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Judith is top UK teacher

Judith Larsen, Bedford College, wins teacher of the year at the annual TES FE Awards.

Judith Larsen is a tutor at Bedford College and has been teaching for six years. Before this, she was an operations manager in the IT industry, and was inspired to change career while completing a Foundation degree and discovering she had a passion for helping her fellow students. During her time at the College, she has overseen a 220 % increase in enrolments on the HNC/HND computing systems development course, as well as an impressive rise in the pass rate.

The judges felt Judith’s entry stood out in a strong field because of her “passion and dedication”. For example, she set up regional heats for WorldSkills in IT at Bedford College, and six of her students were selected to take part in a showcase event at the WorldSkills UK competition in 2015. One student, Oliver Davis, won gold and a chance to represent the UK at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi in 2017. Last year, Judith organised a progression event for learners, which involved more than 30 local employers, as well as apprenticeship and higher education providers.

Paula Hobday, Head of Department, said: “Judith is an exceptional role model for women in computing. She was the only female instructor in the UK to be awarded the Cisco Instructor Excellence Award and provides many additional opportunities for her students outside the classroom.”

The judges praised Judith for her focus on “top-end excellence and standards setting but also showing passion and dedication, and a commitment to learners”.

Judith’s victory was witnessed by over 600 people, gathered to celebrate the sector’s achievements, at the prestigious awards ceremony held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London, on Friday 24 February.

Other awards at the glittering, black-tie event, hosted by comedian Rob Beckett, included prizes for the FE Leader of the year, College of the year and Training provider of the year. Judith’s award was presented by Dame Asha Khemka, Principal and Chief Executive of West Nottinghamshire College.

Now in their sixth year, the TES FE Awards bring together the most exciting and inspiring individuals and institutions in the sector. Hundreds of FE providers submitted entries for the 16 categories, which showcase achievement in the local community, employer engagement, innovation in teaching, leadership and apprenticeship.

Pictured above: Judith receiving her award, with Rob Beckett and Dame Asha Khemka

» Find out more about the exciting Computing courses offered by Bedford College