London Education Partnership Awards – Raising aspirations in education and industry

16 March 2010

The deadline for this year's London Education Partnership Awards is approaching, giving potential entrants until April 2nd to submit an application.

The awards are open to individual schools, colleges and HE institutions, voluntary organisations or employers working in partnership to support activities that benefit young people or adults in the area. Any education institution in the 33 local authorities within the Greater London area is eligible to apply.


With a lot of negative perceptions about young people and the education system, it's refreshing to see a scheme that aims to acknowledge those working to improve the life prospects of young people and adults, to help them achieve their full potential and widen access to higher education.


The London Education Partnership (LEP) Awards, now in its fourth year - brings together educational establishments with industry and other bodies. A yearly ceremony is held which is attended by shortlisted schools, colleges, and universities, third sector/community organisations and employers. This is an opportunity for them to raise their profile in a constructive and positive way while inspiring other organisations to take an innovative approach to engaging young people.


The awards seek to recognise and continually refine standards of excellence and practice, but also reward innovation and entrepreneurship.


Paulette Williams, Project Manager for the LEP Awards says that they are 'inspirational, and intend to encourage organisations to work together to inspire people from all walks of life to aim higher'.


They also aim to challenge stereotypical perceptions of students and encourage more diversity in what and where they chose to study and the careers they decide to pursue.


There are many examples where the scheme has rewarded those making a difference in London, one such has involved the creation of a foundation degree for teaching assistants at the new Barking Learning Centre.


Many teaching assistants do not come from an academic background, so benefit from being able to attend literacy and numeracy classes at the centre before going onto the foundation degree. To date, 18 have graduated and 78% of these are now studying towards a full honours degree.


 "In an area of London with low rates of participation in higher education, these teaching assistants pass onto children an important message about educational aspirations and achievement" says Mary Karpel, programme leader.


This is an area that is also being recognised this year with a new category aimed at primary schools entitled 'Starting the Journey: raising aspirations in primary school pupils.

The full range of awards is:

• Building bridges: cross-organisational partnership and impact.
• Supporting journeys: excellent professional practice in student support.
• Inspiring journeys: excellent professional practice in curriculum support for STEM.
• Creative journeys: excellent professional practice in curriculum support for arts and design.
• Driving achievement forward: achieving successful outcomes post-16.
• Reaching out: third sector/voluntary sector organisation of the year.
• Investing in the future: business employer of the year.
• Starting the journey: raising the aspirations in primary school pupils

Award winners in 2009 included Lewisham College; St Saviour's & St Olave's School, Southwark; the Bright Education Centre in Lambeth; Uxbridge College, Hillingdon; Queen Mary, University of London; London South Bank University; and Media Space in Tower Hamlets.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

For further information contact James Russell or Diane Hofkins at the IOE press office on 070 911 5556 or 0207 911 5423

1. For more information about the London Education Partnership Awards and how to apply, please visit www.lepawards.org.uk .
2. City Challenge is a highly targeted drive to crack the cycle of under-achievement among disadvantaged children in primary and secondary schools in three urban regions: London, The Black Country and Greater Manchester.
3. It is an expansion of the successful London Challenge and is providing support over three years from 2008 to improve outcomes for young people in the Black Country and Greater Manchester and continued support for the London Challenge.
4. City Challenge is delivered in partnership with all those working in education in the three city regions, and is backed by significant additional investment up until summer 2011. The Challenge builds on improvements already under way to develop strategies tailored to local needs in each area. By 2011, the main outcomes of the programme will be:
• a sharp drop in underperforming schools, particularly focusing on English and Maths;
• more outstanding schools; and
• Significant improvements in educational outcomes for disadvantaged children.