Staff from Uxbridge College were among those honoured at national awards.

The fifth annual Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) STAR Awards - the Oscars of the further education sector - were held in November with the College's Mike McDermott receiving a highly commended certificate.

Mike, formerly E-learning Manager at Uxbridge College, now part-time Learning Services Technician, won the certificate in the Innovation category, sponsored by Becta (Becta is the government agency working to promote good use of technology throughout learning).

Joyce Amirahmadi, who was Uxbridge College's Academic Standards Manager before retiring in August, had also received a certificate in the Teaching, Training and Learning Practitioner category, at the London heats on 10 October.

Laraine Smith, Principal, who joined Mike and Joyce to see them receive their awards, said: "There are so many unsung heroes at Uxbridge College and it was great to see two of them get recognition in a national setting. With more than 2,500 nominations from the Further Education sector, there was stiff competition, so it is a real achievement for two of our staff to be among the winners."

The awards recognise the dedication and expertise of the people who, on a daily basis, make a significant contribution to improving the skill levels of young people and adult learners. The winners were honoured at a ceremony at Old Billingsgate in London, which was attended by over 500 further education staff and learners from across England.

This year the LSIS STAR Awards received a record number of nominations - over 2,500 -demonstrating the high regard in which they are held by further education professionals and learners alike.

The award winners were announced in front of an audience of shortlisted nominees and their nominators. The nominations were assessed by a panel of independent experts, who drew up a short list and selected the overall winners.

The awards ceremony was hosted by Mike Baker, the former BBC broadcaster, and Dr Floella Benjamin OBE, Chancellor of the University of Exeter.

* To nominate your further education hero for the 2009 LSIS STAR Awards, please visit the website at http://staraward.qia.org.uk/

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