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Automotive lecturer wins Silver Award for FE Lecturer of the Year

Gemma Westlake wins an award for her outstanding commitment to changing learners' lives.


Gemma receives her Pearson’s Award from BCoT Principal, Anthony Bravo

Selected from thousands of nominations, Gemma Westlake has been honoured as one of Pearson’s National Teaching Silver Award Winners. Gemma Westlake was honoured with a Silver Award in The Award for FE Lecturer of the Year for her outstanding commitment to changing the lives of the children they work with every day. 

Gemma is an automotive lecturer at Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT) and has worked at the College for her entire education career, receiving her 10 year long-service badge last summer. Gemma is an epitome of an outstanding FE lecturer, instinctively nurturing all her students and supporting colleagues to use new technologies, particularly during the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Working in a traditionally male dominated industry means Gemma acts as a positive role model for young females and she very quickly demonstrates to all her learners how she can help them succeed. Her consistent and methodical approach has helped students meet her lesson objectives.

Gemma Westlake has now been shortlisted to win one of just 15 Gold Awards later in the year, in a programme which will be broadcast on the BBC. This is a great opportunity to celebrate the exceptional school staff who have worked wonders during an incredibly challenging time for educators across the country. 

The Silver Award Winners are being honoured as part of the wider celebrations for ‘Thank a Teacher Day’, a national campaign to honour and recognise school staff for their incredible work. The celebrations follow new data which shows how the previous year’s lockdowns have significantly changed how families across the country view the role of teachers. 

Anthony Bravo, Principal of Basingstoke College of Technology, said: “We are really proud of Gemma’s achievements and I would like to congratulate her on being such an outstanding lecturer. Gemma supports colleagues and inspires our students to do their best on a daily basis, rising to the many challenges of the pandemic with an innovative approach and positive mindset. It’s fitting that this is recognised with Pearson’s Silver Award for ‘FE Lecturer of the Year’ and presented on the ‘Thank a Teacher Day’.”

Gemma was presented with her Silver Award at the College’s summer BBQ where fellow colleagues and students were also recognised for their achievements.

On receiving her award Gemma Westlake said: “Winning the award is a complete surprise and I’m very excited to be shortlisted for the Gold Award later this year. It’s been a tough couple of years, so it’s really nice that something good has come out of it.”

Other Pearson National Teaching Award winners included GCSE English Course Lecturer Laura Archer who received a ‘Highly Commended’ Award and our Student Support Team were given a ‘Certificate of Excellence’ for their work. Our faculty ‘Student of the Year’ winners were Megan-Jane Laney – Service Industries, Courtney Spendley – Travel and Tourism, Jennifer Scannell – Apprentice, Charlie White – Construction and Anissa Mechahougui – STEM who all received certificates and Amazon vouchers.

The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of excellence in education, founded in 1998 by Lord Puttnam to recognise the life-changing impact an inspirational teacher can have on the lives of the young people they work with. This year marks its 22nd year of celebrating, award-winning teachers, teaching assistants, headteachers and lecturers across the UK. This year there are 102 Pearson National Teaching Silver Award Winners.


Automotive lecturer, Gemma Westlake with Principal Anthony Bravo and Faculty Head - Andy Thompson


From left to right: Automotive Course Director - Paul Beckett, Gemma Westlake and Andy Thompson 


BCoT Student Support Team 


GCSE English Course Director, Laura Archer


Our faculty ‘Student of the Year’ winners


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