SERC Staff Member Recognised in Pearson Awards

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25 June 2024

Picture of Ken Webb and Lizzie Buick sitting and presenting the Pearson Certificate of Excellence.

SERC Deputy Head of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Lizzie Buick has been announced as the recipient of a Certificate of Excellence in the ‘FE Lecturer of the Year’ category of the Pearson National Teaching Awards 2024. 

The Pearson National Teaching Awards is an annual celebration of exceptional teachers, founded in 1998 by Lord David Puttnam to recognise the life-changing impact an inspirational teacher can have on the lives of the young people they teach. The FE Teacher of the Year category recognises stand-out lecturers who work with students to ensure they are equipped with the skills to succeed and the confidence to progress their education.  

In addition, SERC’s Engineering Education team were presented a Silver Pearson National Teaching Award for Further Education Team of the Year, and SERC’s Hospitality and Culinary Arts team were presented with a Bronze Pearson National Teaching Award for FE Team of the Year.  

It’s not the first time the teaching staff at SERC have been recognised in this way: in 2019, SERC’s Science team won the Silver FE Team of the Year, followed by the college’s Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Environment team (2023); the college’s Little SERC creche team won a Silver Early Years Team of the Year Award in 2023.  

Since 2021, individual SERC lecturers have achieved Silver Awards for FE Lecturer of the Year: Paul Mercer (2021) and Aine McGreeghan (2023); and Stefanie Campbell (2021), who went on to win a Gold National Teaching Award for Digital Innovator of the Year. Lizzie Buick has previously won the ‘FE Lecturer of the Year’ for Northern Ireland in the Pearson National Teaching Awards 2013.  

Lizzie was nominated for the 2024 award for her success in several areas of teaching. Lizzie has been the driving force to develop and evolve the SERC Entrepreneur Club, which gives SERC students the skills to create viable start-up businesses. Since 2018, 115 viable independent trading student companies have formed due to Lizzie's work leading her team in teaching and mentoring. Lizzie has also developed the first Level 3 Understanding Neurodiversity in the Workplace qualification for FE in the UK, as well as two new Entrepreneurship Education programmes for adults who are out of work and live in areas of deprivation. 

Lizzie will soon be moving on from her remarkable 20 years of dedication at SERC, in which she inspired countless students. Speaking on her Certificate of Excellence achievement, Lizzie said, “This truly feels like a collective award. The support and camaraderie from my colleagues, the Principal Ken Webb and Director of Curriculum Dr Michael Malone, have been invaluable throughout my time here. It's been a joyful journey. My students and colleagues have been my constant source of inspiration. Seeing them succeed has been the greatest reward.” 

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