Coulsdon Sixth Form College student Laura Smith has been recognised as Outstanding BTEC Hospitality, Travel & Tourism Student of the Year 2017 at the national BTEC Awards.

22 successful candidates were singled out for excellence in their area of study or work, after almost 1000 applications were made to this year’s judging panel. Winners received their awards at a ceremony on Friday 7th July, at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London, following a lunch reception in Parliament with MPs from across the political spectrum.

Laura came to Coulsdon Sixth Form College from Stanley Park High School in Carshalton. She took a mix and match programme, incorporating A Level Sociology and BTECs in Travel & Tourism and Law. She nominated by her teacher, Donna Hollick who wanted to recognise her hard work throughout her BTEC course.

Laura commented, “I was really surprised to win the award and didn’t expect to get this far. I knew I wanted to go to Coulsdon College because it offered the courses in Travel & Tourism which I couldn’t do at school. I try and work hard at College and this has been great recognition of all the hard work I have put in during my course. The support and resources I’ve received from the College and my teacher Donna Hollick, has been brilliant, especially the College’s link with the No1 Lounge at Gatwick Airport, where I’m now employed. I’m looking forward to continuing my career in travel once I leave the College this summer.”

The ceremony had celebrity guests present the awards including the BBC television presenter and journalist, Steph McGovern,  Peter Jones from BBC TV’s Dragon’s Den and other education and business leaders. Plus, Richard Atkins CBE, the government’s FE Commissioner, who presented the award to the College of the Year.

BTEC is now the nation’s fastest growing route into higher education, with almost a quarter of university entrants now having taken at least one BTEC. We are one of the only Sixth Form Colleges who offer a mix and match programme, allowing students to take BTECs alongside A Levels.

Rod Bristow, Pearson’s President in the UK commented, “The fantastic winners being celebrating at Friday’s award ceremony exemplify the dedicated students across the country who have been helped to make progress in their lives and careers through BTEC and I am delighted to congratulate them on their well-earned success”

BTEC provides a proven pathway, not just to a job, but to a career – whether that be directly, or via university. BTEC combines knowing with doing, practical with academic. It is the most highly regarded career-focused qualification in the world. This helps to explain why almost a quarter of new university entrants now start with at least one BTEC, and why BTEC is growing strongly internationally.”

Coulsdon College is very proud of Laura and wish her every success in her future career within the Travel and Tourism industry.


For more information:

About Pearson.

Pearson is the world’s leading learning company, with 40,000 employees in more than 80 countries working to help people of all ages to make measurable progress in their lives through learning. Learn more at

Information for schools

Croydon College Group offers a wide range of activities to provide support to schools, parents, carers and students with post-16 decisions. Through activities both at the college and onsite at local schools, the diverse range of courses on offer at Croydon College, Coulsdon Sixth Form College and Croydon University Centre is explored.

Information is provided on the various opportunities available for both vocational and academic pathways. This, combined with the wide range of apprenticeships, delivered by the World of Work team, provides an important resource for post-16 options. 

Contact the team at or phone us on 020 8686 5700 ext. 3676 for more information.

Let’s work together:

Assemblies and Presentations

Delivered at your school and providing either a general overview of courses available or tailored specifically to the needs and interests of the student year group in attendance. Focus subjects could include apprenticeships, applying to universities, T Levels or sector-specific subjects.

Career Events & Options Evenings

Virtual or in-person we welcome the opportunity to support your events and engage with students and parents. Our team can also be available to attend application and interview workshops also GCSE results day. 

Onsite Taster Sessions

Engaging and interactive sessions with specialist lecturers in areas including criminology, fashion and textiles, media studies, music performance, photography, science and much more. Sessions can be held on-site at our colleges or at your school. Please enquire about specific subjects.

Campus Tours

Your students can tour our campuses, chat with members of the teams and explore our range of departments and facilities. Building your own tour, allows you to choose the areas your students are keen to view the most, and with a large course offering, this ensures they get the most out of their visit and enough time to ask any questions they may have.

The Programme can also help to support evidence of careers activity provision in relation to the Gatsby Benchmarks.

Croydon Colleges Group is always pleased to build strong relationships with local schools and sixth forms and produce a newsletter to keep schools and sixth forms up to date with the exciting work of School  Partnership Programme

To discuss your requirements further or to be added to the mailing list, please contact: or call 020 8686 5700 ext. 3676.


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Tel: 01737 551 176
Fax: 01737 551 282

Coulsdon Sixth Form College
Placehouse Lane
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