A TEAM of inspiring staff at a Weymouth school have been shortlisted for a national education award.

Staff at the Centre of Excellence of Industrial Liaison (CEIL) at Budmouth College are finalists for a Team of the Year Pearson Teaching Award.

Finalists were selected from more than 20,000 nominations.

Judges visited the school to talk to staff and students, who work at the business centre as interns, to find out more about the CEIL.

The business centre is designed to prepare sixth formers for the world of work and offers them the chance to work with local firms on various projects and enhance their CVs.

It has been adopted by other sixth forms in Dorset and is set to be used as a model in schools across England and Wales.

The CEIL team consists of director Marcel Ciantar, alongside Lynn Toman and Penny Campbell and was nominated for the award by the Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce.

Anna–Maria Geare put together the nomination on behalf of the chamber.

President Julie Cleaver said: “As a chamber we recognise the vital link between business and education hence our wish to nominate CEIL for this prestigious award.

“We understand we are the first chamber of commerce to enter someone for the Pearson Teaching Awards and we are extremely proud to have enabled their work to be recognised and that they are now in the finals.”

John Young, a former headteacher at Sullivan Upper School, in Holywood, County Down, who visited with fellow judge Geoff Pine, said he was impressed by his visit.

“What I take away from this is a sense of the highly significant value that the CEIL adds to people’s development.

“It brings very positive value to them. It’s about the personal development, confidence, knowledge and understanding that it brings to them. It seems to be capable of transforming people’s lives,” he said.

The winners of the Pearson Teaching Awards will be announced at a ceremony in London later in the year.

Scott Sanders, a Year 13 student at Budmouth, told judges of his experience of the CEIL.

He has been a member since December 2012 and said it has developed his workplace skills. He said: “When I started off I didn’t have the foggiest idea how I would talk to someone in business.

“The CEIL tries to close the gap between education and employment.

“It adds so much to your professional knowledge.”

Scott started off at the CEIL removing some wheels from a trolley and then moved on to a research project.

He is currently putting together a database of interns and has plans to study primary education specialising in science at Plymouth University.

Finalists will find out if they have received a Pearson Teaching Awards on Thank a Teacher Day, May 16.