From education to employment

STAR winners put funds to good use

Last year’s QIA STAR winners reveal how they are spending their STARlight fund as nominations for this year’s competition get underway

Visually impaired students could soon be dancing to the passionate rhythms of Spanish flamenco.
A teacher of performing arts at the Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) in Hereford is to travel to Seville to explore how she can use the dynamic and exciting art form to develop her dance teaching.
Amanda Hemmer will pay for her trip using money from the STARlight fund introduced last year for winners of the Quality Improvement Agency’s (QIA) STAR Awards.
The STARlight fund is designed to support activities which will improve a winner’s own knowledge and expertise, and also benefit the teaching and learning experience of their learners.
Amanda was named ‘Outstanding teaching, training and learning practitioner’ last year and is among several winners of the 2007 STARs who are planning to put STARlight funding to good use.
Others include:
Marc Wood from the Friends Centre in Brighton who won the award for ‘Outstanding provision of learning opportunities in response to learners’ needs’. Marc works with homeless people and helps them into college courses or the workplace. He is proposing to use his STARlight funding to continue training in alternative therapies.
Bill Leivers, a team leader at Loughborough College, won the award for ‘Outstanding contribution to the development of the further education system’ for his development of the e-Progress file. He proposes to use his funding to visit Massachusetts and rekindle a college exchange programme while comparing vocational educational systems.
Several winners proposed to use their funding to purchase AV equipment, laptops and digital cameras in order to improve the quality and professionalism of their training sessions and for use at awards ceremonies for publicity shots. Others opted to undertake personal challenges such as sailing instruction and walking the Pennine Way.
All STAR Awards winners receive a STAR trophy and a cash prize as well as the opportunity to apply for STARlight funding.
The deadline is fast approaching for nominations for the 2008 STAR Awards. The closing date for nominations is 6 June. To be eligible for an award nominees must work in England in a place that is not a school or university. Their organization or workplace, or the programme they help to deliver, must either be fully or partly funded by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).
Making a nomination is simple and only takes a few moments: just visit and follow three simple steps.

For more information at the STAR Awards and the STARlight fund, call the team on 0845 225 4523 or email [email protected]

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