The AoC Beacon Awards and the Tes FE Awards shortlists to be announced at the conference


For the very first time, the AoC Beacon Award winners will be announced at the Tes FE Awards ceremony – making it the biggest night of the year in further education.

Now in its 24th year, the AoC Beacon Awards showcase best practice and innovation in colleges. They are designed to promote the interdependence of colleges, businesses, and professional and voluntary organisations, highlighting excellence and sharing best practice across the sector.

The Tes FE Awards celebrate and reward the dedication and expertise of the people and teams who continue to make a significant contribution to improving the skill levels of young people and adult learners.

“We are delighted that the AoC Charitable Trust is now working in partnership with Tes. The Trust works to recognise and celebrate the innovative and high-quality work in colleges that adds so much value to the lives of individuals and to their communities. We believe that this partnership will strengthen that work and help more people to understand and learn from the fantastic work that goes on in colleges across the UK.”
— Carole Stott, Chair of the Association of Colleges

The two award programmes will remain independent, with differing criteria and judging processes. However, for the first time ever, both sets of winners will be announced at the Tes FE Awards ceremony in central London in February 2019. The shortlist for the two sets of awards will be announced at the AoC Annual Conference in November 2018.

AoC Beacon Award winners will also be invited to host one-day workshops to share their learnings and help other colleges to develop their practice. These events will act as the local Beacon Award presentation ceremony, and will take place in Spring 2019. They will be free for staff to attend from AoC member colleges.

The AoC Beacon Awards will be open to all colleges across the UK. The deadline for stage one applications is Friday 20 July (12noon).

I am delighted to work alongside the Association of Colleges to recognise and celebrate the exceptional work done by FE providers across the UK. The Tes FE Awards have gone from strength to strength in recent years. In 2018, they received a record number of entries, and the prestigious awards ceremony attracted more guests than ever before. The AoC Beacon Awards have a proud and distinguished heritage, and have done much to promote and share best practice in the college sector. The two sets of awards share the goal of ensuring the FE sector receives the attention and plaudits it so richly deserves.
— Stephen Exley, Tes FE Editor

The Tes FE Awards will continue to be open for all types of FE providers. For more information about the Tes FE Awards, please visit


Last Year's Awards

The AoC Awards Evening took place on Tuesday 14 November featuring the AoC Beacon Awards, Student of the Year Awards and the new Student Video of the Year Award – making the evening a celebration of the very best in FE.