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Winner: support for learners and Highly Commended: community contribution. TES FE Awards 2016

Posted 25th April 2016

Hackney Community College won the support for learners award and was highly commended in the contribution to the local community category, at the 2016 TES FE Awards.

The judges unanimously agreed that Hackney Community College was the outstanding entry in the support for learners category. Working with the mental health team at the East London NHS Trust and other partners across the borough, the college has developed a fully integrated support structure that enables learners with severe and enduring mental health issues to overcome barriers and exceed their own expectations.


HCC’s mental health specialists John McClean and Erica Thompson, with Katie Williams from the East London NHS Trust, and HCC principal Ian Ashman. The award was presented by Sarah Simons from UKFEchat and hosted by comedian Shappi Khorsandi.

Last year, the service helped a record 480 people into education and the success rate for students with mental health support needs at the college is above the national average. The partnership remains unique, and the judging panel felt that the range of support mechanisms provided could make an impact across the sector.

Judges concluded: “The range of activities to engage and support learners towards mental wellness and educational success makes Hackney Community College a beacon of good practice and the worthy winner of this award.”

In a further accolade for Hackney Community College and its partners, HCC@Kisharon, an innovative further education provision for Orthodox Jewish young adults with complex support needs, was highly commended in the contribution to the local community category of the awards.


Assistant Principal Gweneth Preston and Curriculum Manager Gillian Adamson represented HCC@Kisharon at the awards event, alongside Principal Ian Ashman, and the Mental Health Education and Employment Service’s John McClean and Erica Thompson.

In 2014, to meet a specific need for local accessible education and skills programmes, HCC partnered with charity Kisharon to develop courses and facilities for an off-campus, bespoke, specialist high needs college provision. HCC@Kisharon, in Stamford Hill, builds upon the strengths of HCC’s integrated college high needs provision, and teaches English, maths, IT and life skills, alongside OJ cultural and religious activities.

HCC’s success in these two categories was witnessed at a high profile celebration of the further education sector’s achievements, at the prestigious awards ceremony held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London, on Friday 22 April.

The TES FE Awards recognise and reward the achievements of the great range of providers working in learning and skills. Hundreds of further education providers submitted entries for the 14 categories, which recognise achievement and innovation.