Dominic Whelan
  • The Award for FE Lecturer of the Year (sponsored by the Department for Education)
  • Sandwell College
  • Birmingham, West Midlands

Since joining this diverse, inner-city college as a lecturer in the automotive department, Dominic has inspired hundreds of students. He integrates powerful stories and experiences from his time in the RAF and from being a pilot into his lessons, offering an all-important wider industry perspective.

Dominic is personal tutor for over 80 full-time learners, the most in the whole college. Students often rely on him to support their individual, often complex needs. Sandwell is one of the most socially deprived and underfunded areas in Europe. Dominic sets non-work time aside to offer significant and highly valued pastoral support, sometimes involving delicate situations related to crime and violence. He established a group to give students a safe space to talk about issues. He extended this during lockdown with online sessions that regularly engaged 30+ students.

As well as teaching automotive topics, he regularly gives time and hands-on practical support to several other departments. A true all-rounder!