AoC Annual Conference & Exhibition

17 - 19 November 2015, The ICC Birmingham

As a sector we are facing unprecedented change. Our challenge is to ensure colleges remain at the heart of the community and the economy, and continue to educate our students – what they learn today powers the economy of tomorrow.

Thank you to everyone who attended AoC's Annual Conference and Exhibition. It is great to see the further education sector together under one roof to learn, develop, influence, exchange information and network

As the highlight of AoC’s events calendar, the conference combined fantastic keynote speakers, plenary sessions and breakout sessions which informed, stimulated debate and provided the latest news and information from senior figures from government, further education and wider business sectors.

We look forward to welcoming you to AoC's Annual Conference and Exhibition at The ICC Birmingham from the 15-17 November 2016 - see you next year!

Inspirational and thought provoking

Louise Tearle
Leeds City College

AoC Annual Conference and Exhibition sponsors


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Why you should attend in 2016

AoC’s Annual Conference and Exhibition is the must-attend event for senior leaders, policymakers and organisations linked to further education.

Here are five good reasons why you should attend next year’s AoC Annual Conference and Exhibition:

  1. Learn Find out about the latest policy changes directly from those responsible for making them. Our conference also attracts leading experts from education and business, and provides delegates with the chance to learn from experiences both nationally and internationally.
  2. Network There are plenty of opportunities for you to catch up with friends and colleagues, as well as meet new sector leaders. You can also network with representatives of relevant businesses and organisations within the exhibition.
  3. Question Our conference is attended by many high-level politicians and policymakers. The event provides the opportunity for you to question them directly.
  4. Share With your peers from across the country, you have the opportunity to share best practice and use their experiences in your own college.
  5. Celebrate Not only is the conference and exhibition an opportunity for you to work, it’s also a time to celebrate the achievements of the sector, both colleges and their students. The AoC Beacon Awards are announced during the event as well as the Student and Student Photographer of the Year which are announced each year during the Gala Dinner.



AoC's Annual Conference continues to be the single most important development event in a Principal's annual calendar

Ian Ashman
Principal, Hackney Community College

AoC's conference provided a sense of recognition for the sector which transforms the lives of those who are the future contributors, developers and leaders of our great society. Beyond raising the profile of post 16 providers, the conference allowed for the sector to be united under one roof and one cause – “to raise the quality and standards of learning to improve the life-chances of our future generation.

Shah Sher Ali
Assistant Principal, St Francis Xavier College

This is a crucial opportunity to meet and learn from colleagues in a large and complex sector. It is where to go to find out about and learn best practice. It's an opportunity to stop and reflect upon one's own role and contribution. For all these reasons it is time well spent.

Helen Birchenough
Chair, Wiltshire College

AoC Annual Conference and Exhibition sponsors


Student Participation

It’s unbelievable and unexpected to have won Student of the Year.  It feels really good. I said to my brothers the hard work would pay off in the end so I’m very happy. Burton and South Derbyshire College were brilliant, and I received so much support from everyone in the college – from the principal to all of the teaching staff.

Najibolah Rahimi, Student of the Year 2014
Burton and South Derbyshire College

Students are an integral part of AoC’s Annual Conference and Exhibition and the 2015 event was no exception. We are always delighted to offer a unique opportunity for the students of AoC member colleges to gain work experience at our flagship event.

We also highlight success and achievements through our Student of the Year and Student Photographer of the Year awards and would like to congratulate both Reece Taylor from Derwentside College for winning Student of the Year and Alice Armfield from Isle of Wight College for winning Student Photographer of the Year.

Sponsorship opportunities

We would like to thank all our sponsor for their fantastic support this year. Without them the conference would not be possible. We hope that you all got to speak to the sponsors and exhibitors to find out the fantastic ways which they are innovating and supporting the further education sector.

If you would like to get in touch about sponsorship and exhibition opportunities at AoC's Annual Conference and Exhibition 2016 please email

Breakout Sessions

We received an overwhelming response to the breakout sessions this year, with some fantastic feedback on the support and guidance many gave throughout the three days of the conference.

We look forward to receiving your breakout session submissions next year.

Join the conversation

Use the hashtag #AoCConf to find, follow and stay up to date with the Annual Conference.


"You are all depraved human beings. If you have a future, good luck with it, " Sir Lenny Henry tells #AoCConf



We would like to give a huge thanks our sponsors @AQA @ocr_vocational & @PearsonColleges #AoCConf #FE



‘Remarkable how colleges have kept going’ says chief (+ exclusive online content)



Really informative presentation from . Recurring theme of importance of curiosity in learning



Colleges work hard to provide students with opportunities & qualifications to contribute to productivity - @ShelaghLegrave at#AoCConf



Skills Minister Nick Boles is calling for colleges to deliver more apprenticeships while speaking at today



'I like to be way out there': teaching tips from one of the world's best FE educators



A fantastic way to bring an end to a great few days. Thanks for the inspiration