The Isle of Wight College’s Sarah Snowdon (Head of Department – Access to Learning), has been awarded the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) STAR Award for Innovation.

Sarah was honoured at a spectacular, cosmos-themed national ceremony at Old Billingsgate in London, which was attended by more than 500 learning and skills sector staff, learners and special guests.

Kevin Brennan, (Minister for Further Education) presented Sarah with a glass trophy, certificate and a cheque for £500. She will also receive up to £1,500 from the STARlight fund for personal development or training.

Sarah was nominated for the award by Fidelma Washington, IW College Director for Workforce Development who said “With a wealth of experience and expertise in e-Learning, Sarah was the driving force behind an ambitious cross prison e-Learning strategy piloted at HMP Camp Hill. She introduced a learndirect centre, e-guide training, extensive roll out of smartboards, electronic diagnostic testing, an internal and external moodle system for sharing best practice, wireless networking and a digital media centre which supported an extensive new curriculum. To be able to offer this within a prison environment is raising the standards of prison education, and creating new educational opportunities which will give these learners high level transferable skills to assist them in gaining employment upon release.”

Guests heard from Kevin Brennan who said: “I am delighted to extend my congratulations to this year’s winners and also to all of those who have been nominated for an award. As the unsung heroes of the learning and skills sector, you have made a huge difference, and have inspired countless young and adult learners and have helped them to achieve their full potential.The LSIS STAR Awards recognise the important contribution of the learning and skills sector and those who work in it. These are the people who are helping to build a strong UK economy and a cohesive society.”

Dr David Collins, LSIS chief executive of the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) added: “The STAR Awards are a celebration of the hard working individuals who use their skills to improve provision across the sector. I am especially pleased that this year nominations came from all parts of our wide and diverse sector, including colleges, work-based and adult and community learning providers as well as offender institutions. I am also pleased that the judges found the standard and quality of the nominations higher than ever.”


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