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Selby College Wins "Teaching Oscar"

Selby College 160514

11:51am 16th May 2014

The Selby College Hospitality and Catering Team are celebrating today as news reached the top-performing organisation that they had been awarded the much acclaimed Pearson Silver Teaching Award category: FE Team of the Year.

Renowned as being the Oscars for the Education sector, the Pearson Awards are an annual celebration of exceptional teachers and teaching. Founded in 1999 by Lord Puttnam, they recognize the life-changing impact of an inspirational teacher on the lives of the young people they teach.

Selected from over 20,000 nominations received by Pearson Teaching Awards in 2014, Selby College Hospitality and Catering Team will be just one of just 55 schools and colleges across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, winning a Silver Teaching Award announced on Friday which was also ‘Thank a Teacher Day.’

The core team comprise 8 exceptional professionals led by Catering Manager Adrian Dawes who has a simple vision: to make his department the best in the country, educating students to the highest of standards so that they would be able to secure exceptional job opportunities at the most prestigious restaurants in the world.

In the three years Adrian has managed the department, it has been transformed and students are now the highest performing in the college and in the top 1% nationally. Enrolments have grown substantially. Student satisfaction rates are now exceptionally high and students say this because ‘staff believe in us and what we can achieve’ and they are ‘inspired’ by the teachers.

Equipped with  fully-functioning kitchens, restaurant and bar, the North Yorkshire college has built a considerable reputation over the past few years, not only for the quality of its locally-sourced food and drink but also from amongst some of the top restaurants and hotels in the region for producing some very serious catering talent.

 Using food as a metaphor for change, the college inspires young trainee Chefs to start their journey of discovery, looking for exciting new ingredients and recipes they can tempt guests with. Trained to work in a variety of roles, whether cooking on a street side stall dishing out mouth-watering sandwiches, baking teatime cakes and biscuits for a theatre reception or serving five course meals to hundreds of ravenous diners in a Michelin Star Restaurant, the college Catering and Hospitality Team has purposely designed the much renowned ‘Chef School’ courses to allow students the freedom to develop their skills.

Each student is expected to display more than just their culinary ingenuity and talent they also need to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the business side of their trade, learning every aspect of the industry, both in the kitchen and front of house theatre. They greet and seat customers, take their orders and serve meals prepared by other students in the kitchen. The college makes a particular point of teaching the young Chefs to source their ingredients locally ensuring that it is both fresh and provides a basis for the unique menus offered.

Allan Stewart OBE, Principal at the college said, “I am delighted and congratulate the Hospitality and Catering team achieving the nationally acclaimed Pearson Award.’ This esteemed award is the Education sectors’ highest honour and exemplifies excellence in all aspects of teaching. Selby College is renowned in the sector for providing a first class education to students and this award demonstrates to future students, parents and employers that you can get the best start in life here at college.”

Tutors Liz Brighton and Sam Grimmer from the Award-winning Department said, “We’re all honoured and humbled but extremely delighted to have been nominated for such a prestigious award. We thoroughly enjoy the role we play in helping students to gain the skills leading to them finding exciting and rewarding careers at some of the best restaurants and eateries locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.”

Selby and Ainsty MP Nigel Adams said, “It is delightful to see Selby College, rated as one of England’s top–performing colleges, win such a prestigious national award. I have visited the college on several occasions and you cannot fail to be impressed by the energy and enthusiasm shown by staff and students.  The students gain a wide and varied experience of the kinds of skills they will need to have for the career they want and the college inspires them to reach and achieve their goals, exactly the kind of thing the Government wants to encourage.”

Rod Bristow, President of Core Markets at Pearson UK said, “Everyone can remember a teacher who inspired and challenged them so it’s important to say thank you. It is great teaching that makes the biggest difference to learning and that’s why great teachers must be recognised.”

The Team from Selby College will now join fellow Silver Award winners at the UK finals of the Teaching Awards at London’s Guildhall on 26 October, where 10 Silver Award winners will receive a Gold Award. The ceremony will be filmed and broadcast by the BBC. Before then the team have been invited to a House of Commons Reception in June sponsored by Pearson UK.



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