Awards for the most talented journalists specialising in the field of education and skills were presented on Thursday 17 November at an event held in London, attended by education journalists, education communications professionals, sponsors and leading figures across the education sector.
Now in their twelfth year, these awards celebrate the best and brightest education and skills journalists for the academic year 2015/16. The awards are made in ten categories that include schools, further education, higher education, business education, national and regional journalism.
A new category this year is for editorial excellence. The awards are organised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ (CIPR) Education & Skills Group.
The winner of the 2016 Ted Wragg Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education Journalism (the most prestigious award) was former Daily Telegraph education correspondent John Izbicki.
This year’s awards event, sponsored by Warwick Business School and the University of Warwick, was held at The Shard in London with keynote speaker Wes Streeting, Labour MP for Ilford North, a member of the Higher Education and Research Bill committee and former President of the National Union of Students.
Wes spoke of the importance of recognising “emerging talent at a time when journalism is under pressure” and the role that journalists play in “shining a spotlight” on the stories that need to be told when politicians fail. He referred to the “transformative power of education”, saying “One of the reasons why I have always been passionate about education is that it is the greatest social leveller available in the toolkit of government to tackle dramatic inequality in society … It is the best economic policy there is.”
Andy Lockett, Dean of Warwick Business School, said:
“It was a real pleasure and a great honour for WBS to sponsor and host the CIPR Education Journalism Awards. Journalists are central to the functioning of business and politics, working tirelessly to uncover hidden truths, ask difficult questions and assure authorities, institutions and establishments are all held to account. Therefore, I would like to thank all the winners and runners-up for their endeavours, and I hope their work will stimulate more young journalists to seek the highest standards of their profession as displayed here.”
Simon Butt-Bethlendy, CIPR Education & Skills Group Chair, said:
“This year’s contest attracted more entries than ever before, and a hotly contested new category – the Award for Editorial Excellence. The range and quality of entries was as great if not greater than previous years, which made the judging process enthralling and demanding in equal measure.
“All shortlisted entrants can feel justifiably proud to have been selected in their category and we salute our winners and runners up.
“We’re also immensely grateful to all our sponsors, distinguished judges and supporters, without whom this contest and this celebratory event would not be possible.
“Finally, we were delighted to present the Ted Wragg Award to John Izbicki in recognition of the tremendous work he has done throughout his career reporting on and championing education. It was a privilege to have him with us for the evening.”
Winners and runners up
Most Promising Newcomer to Education Journalism
Sponsored by City, University of London
Winner: David Morris Wonkhe
Runner up: Carly Minsky, Times Higher Education
Outstanding Schools Journalism
Sponsored by London Grid for Learning
Winner: Christine Alsford, ITV Meridian
Runner up: Louise Tickle, The Guardian (freelancer)
Outstanding Further and Vocational Education Journalism
Sponsored by AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians)
Winner: Paul Offord, FE Week
Runner up: Alix Robertson, FE Week
Outstanding Higher Education Journalism
Sponsored by IDP Education (UK)
Winner: Helen Warrell, Financial Times
Runner up: John Elmes, Times Higher Education
Runner up: John Morgan, Times Higher Education
Outstanding Use of Data in Education Commentary
Sponsored by Cardiff University
Winner: Jack Grove, Times Higher Education
Runner up: Chris Havergal, Times Higher Education
Outstanding Business Education Journalism
Sponsored by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations
Winner: Jonathan Moules, Financial Times
Runner up: Natalie Marsh, The PIE News
The Award for Editorial Excellence (NEW category this year)
Sponsored by Kingston University
Winner: Alice Woolley, The Guardian
Runner up: Simon Baker, Times Higher Education
Outstanding Regional Education Journalism
Sponsored by the CIPR Education & Skills group
Winner: Stephen Magee, BBC Scotland
Runner up: Christine Alsford, ITV Meridian
Outstanding National Education Journalism
Sponsored by Loughborough University
Winner: John Dickens, Schools Week
Runner up: Jon Severs, Times Educational Supplement
The Ted Wragg Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education Journalism
Sponsored by The Ted Wragg Multi-Academy Trust, supported by Exeter College and the University of Exeter
Winner: John Izbicki, freelance journalist and former Daily Telegraph education correspondent.