Inspirational Principal Honoured in UK Celebration of Teaching

Education | South West
Dr Paul Phillips
Dr Paul Phillips

Weston College Principal given The UK Award for Lifetime Achievement in BBC appearance.

Selected from thousands of nominations, Dr Paul Phillips has been named as one of the nation’s most inspirational college leaders, winning a Pearson National Teaching Gold Award.

Dr Phillips was presented with his Gold Award for Lifetime Achievement, supported by the Department for Education, on BBC’s The One Show. This focus on celebrating teaching comes at a time when the country has truly recognised the vital work that schools and colleges do on a daily basis.

Dr Paul Philips has transformed Weston College into one of finest colleges in the country; in 2017 he was recognised as one of seven National Leaders of Further Education, in 2019 he was named TES Further Education Leader of the Year and in 2015, the College was named TES Further Education College/Overall Provider of the Year 2015. Aside from his own students, he leads prisoner education in 19 prisons across the country involving 11,000 learners, with a positive impact on re-offending with those involved, and has built positive mental health partnerships with the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire NHS Trusts. Under Dr Phillips leadership the College has also been recognised for its transformational approach to creating outstanding progression results for students with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), and creating an ethos which celebrates inclusive practice which has driven the College’s mission, strategic plan and ambitions for all its students, regardless of their starting point in life.

The Pearson National Teaching Awards, which are now in their 22nd year, are an annual celebration of exceptional teachers founded in 1998 by Lord Puttnam to recognise the life-changing impact an inspirational teacher can have on the lives of the young people they teach.

Dr Paul Phillips said: “I was thrilled to receive the Pearson Gold Award for Lifetime Achievement on Friday evening. My career has spanned business, industry and every phase of education.

Further Education has dominated my career and it is an absolute privilege to work with so many talented staff and governors in order to transform the lives of so many learners. This award is for Weston College and the inspirational teaching and learning that takes place every day creating brighter futures for all who cross our many doorsteps. It’s our inclusivity, diversity and agility with SEND at the heart of all we do, with that added “sparkle” that sets us apart.”

Alex Jones, Presenter of the One Show, said: “We are so thrilled to feature Paul on the show and to thank him for his incredible work! We all know the value of a great teacher, and Paul has proven to be both outstanding and inspirational. There has never been a more important time to celebrate the hard work that happens in our schools and colleges across the country, and we are delighted to do our bit to thank them.”

Michael Morpurgo, celebrated author and former Children’s Laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards Trust, said: “We have long known the impact that one superb teacher can have, the young people they can inspire and the lives they can change. But this past year has shown us all, more than perhaps ever before, the true value of teachers.

Rod Bristow, President of Pearson UK, said: “Congratulations to Dr Paul Phillips and all of our wonderful Gold Award winners on their success. They have all displayed the most fantastic dedication to this superb profession and truly deserve to have their hard work recognised in this way.”

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