Our apps are officially award-winning! We’re delighted to announce that the suite of apps we developed in partnership with Shropshire-based Derwen College has secured them a win in the Innovative Use of Technology Award in the inaugural Natspec Awards!


The judges, headed by Nigel Evans, former Her Majesty’s Inspector for Further Education and Skills, said the project “showed a strong use of partnerships resulting in products that are easy to use, professional in appearance and will be easy to transfer to other employment settings”.


The national awards were presented during a virtual Zoom ceremony on 2nd July, attended by leading Special Educational Needs Colleges and educationalists from all over the UK.


Derwen College Principal, Meryl Green, said, “The recognition of the work that has been achieved in this area highlights the fantastic partnership approach taken to deliver outstanding results for our current and future learners. To see an ambitious project such as this develop from a plan on paper to our students actually accessing work in their home area with the app in their hands is amazing. We appreciate it’s been a learning curve for both us as a college and yourselves and highlights the trust and respect built up through long term industry partnerships.”


“You have brought fresh insights into the project, new ideas and responded enthusiastically to suggestions from colleagues working on the apps at College”.


Starfish Labs Director, Neil Bevan, added, “The Starfish Labs and Hunter Bevan teams are so proud to have been a part of this project, working in partnership with Derwen College. It’s been a great collaborative effort including R&D work to identify student and employer needs and how the students interacted with different learning methods in the apps. The apps are unique in the way they combine video, photos, Makaton symbols, text and sound, and in the ability for the college staff to tailor content to specific course pathways.”


“I’m delighted that the suite of apps has been recognised with such a prestigious award from an organisation as highly respected as Natspec. Well done to all involved, and we’re looking forward to developing the apps further with Derwen College, to take them into other colleges and employers, both in the UK and in exporting British educational tech expertise in overseas markets.”


The project was funded via the Marches LEP Growth Deal with Government for capital skills projects, and focused on developing a suite of apps to help young people with learning difficulties and disabilities to gain skills in work placement and ultimately in supported employment.


Details of the Natspec 2020 Awards can be viewed at: natspec.org.uk/services/natspec-awards/


The creative design of the apps was developed by our associate company hunterbevan.co.uk


To find out more about Derwen College, you can visit their website at derwen.ac.uk