Prince Charles presents Weston College with Queen's Award

PUBLISHED: 15:00 08 April 2018

Prince Charles handing the Queen's Award to Dr Paul Phillips.

Prince Charles handing the Queen's Award to Dr Paul Phillips.

HM The Queen and British Ceremonial Arts Limited

Staff and students of Weston College earned themselves a royal visit to Buckingham Palace for a prestigious awards ceremony.

The college received the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for higher and further education, with Prince Charles presenting the award to the college’s principal and chief executive, Dr Paul Phillips.

Judges commended the college’s facilities for students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), in particular the increased independence and the high retention rate of learners with SEND.

The number of students who move on to meaningful destinations was praised, with 97 per cent of learners progressing into employment, further learning or higher education.

Improving outcomes for other disadvantaged groups, including ex-offenders and the long-term unemployed, was also commended.

Judges noted the level of investment in the college’s facilities for SEND would not be possible without the work of Dr Phillips.

He said: “This recognises the massive transition which has occurred at Weston College.

“It acknowledges the close attention given to make sure every learner in the college has the same level of teaching and support, and the same chances of successfully progressing towards their goals.

“The ethos of creating brighter futures is more than just a slogan, it is a mission statement which applies to all of the young people and adults we teach.”

The college is now one of the most respected in the country, being named both college of the year and overall training provider of the year at the 2015 Times Educational Supplement Further Education Awards.

Its chair of corporation, Jude Ferguson, said: “I am delighted to see us recognised with such a prestigious award, particularly in the field of inclusive learning.”

The college received acclaim from the chairman of the Royal Anniversary Trust, Sir Damon Buffini, for how staff and learners work together to ‘value people’ and create ‘inclusive social mobility for all’.

He said: “The prize allows education providers to think critically about the direction of their work, which is what Weston College has done for Weston.”

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