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NSETC Student Wins at BTEC Awards

A student from the North Somerset Enterprise and Technology College (NSETC) has been awarded BTEC Engineering Student of the Year at the 2017 BTEC Awards.

The BTEC Awards are national awards which invite tutors from across the country to nominate their students for a range of subject related awards. All these nominations are then slowly whittled down and the shortlisted finalists are put forwards to a judging panel who pick an overall winner for each category. The award ceremony was held at the Royal Horticultural Halls in Westminster on Thursday 6 July 2017.

Jack Healy, who studied the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering in partnership with Weston College, has overcome several barriers in order to successfully complete his course. Jack has dyspraxia and often finds it difficult to comprehend written text on first reading, take accurate notes or remember spoken information. He sometimes misunderstands instructions or ideas hidden within a text and will often misremember verbal directions.

Through the structure of his BTEC course, and the support of the staff and his own sheer determination to succeed, Jack is on course to achieve a minimum of a triple distinction grade, significantly above his target grade.

Jack managed to beat off national competition to win his award, which his tutors nominated him for. Winning this award has been a true testament to his hard work.

The evening turned into a double celebration when Jack was contacted by Rolls Royce during the ceremony and was offered a higher apprenticeship.

Darran George, Principal at NSETC, said: “We are incredibly proud of Jack’s achievement and it is very well deserved.

“By winning this award, Jack has set a fantastic example to current and future students that hard work really pays off, and no matter what barriers you are facing with the right support you can overcome them.”

The Benefits Of Academies

Although academisation has had its critics, we believe there are lots of benefits to being an academy. It offers more flexibility and a chance for schools to run in a way that will benefit their staff and students.

Some of the main pro’s of being an academy are:

  • Independence – academies are different from other schools as they are independently run, whereas state schools are under the control of the local authority (LA). This gives the academy more control and flexibility over how the school is run, for example financially and in deciding term dates/lengths. As a result of this, academies are able to put better focus on the bits that are important to their staff and students.
  • Finance – as academies are independent of the LA, they receive their funding from the government directly. They can decide where their money goes, which means they can put funding where they need it and don’t have to wait for it to be allocated to certain areas. As not every school is the same, and not every school will have the same needs, this is a much better solution. The staff and governing body know what is best for the school and can address those areas straight away.
  • Curriculum – being independent of the LA gives academies more flexibility over their curriculum. Not only will this be of great benefit to students, but also to teachers. They can identify the best way to teach their students and therefore adjust the curriculum they teach to reflect this. It often results in students being more engaged in their learning and therefore more likely to do well.
  • MATs – now, we may be a bit biased, but being part of a multi-academy trust (MAT) is often of huge benefit to academies, their staff and students. MATs provide support not just academically but also in other areas the school may not be equipped for, like finance and admin support. Another great thing about being part of a MAT is the ability to share with other schools. Academies can give each other advice and guidance on what works and perhaps doesn’t work well for them, and help each other deliver the best education that works for their students.

If you want to find out more about what academisation is, read our article on academies here.