From education to employment

Celebrating student success at London South East Colleges

Twenty-one amazing students had their hard work rewarded this week, as they were presented with prizes at London South East Colleges’ annual student awards ceremony.

Each winner had an inspiring story, demonstrating outstanding dedication, determination and hard work throughout the academic year.

Students were presented with their awards by the Chair of London South East Colleges, Stephen Howlett CBE DL.

Addressing guests, Stephen said: “I am honoured to be presenting these awards to such incredible students. Success must be celebrated and I think everyone in the audience feels inspired by the stories they have heard this evening.

“As a product of further education myself, I am a huge advocate for the life changing role it can have in peoples’ lives. I wish every winner and nominee many congratulations and the very best for your future career.

“I have no doubt that every single one of you will go onto be very successful. Please continue to inspire others and to be the very best you can be.”

Over a hundred guests attended the event, which took place at Rose Bruford College in Sidcup; a central point in the London South East Colleges area. Guests included the Mayor of Greenwich, the Deputy Mayor of Bexley, College governors, local authority representatives, family members, education partners and employers.

This year’s winners represented the College’s Bromley, Bexley, Greenwich and Orpington campuses. They were nominated by their tutors and chosen from a range of subject areas, including business, public services, hospitality, childcare, SEN, construction and many more.

Principal and CEO of London South East Colleges, Sam Parrett OBE, presented her own awards to four students (one from each campus) who had achieved outstanding success this year. Speaking to guests, Sam said: “You cannot fail to be moved and inspired when hearing such wonderful stories of student achievement, as we have done this evening. I offer my heartfelt congratulations to every student who has worked so hard this year.

“My thanks also go to all the people who have helped make these achievements possible – our dedicated tutors and support staff, together with employers, partners and stakeholders. Without these people, we couldn’t do what we do.

“Further Education is a wonderful sector to work in. It changes lives and helps people to achieve things they never thought they would.”

The ‘Chair’s Award’ for the most outstanding student went to 18-year old Lauren Polson from Bromley. Lauren joined London South East Colleges at the age of just 14 and four years later has progressed to secure a job as an apprentice at BR6 Restaurant.

Picking up awards for both Apprentice of the Year and the Chair’s Award for most outstanding student, Lauren said: “It’s amazing to be recognised and given these awards – thank you! I have had such a great time at the college and am so well supported by my teachers and my friends. My confidence has grown so much and I am now really enjoying helping to train and inspire new students.”

Together with Morgan Hunt as headline sponsor, several of the awards were supported by local businesses including the News ShopperOrpington 1st and Enjoy Print.

Lloyds Banking Group was presented with an Employer of the Year award for its continued commitment to the College – providing work placements and apprenticeships for a number of students in Bexley.


“This award proves that anything is possible if you put your mind to it! My course leader has been so supportive this year and I can’t thank her and my family and friends enough. I hope to achieve my career goal of being a nursery nurse in the future.”

Emma Jane Tilley (18) from Plumstead – Principal’s Award Bexley

“Receiving this award is such a great honour for me. I feel grateful to my teachers who have been so supportive. I hope to go into the army in the future and feel my public services course is preparing me very well for this.”

Vasil Malchev (19) from Catford – FE Student of the Year

“I have had the perfect year here at college! I’ve met lots of nice people, been a student ambassador and really done my best. I plan to go to university once my business course has finished to study history- and then become a lecturer in the future.”

Andrei Luis Varut (18) from Erith – Student Ambassador of the Year

“I have had a great year at London South East Colleges and it’s amazing to be given this award. I’ve pushed myself to the limit and got the grades I wanted. I now want to fulfill my dream of working as a chef in a top restaurant and know I have the skills to do this.”

Felix Ogbonna (19) from Plumstead – Most Inspirational Student

“It’s been a fantastic year for me. I started at the college as an ESOL student, then went onto a catering course. I have recently been offered a full time role at the Lancaster Hotel – which is all thanks to this college for helping me to get a work placement there. Getting this award means so much.”

Natalia Podlavskaya (adult learner) from Bromley – Principal’s Award Orpington

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