Newtownabbey lecturer wins prestigious teaching accolade at 2021 BTEC awards

The exceptional achievements of Newtownabbey lecturer Siobhan McEldowney have been celebrated as she was awarded the Bronze BTEC Award for Tutor of the Year 2021.

Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 11:16 am
Siobhan McEldowney

As a lecturer in Health and Social Care, Siobhan has over 20 years of teaching experience and was recognised by her colleagues for her passion and drive to support learners.

The Maghera woman’s hard work and dedication was celebrated at the 11th anniversary of Pearson’s annual BTEC Awards, hosted online on July 7.

Siobhan said: "Over the past year I made myself fully available to my students during days, nights, and weekends in order to assist with their transition to virtual learning and am thrilled to say we had a 100 percent pass rate.

"We have 92 students from the College’s Newtownabbey campus that are due to graduate this year from our Higher Education in Health and Social Care provision. I am delighted to have been nominated for such a prestigious and competitive award and wish my graduates the very best of luck with their future endeavours.”

Commenting on the achievement, Jacqui McAllister, Course Director for Social and Community Work said she is “delighted” that Siobhan’s dedication had been recognised.

Jacqui added: “This has been an unprecedented time for everyone but during lockdown Siobhan was innovative in her approach to keep learners engaged and help them to achieve their full potential. She worked tirelessly and showed tremendous commitment and flexibility and was always attentive to the needs of all learners on the programme.”

Co-hosted by presenter of the United View, YouTube influencer and BTEC alumnus and ambassador Gemma Care, 19 category award winners were celebrated from around the UK and internationally in subjects such as Health and Social Care, Performing Arts, Engineering, IT, Business and Sport.

BTEC alumni including Academy Award-winning producer and Head of Film and Animation at ScreenSkills Gareth Ellis-Unwin, entrepreneur and founder of SB.TV Jamal Edwards MBE, and award-winning actress Lucy Fallon were among those also presenting awards.

Nearly a million learners across the globe 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. This is especially important in the current context as the UK responds to the global pandemic and looks to kickstart projects to speed economic recovery.

Jonathan Ledger, Skills Specialist at The Department for International Trade commented: “I must emphasise the importance of BTEC as a career-focused type of qualification and that for me is key. This is all about delivering the right skills to the right people at the right time in the right way and BTEC qualifications do just that. For me, BTEC qualifications are a game changer. They change lives and they help people improve and contribute to business and society in a big way.

“A huge congratulations once again to all the winners and all of the nominees.”