Edinburgh College lecturer named UK teacher of the year

Edinburgh College Graphic Design lecturer Helena Good has been named teacher of the year at the Tes FE Awards, which celebrate the best of the UK’s further education sector.

Helena has worked in education for 23 years and in her role as a Graphic Design lecturer at Edinburgh College, she shares her passion for creativity and design with students through the College’s NC, HNC and HND graphic design courses.

Through her lecturing work, Helena has had a huge impact on her students, who have won numerous national and international awards in recent years. She connects the classroom with careers through a programme that partners her students with a mentor from the graphic design industry to ensure they receive guidance and advice on their studies and future paths.

Helena’s impact has been felt far beyond her own college. She is the driving force behind the Daydream Believers programme – a pioneering project which aims to make the transition from school to college more appealing and seamless for secondary students who are looking to progress to post-16 education. It is delivered in collaboration with student ambassadors and industry partners, and involves a number of high schools across Edinburgh. The judges described the programme as “the most important educational initiative in Scotland at the moment”.

The judges also said: “Good is an inspirational lecturer. She is a solid professional doing her job outstandingly. Her work is transformative and makes a huge difference within and outside of Edinburgh College.”

Helena said: “I feel so honoured to have been considered alongside such an inspiring group of teachers who all deserved to be recognised for going above and beyond. Thanks to the judges, Edinburgh College and everyone who believes in daydreams!”

Edinburgh College Principal Audrey Cumberford said: “It is wonderful to see Helena named Teacher of the Year by the UK Tes FE Awards, she works tirelessly to not only inspire her students, but also young people across Scotland and beyond, through the Daydream Believers programme which brings students, school pupils and industry together to innovate. She is a true inspiration and her infectious energy for creativity is an absolute asset to our College.

“I am extremely proud of Helena and our other finalists in the Foundation Apprenticeship team and Automotive Engineering team. Our staff are competing with colleges throughout the whole of the UK and this success reflects their status as national leaders in their field of expertise.”

Edinburgh College was shortlisted in two other award categories. Its Foundation Apprenticeship team were shortlisted for Apprenticeship Programme of the Year. The team worked relentlessly in 2018/19 to boost the number of FA enrolments and ensure the learning needs of pupils are met while satisfying the requirements of employers as they seek to nurture the future workforce.

And the College’s Automotive Engineering team was shortlisted in the Best Teaching and Learning Initiative category following the team’s partnership with the Scottish Motor Racing Club and Knockhill Racing Circuit. Introduced in March 2019, the partnership saw students convert a Citroen road car into a race car fit for track action at the Scottish C1 Cup held at Knockhill.

Helena was one of eighteen winners across further education and skills who were recognised at the first virtual Tes FE Awards 2020. Find out more about the award winners here: https://www.tes.com/news/revealed-winners-tes-fe-awards-2020