Staff and learners from Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG) are celebrating after scooping a trio of awards at the national BTEC Awards 2022.
The outstanding achievements of NSCG Stafford College’s Mark Cruxton were recognised as he was awarded the prestigious BTEC Award for Tutor of the Year 2022. Mark’s remarkable achievements stood out among an international field of candidates and wowed the judges who saw how the dedication, resourcefulness, positivity and healthy dose of mischief that he gives his pupils positively affects their development.
During lockdown, Mark, who is the Curriculum Leader for Graphics, Games Design, Animation and Concept Art, created a 3D virtual gallery space from scratch and helped more than 20 courses to render work which allowed hundreds of students to give their efforts the showcase it deserved, in spite of the testing circumstances.
Mark’s relentless commitment is also reflected in the results his students have achieved. Over the course of several years at Stafford College, he maintained a 100% success rate of his students being accepted on to university-level courses.
Mark Cruxton, BTEC’s Tutor of the Year 2022, said: “I am very surprised and honoured to have been selected for this award. I enjoy helping students to move forward in their journey and have had the pleasure of seeing many students fulfil their ambitions of working within the creative industries at some of the biggest names in the business.”
Freya Thomas Monk, Senior Vice President for Vocational Qualifications and Training at Pearson, said: “After two long years spent giving or receiving lessons behind a computer screen, through face masks, or socially distanced, 2022 has been a whirlwind for everyone involved in education. Considering this, it makes the inspiring achievements documented in Mark’s submission all the more impressive. The hard work and commitment he – and all our winners – demonstrated is extraordinary, and I am proud we are able to recognise them all through this year’s set of Awards.”
In addition, Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group has been awarded a prestigious silver BTEC Award for BTEC College of the Year 2022.
Every year, thousands of learners from across Staffordshire choose to study BTEC qualifications at Ofsted Outstanding NSCG, with the ‘Class of 2022’ achieving another stunning set of BTEC results with almost 50% of learners achieving exceptional DDD grades or above, equivalent to three A grades at A Level.
One such learner, Jamie Coupland, from Eccleshall, has also been awarded a bronze BTEC Award for BTEC Creative Media Learner of the Year.
Jamie, aged 19, was recognised by course leader James Nicholls for the phenomenal progress he made on his BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production.
On joining the course, Jamie had an interest in documentary filmmaking but was largely disenfranchised with mainstream education. He had left school to begin an apprenticeship, but this halted due to the pandemic. Undeterred, he threw himself in to his course and quickly became the backbone of his group, playing a pivotal part in over 30 productions, including his own narrative films and two corporate films and leading a team of 18 as production manager.
On joining his course, Jamie was determined not to attend university, but by the end of the two year period he struggled to reduce his shortlist of university courses. He is now studying Film Production at the prestigious Falmouth Film School.
Jamie said: “I am so pleased to be recognised with this award. I enrolled on my BTEC course at NSCG Stafford College, as I needed a fresh start and I saw this as the perfect opportunity to turn my passion for filmmaking in to a career. I started by filming product videos in my bedroom and now I’m travelling the country shooting a variety of projects. I’m obviously in the early stages of my career so the potential for further growth is really exciting.”
Speaking on behalf of Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group, College Principal and Chief Executive, Craig Hodgson, said: “We are honoured to have been awarded a silver College of the Year BTEC Award, and delighted for Mark Cruxton and Jamie Coupland who have both been recognised with prestigious awards for their individual successes. To have achieved three accolades from one of the largest qualification awarding bodies in the world is a phenomenal achievement and we are exceptionally proud of our staff and students who have contributed towards this success”.
Twenty award winners won prizes in categories including Health and Social Care, Engineering, Music, Esports and Creative Media, each selected from thousands – and often tens of thousands – of eligible students.
Hundreds of thousands of learners across the globe have completed BTEC courses over the past year. The career-focused qualifications are a vital route for those pursuing careers in sectors such as IT, business, the creative industries, healthcare, engineering, construction and future industries. Many of these industries, such as health and social care, engineering, and IT and computing, are suffering from chronic staff shortages and skills gaps, which this year’s cohort of graduates – whether they were Award winners or not – will be more than equipped to fill.