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B&FC Principal receives OBE at Buckingham Palace

Blackpool and The Fylde College (B&FC) Principal and Chief Executive Bev Robinson has visited Buckingham Palace for an investiture ceremony where she received her OBE for Services to Further Education.

Bev received her award from the Prince of Wales at the event, after it was announced in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in June last year.  

With over 20 years’ experience in further and higher education colleges, Bev has overseen continuous success since arriving at Blackpool and The Fylde College in 2013. 

After receiving the honour, she said:

“This honour is in recognition of the work of everyone at Blackpool and The Fylde College. The organisation is continuously recognised among the top performing institutions for student success, both for further and higher education. The College works in partnership with industry to develop the skilled workforce needed to drive the UK economy, whilst enabling our students to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes to secure lifelong, enriching careers. I am delighted that this work has been recognised in this way.

“I have been fortunate to work with truly fabulous staff teams, both past and present and I whole-heartedly thank them. Similarly we have fantastic employer partners who are both generous of their time and highly-engaged with training and education. 

“I firmly believe that the development of technical and professional education and training is vital for the success of the UK economy. This award recognises the important work done by the FE sector which enables people of all ages, from all backgrounds, the opportunity to thrive and succeed.

“I feel extremely humbled to be awarded this honour.”

Since Bev joined Blackpool and The Fylde College in April 2013, the College has focussed on education and training which drives the economy, delivers a skilled workforce for industry and secures sustainable employment for students.

Key College achievements include:

  • June 2017 – B&FC the only college in Lancashire to be awarded Gold status in the new higher education Teaching Excellence Framework
  • June 2017 – B&FC rated highest performing large general FE college in England for student achievement for the third successive year by the Education and Skills Funding Agency
  • September 2016 – B&FC granted Foundation Degree Awarding Powers by the Privy Council
  • July 2016 – B&FC becomes one of the first organisations to receive Chartered Institute for Further Education
  • November 2015 – B&FC awarded the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its technical and professional work in partnership with employers
  • 2014/15 – B&FC receives STEM Assured Status. The College delivers more STEM based higher education than any other FE College in England (HEFCE).
  • October 2013 – B&FC judged Outstanding by Ofsted
  • May 2013 – B&FC’s higher education provision receives more commendations than any other UK institution from the Quality Assurance Agency.

Alan Cavil, Chair of Blackpool and The Fylde College’s Corporation Board, added:

“In choosing Bev as our new Principal in 2013, the Board was convinced by her belief that strong further education colleges can have a huge impact on the social and economic fortunes of an area, and indeed the UK as a whole. 

“She has gone on to exceed our expectations, with B&FC continually outpacing national targets and producing students with the skills and confidence to excel in a range of careers and industries.

“This award is recognition of the excellent work the College does to ensure students from the Fylde Coast and beyond have the best opportunities in life and, on a personal note, I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving to receive it than Bev.”

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