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Suffolk teacher Colette Burgess from West Suffolk College has been crowned the winner of the Outstanding BTEC Teacher of the Year 2017 at the national BTEC Awards.

Colette, who teaches Health and Social Care as well as Health Sciences, said she was: “Truly honoured and proud” to receive the award.

Rachel Boast, Director of Healthcare and Early Years, said: “I nominated Colette for this award. She has worked at the College for over 18 years and is consistently an outstanding lecturer. She has given so much of herself to her students and feels so passionately about Health and Social Care that I really wanted to showcase and give her the recognition for all her hard work and dedication.”

Colette, a former nurse who lives in Bury St Edmunds,was presented with the award at a ceremony at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London, following a lunch reception in Parliament with MPs from across the political spectrum. She was one of 22 candidates singled out for excellence in their area of study or work from around 1000 applications to the judging panel.

The award was presented to her by Rod Bristow from Pearsons, the world’s leading learning company. Colette said: ”Supporting students of all backgrounds and abilities to develop and progress is such a privilege. Teaching on the BTEC courses has enabled me to use my professional knowledge as a registered nurse, use real life examples and to be creative. It is so rewarding to be involved in the student’s journey towards their aspired careers.”

The event was compered by BBC television presenter and journalist, Steph McGovern.

Dr Nikos Savvas, Principal of West Suffolk College said: “This achievement is exceptional and truly well deserved. I applaud Colette on her dedication and commitment to our students and I’m delighted she has been recognised nationally in this way. We are extremely fortunate to have a highly skilled and passionate team who always put our students’ success at the heart of everything we do”.

BTEC is now the nation’s fastest growing route into higher education, with almost a quarter of university entrants now having taken at least one BTEC.

Rod Bristow, Pearson's President in the UK commented: “The fantastic winners being celebrating at today’s award ceremony exemplify the dedicated students across the country who have been helped to make progress in their lives and careers through BTEC and I am delighted to congratulate them on their well-earned success”

BTEC provides a proven pathway, not just to a job, but to a career - whether that be directly, or via university. BTEC combines knowing with doing, practical with academic. It is the most highly regarded career-focused qualification in the world. This helps to explain why almost a quarter of new university entrants now start with at least one BTEC, and why BTEC is growing strongly internationally.”

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