2020 Awards

2020 was the inaugural year of the Natspec Awards.

We received over 50 applications highlighting excellent practice across the colleges, and produced a shortlist of 18 outstanding pieces of work across the specialist FE Sector.

The plan for a glittering awards ceremony at Natspec’s National Conference went slightly awry due to the coronavirus pandemic, but we announced the winners of 2020’s awards in a wonderful virtual ceremony in July.


The winners of 2020’s Natspec Awards were as follows:

Innovative use of technology: Derwen College

Pathways into employment: Camphill Wakefield

Student voice: Coleg Elidyr

Wellbeing and mental health: Ambitious College

Inter-disciplinary working: National Star College

Partnership working: Wargrave House LEAP College

You can read more about the winning entrants and the rest of the shortlist over on the Natspec website.

Awards Webinars

All the winners of the 2020 awards were invited to present a webinar sharing the practice they won an award for. These webinars are running from October 2020 onwards. Check out Natspec’s events calendar for further details.

National Star: Interdisciplinary working with learners with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties

National Star college principal, Simon Welch, and Head of Learning and Support, Joanne Kingsbury-Elia, discuss how they achieved successful interdisciplinary working with learners with the most complex needs. A key area covered is the benefits of integrating teaching, support, therapeutic, and care components of students’ individual programmes and maximising the impact for students lives after college. The development of the role of Personalised Learning Co-ordinator Tutor (PLCT), introduced in 2017 as part of the ‘Right Time, Right Place’ project, is a key aspect of this work. Due to the success of the pilot the project has expanded to include more students, across both residential and day provision, and proved to be invaluable during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Ambitious College: Improving wellbeing via an innovative approach to delivering occupational therapy

Deborah Abson, Occupational Therapist at Ambitious College Conel introduces “OT TV”, an innovative approach to delivering occupational therapy. “OT TV” was developed from a library of sensory enriched movement routines originally compiled for one class at Ambitious College Conel. These were differentiated and developed to create further videos, enabling all classes within the college to access sensory enriched movements in college and at home. Additional videos were made to assist with activities of daily living with the possibilities of “OT TV” being endless and ideal for the current climate.

Camphill Wakefield: Supporting pathways into employment with the ACE programme

In this webinar, Raph Taylor, Supported Employment Manager at Camphill Wakefield, introduces the ACE (Access to Community and Employment) programme that enables students to take forward vocational and employability learning into the workplace. ACE builds and maintains successful partnerships with businesses, employers and other local employment-focused study programmes and supported internships. To address the challenges of Covid-19, the model is being adapted so careers provision and the ACE programme will align closer to meet student outcomes – developing enterprise projects with and for partner employers, and reaching out towards businesses with work opportunities that may meet their changing needs.