Students from across the UK gathered in London on Monday night at a unique awards ceremony held to honour their individual academic and extracurricular achievements in a celebration of British education.
The inaugural British Education Awards (BEA) took place at Grand Connaught Rooms, Covent Garden, on January 30th, and was hosted by BBC news presenter Sophie Long.
The BEA Finalists, their families, teachers and supporters travelled from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to attend the special occasion.
The prestigious event was supported by MPs including Shadow Secretary of State for Education Angela Rayner MP, Chair of the House of Commons Education Select Committee Neil Carmichael MP and former Secretary of State for Wales The Rt Hon Stephen Crabb MP – with Eastenders’ Nitin Ganatra bringing some showbiz sparkle to proceedings.
Sixty-four nominees were shortlisted for awards in four categories: GCSE or Scottish National, A-Level or Scottish Higher, Vocational and Degree; and in five regions of Britain including Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales – with the more highly populated England divided into two zones.
Twenty-three winners were announced at the ceremony and prizes were handed to students across the full spectrum of education in subjects ranging from engineering and technology to music and the arts, agriculture, healthcare and cookery. Winners had also demonstrated an exemplary level of commitment to their studies, or another activity, beyond their mandatory learning requirements.
Awards for Special Achievement were also presented to three candidates that the BEA awarding panel adjudged to have overcome exceptionally difficult circumstances to progress in their studies and achieve success.
All 67 British Education Award Finalists received a framed certificate on stage before the category winner was announced. Four British Education Award medals were also presented to the national winners in each category.
Guests enjoyed a three-course dinner – provided by venue hosts De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms – and entertainment from Britain’s Got Talent star musician Henry Gallagher, comedian Mani Liaqat and violinist Jessica Crabtree.
British Education Awards organiser Amin Chowdhury was delighted with the event, which he says he hopes will inspire others in their pursuit of education. “It is satisfying to see so many people from such diverse backgrounds attending this event, we are overwhelmed by the response from our BEA Finalists, their families and the schools, colleges and universities represented here tonight. British Education Awards 2017 has been a huge triumph and we wish our first BEA Finalists and Winners every success in their future studies and career paths.”
Speaking to London based television station Channel S, Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner MP said: “It’s fantastic to be at the British Education Awards because it’s really important that not only do we celebrate the success of education establishments but we’ve got to remember that it’s the individual students that make the establishments successful. And we’ve got many different students from different backgrounds that have done fantastic work.”
Education Select Committee Chair Neil Carmichael MP commented: “This has been a great evening. I think this is something which will continue for years to come because it’s really highlighting the achievements of a lot of people across the whole country and that’s absolutely fantastic.”
1. The British Education Awards (BEA) have been established to promote excellence in British education and inspire the pursuit of learning. The BEA winners are Ambassadors for British education and by highlighting these success stories, the BEA promotes the merits of a British education on both a national and international platform.
2. For more information on the British Education Awards visit www.britisheducationawards.co.uk. Follow British Education Awards on Twitter at @BEAawards or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/britisheducationawards.
3. The closing date for nominations for British Education Awards 2018 is October 31st, 2017. All candidates must have fully completed their level of learning by this 2017 deadline and have received their results for the education year 2016-2017 in one of the following categories: GCSE/Nationals, A-Levels/Highers, Degree and to Level 3 (equivalent to A-Level or Scottish Higher) in BTEC or other relevant Vocational qualifications.