Award Categories

For all awards, submissions should include:

  • what has been implemented​
  • what makes it innovative​
  • what the impact has been​
  • how it will be sustained / further developed​
  • evidence from different stakeholders including students.

Innovative use of technology

The judges will be looking for evidence that:

  1. existing technology is being used in a way that is innovative, for example through: specific adaptations for different students/groups; radically different application of hardware / software from intended use; further development of hardware / software with the manufacturer
  2. use of the technology is leading to an enhanced experience for students while in college for example by: increasing their ability to access learning; allowing them to take part in activities otherwise inaccessible; helping them to gain new skills; increasing their self-determination; and also has the capacity to enhance their lives beyond the college setting
  3. students’ aspirations, interests, preferences, opinions / feedback have been central to the development of the practice.

Pathways into employment

The judges will be looking for evidence that:

  1. students’ aspirations, interests and skills are core to the development of the pathways
  2. there are strong and secure partnerships with employers
  3. students are achieving positive employment outcomes, including paid work, as a result
  4. students’ longer-term careers (and not just first jobs / opportunities) have been considered.

Student Voice

The judges will be looking for evidence that:

  1. students have been involved in the design, delivery and evaluation of the practice
  2. students have been actively engaged in consulting with peers and expressing the views of those they represent
  3. the project has empowered students during their time at college and enabled them to develop skills which they recognise that they can use in their future lives
  4. use of student voice that has enabled the organisation to make positive changes or improvements.

Wellbeing and mental health

The judges will be looking for evidence that:

  1. students have access to new activities or approaches which are supporting wellbeing or improving mental health
  2. students are better informed about mental health / wellbeing and sources of support, and/or better able to communicate about their mental health / wellbeing needs
  3. students have been involved in the design and / or delivery of the initiative and report that it is having a positive effect on mental health / wellbeing
  4. the initiative fits into a wider healthy-college approach that supports the mental health and wellbeing of all students.

Inter-disciplinary working

The focus of this award is on joint working between different disciplines within your organisation, for example teachers and therapists or job coaches and assistive technologists.

The judges will also be looking for evidence that:

  1. inter-disciplinary working has enabled students to access and engage in new or improved learning opportunities
  2. the practice has provided staff with new / different ways of working which have resulted in students making improved progress
  3. the practice has increased students’ independence and capacity for self-determination
  4. staff from different disciplines have learned from one another, to the benefit of students

Partnership working

The focus of this award is on partnership-working with external partners, for example local authorities / adult services; community or charitable organisations; housing associations; employers; parents; mainstream colleges or schools.

The judges will be looking for evidence that:

  1. collaborative working has engaged new partners, or further developed existing partnerships, leading to new / different ways of working
  2. as a result of the partnership-working, students have benefited from new or improved opportunities, directly related to their aspirations and learning outcomes
  3. all partners have contributed to the partnership and benefited from working together
  4. the partnership has firm foundations, which mean that it is not solely dependent on good relationships between, and the commitment of, individuals.

Curriculum innovation


A man and a woman having a discussion over a file folder

The judges will be looking for evidence that:

  1. the new content and / or approach to delivery is improving students’ ability to access, make progress and / or achieve in one or more curriculum areas relevant to their post-college goals
  2. students are enthusiastic about and motivated by the curriculum and, where appropriate, have contributed to shaping it and understand its purpose
  3. the new content and / or approach is evidence-based.

Home learning

A learner types on a computer whilst being assisted

The judges will be looking for evidence that:

  1. students were enabled to continue to make progress and / or maintain skills in line with personal goals
  2. materials and / or approaches (whether online or in the form of learning packs) were adapted to the students’ individual needs and circumstances and were creative, engaging and motivating for students
  3. parents / carers were supported to help their young people continue their learning at home
  4. lessons learned from the experience of offering remote education have had a lasting, positive impact on the way in which the college provides learning and / or support.