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.

Days Hours Minutes Seconds
Days Hours Minutes Seconds
000 00 00 00

The countdown to the AoC Annual Conference and Exhibition has begun. Bringing together the further education sector under one roof to learn, develop, influence, exchange information and network. As the highlight of AoC’s events calendar, the conference combines keynote speakers, plenary sessions and breakout sessions to inform, stimulate debate and to provide the latest news and information from senior figures from government, further education and wider business sectors.

To help you plan your time around college commitments, we offer flexible packages for just one day, two days or for all three. In addition, there is a multiple booking discount available to AoC members booking two or more delegate places, so book your tickets now.

Inspirational and thought provoking

Louise Tearle
Leeds City College

AoC Annual Conference and Exhibition sponsors


view all speakers Book your tickets

Why you should attend

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 this 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. The AoC Beacon Awards, the ‘FE Oscars’, will be announced during the event. The Student and Student Photographer of the Year will also be announced during our 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

New for 2015


Teachers’ Programme - Thursday 19 November

This year, acting on feedback received, we are adding a new element to our Annual Conference – a Teachers’ programme.

On Thursday 19 November, teachers in our sector will have the opportunity to join the conference to find out about the latest innovations and outstanding practice in FE teaching in dedicated sessions. Sessions have been designed by teachers for teachers and will showcase best practice and encourage peer networking. Teachers will also be able to enjoy everything the conference has to offer including breakout sessions, an extensive supplier exhibition and high profile keynote speakers.

Teachers can book through this website with tickets priced at just £75 +VAT.


The Big Debate

An opportunity to connect with your colleagues to discuss and debate the biggest issues affecting the sector and your college, the ‘big debate’ moves away from the traditional conference session giving you the time and space to shape your thoughts, influence the views of others and enjoy a healthy debate. Topics will include area reviews, apprenticeships, funding and inspection. Take a look at the programme for more detail.


Networking for delegates and exhibitors

A new feature for the 2015 conference is the opportunity for delegates and exhibitors to meet away from the exhibition stand. The space, close to the refreshment and exhibition space, allows for one-to-one meetings in a quieter environment.

It also offers delegates space to sit and catch up with colleagues or check emails.


Links with The Skills Show

This year, The Skills Show will open straight after our Annual Conference and Exhibition. Transport will be available on Thursday afternoon to take delegates from The ICC to the NEC, where it is taking place.

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 is no exception. We are 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, you can see the nominees for both Awards now.

Sponsorship opportunities

Promote your brand and services to senior college leaders at our annual

flagship event. Over the three days at the ICC in Birmingham we offer suppliers

a range of exciting sponsorship opportunities to help you engage with the key decision makers of colleges.

Our conference and exhibition creates a unique environment for over 100 suppliers to showcase their products and services to over 250 colleges in an environment celebrating further education and we hope you will join us.

Breakout Sessions

We received an overwhelming response to our request for breakout sessions and we can now offer delegates a choice of over 55 sessions covering the full range of topics affecting you, your college and the sector. Visit the breakout sessions page to see the full list of sessions available and book your tickets to ensure you can attend the session of your choice.

Join the conversation

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


We are delighted to be continuing to sponsor the Students Work Experience at this years Conference



Pleased to confirm we’ll be at @AoC_info Annual Conference & Exhibition in November. See you there? #AoCConf



UniLink Finance are attending #AoCConf this year with @FinalysisUK . Visit us at stand 44 to discuss your asset finance needs. #assetfinance



Pleased to announce that @NickyMorgan01 will be speaking at this year’s Annual Conference! #AoCConf



Three finalists for Student of the Year. Winner announced at our Annual Conference & Exhibition on 18 Nov #AoCConf



Econocom will be at the in Nov! We look forward to meeting and help them save cash on new spends!



Are you going to the #AoCConf this year? We're looking forward to being there.



Pleased to announce that @AnthonySeldon will be speaking at this year's Annual Conference #AoCConf