Wednesday, 4th April 2018

A specialist hairdressing academy at South Tyneside College has been named the best among its national contemporaries in a competition held at famous hair care brand L’Oreal’s London headquarters.

The college’s Lee Stafford Education Academy at STC, one of nine training centres operated by the former British Men’s Hairdresser of the Year, was judged top by a panel of experts.

In the second annual competition, it came away with the title Lee Stafford Education College of the Year 2018.

The South Tyneside academy, now in its second academic year and boasting 80 students, teaches a single nationally-recognised hairdressing standard to already skilled and experienced lecturers.

They then pass these latest industry styles and techniques to their students, who also benefit from the programme by gaining industry-relevant skills and qualifications.

Lee headed a judging panel which also comprised nationally and internationally recognised experts Tony Woods, Mike Saunders, Sophia Hilton and Errol Douglas MBE.

As well as overall college success, Lee Stafford Education Academy at STC students also excelled in three of the four Lee Stafford Competition Finals categories.

Sara Vaughan and Jade Haley came first and second respectively in Level 2 Styling, Donna Smith was second in the Level 3 Cut and Mash-up category, and Keres Jameson third in Level 2 Cut and Styling.

South Tyneside College hairdressing lecturer Kathryn Parkin said: “To be recognised as College of the Year 2018 is a fantastic achievement and we are thrilled and inspired by it.

“All of Lee’s colleges benefit from first-class instruction, and so to come out on top shows that our training is exceptional.

“While it is wonderful that the overall standard of the college’s provision has been identified, the skills of some of our students also featured prominently.

“They excelled in this very high-quality competition, and all involved were a credit to themselves and to the college.

“Everyone from South Tyneside College who attended this event had an amazing day and came away inspired to continue their success.”

Lee Stafford said: “The passion and commitment shown by the staff at South Tyneside College is exceptional.

“The standard of the students’ work is improving all the time and I was personally delighted to be able to present this award to such a well deserving team.”

Alison Maynard, Principal of South Tyneside, presented the students with vouchers in recognition of their success.

She said: “The academy offers high-quality teaching and training for staff and students alike and is a superb addition to vocational provision at South Tyneside College.

To win such a prestigious accolade out of all Lee’s academies is a significant achievement and one of which we are proud.

“Congratulations go to the students who performed so well in the competition and achieved so much in their studies.”

Lee Stafford Education Academy at STC launched at South Tyneside College in September 2016 and is part of a tutoring and mentoring programme which has won national plaudits.

Aimed at students from across the North East, the partnership also benefits from targeted recruitment events which involve employers who attend to identify the best talent.

Lee created the education arm of his business to introduce a single recognised hairdressing training standard across the country.

More information on the academy and on hairdressing courses at South Tyneside College is available by calling 0191 427 3900 or visiting