A delegation of students and members of staff travelled to Buckingham Palace where they were presented with the medal. The five staff members selected to attend were Kath Burrows, Chair of the Corporation, from Helmshore; Nancy Cookson, Principal, from Burnley; Clive Weston, Head of Construction, from Darwen; George Grunshaw, a Lecturer from Blackburn, and Stephen Pinder, the Curriculum Manager, from Clitheroe.

As was mentioned above, five students were also lucky enough to attend the ceremony, demonstrating that the success is based on both staff and learner achievement. The students attending were Simon Parkington, studying for his Brickwork Level 2, from Oswaldtwistle; Simon Harulow, studying Plumbing Level 3, from Blacko; Anthony Hamblett, studying for Carpentry and Joinery at Level 3, from Rawtenstall; Karl Simpson, studying Plastering at Level 3, from Burnley; and Alicia Dagg, studying Painting and Decorating from Healey.

The Prize

The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education are an integral part of the nation’s honours system. The Prizes are given by The Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Prizes are administered by an independent charitable trust, namely The Royal Anniversary Trust, and are awarded biennially to institutions of higher and further education for work of exceptional quality and of broad benefit either nationally or internationally.

They scheme was set up in 1993 and came from the commemorations for the 40th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne. All Universities and Colleges across the UK are invited to make a single entry in each round. There is no limitation regarding the subjects that can be considered, and the scheme is open to nominations of any subject area, type of work or project which they have initiated and in which they remain engaged, but the entry must demonstrate outstanding achievement and benefit brought to the Institution and more widely.

The College and Reaction

The Construction Department at the College moved to a new £5.5 million purpose built site in 2005. In the same year, the Government recognised it as one of the first Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) Centres. Also in 2005, Accrington and Rossendale College became the only Construction Department in the UK to receive 3 Grade 1s in consecutive Government Inspections.

Speaking of the prize, the College Principal Nancy Cookson said: “This is the most prestigious award of its kind in the UK and to win it for our work in Vocational Education makes it all the more exciting. I think it is also important to point out that this award honours more than a decade of excellence and commitment to Construction Education and Training and we are very proud to be bringing it back to East Lancashire.”

Ruth Kelly, the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, issued a statement praising the achievements of the prize ““ winners, saying: “I would like to congratulate the winners of the Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education. The breadth of their achievement is an outstanding testament to the remarkable work being done by universities and colleges in the UK. They clearly demonstrate that we can be proud of our educational institutions and of the expertise and commitment to excellence of those who teach in them.”

The Head of Construction at the College, Clive Weston, himself recently received the Star Award for Outstanding Leadership from the Department for Education and Skills (DFES). He said: “This award is a huge boost to the College, but also the UK Construction Industry in general. It recognises the importance of Vocational Training and in a very public way, puts it alongside the academic and scientific achievements of the other winners. It’s great recognition for the hard work of the students and staff over many, many years.”

Jethro Marsh

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