A South Thames College teacher has won Outstanding Tutor of the Year at the first national BTEC awards.
Euthan Newman, who teaches health and social care, was praised by judges for his outstanding commitment to his students.
“I’m very grateful for this honour and I will continue trying to be a teacher worthy of the term ‘outstanding’.” Mr Newman told FE News.
Nearly one million UK students, aged 16 and up, are studying for BTEC qualifications, which cover subjects from sports to science.
The awards ceremony was held at the Royal Society of Arts, in London, on 7 July, attended by education leaders and policy makers including Skills Minister John Hayes.
Mr Newman, a former home care manager who has taught for two years, gives extra workshops to his students during his spare time.
He added: “It’s a challenge to find innovative ways to inspire young people; there are so many distractions.
“It’s important to understand what is happening in students’ lives – that they know you care about them.”
Elsewhere in the awards, National Enterprise Academy student Grant Ridley won outstanding BTEC student of the year, while Mid Cheshire College student Keith Southern won outstanding BTEC adult student of the year.
The awards come as the government is pushing vocational skills as a way out of the country’s unemployment struggles.
Rod Bristow, head of education giant Pearson UK, which owns BTEC examining body Edexcel, said: “It’s high time that vocational excellence is celebrated just as much as we celebrate academic achievement.
“Every year, thousands of BTEC students go on to great universities and fantastic jobs. They achieve great things in a wide variety of careers, from business and engineering to ICT and healthcare.
“It is vital to support and celebrate the hard work and achievements of outstanding BTEC students and their teachers.”