Canterbury College’s Children in Care team has been shortlisted in this year’s prestigious Times Educational Supplement (TES) FE Awards.  

The awards celebrate the dedication of leading colleges, providers, teams and individual staff for exceptional performance. This year Canterbury College’s Children in Care team was thrilled to find out that it had been shortlisted in the Professional Services team of the year category. 

The team is made up of three dedicated members of staff who work closely with young vulnerable students. They maintain regular contact with the students throughout the year, working to resolve personal, financial or accommodation issues to help support them in their journey. The team works closely with partner agencies, including Kent County Council’s Social Services and Virtual School. This ensures the students receive the support they require.

Learner Support Practitioner, Rebecca Jones, said: “We provide students with ongoing support and are points of contact whenever they are facing issues, this may be helping them with their progression, attendance, funding issues and personal challenges. We feel proud to be nominated and to be recognised for our work and commitment to students.”

The team of three have been recognised for their improved success and retention rates, as well as the work they do to help students on their journey within College. They provide a single point of contact ensuring students aren’t passed along to different departments and making everything simpler.

A visit from OfSTED last year highlighted that students received timely assistance from the Children in Care team, and stating: “Safeguarding of learners is outstanding. Managers, teachers and support staff work assiduously to ensure that all learners, including those who have been in care, are safe and receive excellent support.”

Information, Advice and Guidance Manager, Richard Dean said: “Our students deserve the fullest support possible to enable their achievement and progression. The passion, professionalism and energy that Kay, Rebecca and Joanne bring to their work is admirable”.

Apprenticeship and Skills Minister, Robert Halfon, said the TES FE Awards were: "A crucial way to celebrate excellence and give those who have worked so hard, and transformed the life chances of so many people, the credit they deserve.

“Further education is one of the most important tools we have to give millions of people the education, skills and jobs for the future. That’s why it’s important to celebrate our FE sector, and the excellent work that is going on in colleges across England delivering quality training.”

Richard Dean said he felt the team deserved the recognition that the shortlisting would bring them. He said: “Supporting our students, including Children in Care and Care Leavers, to succeed and fulfil their potential is a priority for the College. It’s great that the hard work of the Children in Care team and the exceptional results achieved by our students are being recognised by the TES.”

Winners will be announced at a glitzy awards ceremony which takes place in London on 24 February 2017.