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West Suffolk College’s Colette takes top prize for BTEC teaching

Colette Burgess
Colette Burgess

West Suffolk College’s Colette Burgess has been crowned the Outstanding BTEC Teacher of the Year 2017.

Colette, whose Health and Social Care and Health Sciences teaching is often described as ‘passionate’ by staff and students at the Bury St Edmunds College, won the prestigious prize against tough competition at the national BTEC Awards.

Rachel Boast, director of Healthcare and Early Years, said: “I nominated Colette for this award.

“She has worked at the college for over 18 years and is consistently an outstanding lecturer.

“She has given so much of herself to her students and feels so passionately about health and social care that I really wanted to give her the recognition for all her hard work and dedication.”

Colette, a former nurse, was one of 22 candidates singled out for excellence in their area of study or work from around 1000 nominations.

Colette said: “I love my job, I love working with the students, I love seeing my students grow and develop.

“I am so proud and privileged to be a part of my students’ successful future in their careers. To make a difference to their life, they make such a difference to my life as well”.

One of her students, Hamish Mills, said: “When you’ve got a teacher that cares that much about the course it makes you care a bit more”.

Principal, Dr Nikos Savvas, said: “This achievement is exceptional and truly well deserved. We are extremely fortunate to have a highly skilled and passionate team who always put our students’ success at the heart of everything we do”.

BTEC is now the nation’s fastest growing route into higher education.

The college says BTEC combines practical work with academic and is ‘the most highly regarded career-focused qualification in the world’. This is why almost a quarter of new university entrants now start with at least one BTEC.


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