A superb celebration ended in triumph for the winners of the 10th Educate North Awards which promotes excellence, advancement and improvement across the North of England’s University, Higher Education and FE/Sixth Form sectors.

The University of Manchester, celebrating its 200th anniversary, was named ‘University of the Year’ during a prestigious event at The Hilton hotel in Manchester on Thursday 18th April 2024.

Judges, drawn from across business and academia, highlighted Manchester’s superb standing and achievements across the North and globally with an Alumni totalling 500,000 worldwide.

More than 400 nominees, guests and judges watched as Holy Cross School in Chorley, Lancashire  jumped with joy as they won a special £500 prize for impressing the judges in the STEM (Science, technology, Engineering and Mathematics) category.  Judges insisted on their inclusion in the competition because of their pioneering entry, even though the pupils are below Sixth Form level. 

Overall, the category was won by Northumbria University but the £500 prize was donated personally by Professor Ian Ryder from The  Worshipful Company of Marketors based in London and handed over by the Professor and Dr Catherine Boyle from Northern Ireland to encourage the schools’ journey in this vital area for the North and the UK.

There were also trophies for University of Durham (Student Experience Award); Edge Hill’s partnership with Everton Football Club snatched the 2024 Community Engagement Award and University of Chester’s Business School triumphed as Business School of the Year while University of Huddersfield, University of Salford, York College and University Centre also went home with trophies marking the 10th ENAs.

University of Central Lancashire pulled off the double winning ‘The Sustainable Green Initiative Award’ and ‘Campaign of the Year’.

Tributes were paid to Emeritus Professor Phil Harris who has enjoyed an international career in business education, marketing and public affairs and was handed ‘The Lifetime Achievement Award’ by Professor Mark Power, Vice Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University.

Listeners across the North to Smooth North-West, Smooth North-East and Heart Yorkshire deluged the stations for 3 special awards.  Rod Sims of York High School was almost speechless when named ‘Outstanding Head teacher’ while Burnage Academy for Boys received ‘Outstanding School’ and Lyndsay Turner from Catcote Futures in Hartlepool was astonished to be named ‘Outstanding Teacher’. The Radio Awards were organised by CCUK the owners of the three popular stations and the recipients were interviewed by Smooth presenters Darren Parks, Steve Colman and Dixie and Emma from Heart. Smooth and Good Morning Britain host Kate Garraway was among a number or famous names who sent their good wishes to all entrants via videos screened to the ENA audience.  

Broadcaster, Rob McLoughlin OBE  founder of the Awards paid tribute to the winners, nominees and the team which produced the ceremony stating; ‘This is the North showing itself to be global leaders, superb educationalists and locally as well as universally focussed’.

‘The ENAs have grown in prestige and stature, and we’ve enjoyed record numbers of entries as well as an astonishing response from the radio audiences. We want it grow and encourage more enterprise, breakthroughs, and superb educational outcomes for the North and for the UK as a whole’.

2024 sponsors were Masood Entrepreneurship Centre at Alliance Manchester Business School, IT Capital, Interact, Pilot Group, The Protocol Group, CCUK owners of Smooth NW, Smooth NE, Heart Yorkshire, Protocol, Voiceworks (also part of CCUK) and John Kennedy CBE is Official Patron.      


Creative Arts Award sponsored by Heart Yorkshire
Burnley College Creative Arts & Media

Apprenticeship Award
Sheffield Hallam University
The National Centre of Excellence for Degree Apprenticeships

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) Initiative Award
Northumbria University
Play, Be, C

Highly Commended
Holy Cross Engineering Club

Business Engagement, Employer Award – HE/FE Sector
Wigan & Leigh College

Business Engagement, Employer Award – University Sector
Manchester Metropolitan University
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Lifetime Achievement Award
Emeritus Professor Phil Harris

Community Engagement Award – HE/FE Sector sponsored by The Protocol Group
Trafford and Stockport College Group
Empowering Communities: Bridging Gaps and Building Futures

Community Engagement Award – University Sector
Edge Hill University and Everton in the Community
The People’s Place

Third Sector Award
Rethink Food C.I.C

Student Experience Award – HE/FE Sector sponsored by voiceworks

Education Partnership North East (EPNE)
Cultural and Social Capital Project - Creative, Digital and Computing Faculty

Student Experience Award – University Sector
Durham University

Digital Education and Development Award sponsored by Interact - University of Salford - Motion Mastery
Building the Ultimate Capture Realm

Highly commendedYork College & University Centre (Reporting Services Team)Student / Parent App

Campaign of The Year sponsored by Smooth North East
University of Central Lancashire
“When it feels wrong, it’s wrong”

Innovation Award
Hull College
AI Academy

The Sustainable Green Initiative
University of Central Lancashire
The Grenfell-Baines Institute of Architecture & LeftCoast – Wash Your Words

Mental Health and Wellbeing Award
Burnage Academy for Boys
Implementing a whole-school approach to mental health and wellbeing

Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Award
University of Huddersfield
The Global Professional Award

Leadership and Innovation Award
Peter Monaghan, Head of SEND and High Needs
Education Partnership North East (Sunderland, Northumberland and Hartlepool Sixth Form Colleges)

Business School of The Year
Chester Business School
University of Chester

Further Education College of The Year sponsored by Smooth North West
Hull College
Trailblazing Turnaround


University of The Year
The University of Manchester

The University Entrepreneurs Grant 2024
Lucky Ali, University of Liverpool


Educate North & CCUK – Outstanding Contribution Award
Outstanding School, College or University
Burnage Academy for boys

Educate North & CCUK – Outstanding Contribution Award
Outstanding Teacher
Lyndsay Turner, Catcote Futures

Educate North & CCUK – Outstanding Contribution Award
Outstanding Head Teacher
Rod Sims, York High School