Highlights from our 2017 conference


The Association of Colleges’ (AoC) 2017 Annual Conference and Exhibition took place from 14-15 November at The ICC Birmingham.

Over two days, senior leaders from across the country came together to hear from expert speakers, question policymakers and politicians, network with colleagues, celebrate success and meet with over 90 exhibitors. BBC journalist Steph McGovern chaired the conference for the second consecutive year.

I benefited significantly from attending the two-day annual conference. I am returning to the college with a list of actions to discuss, a range of company products to review and I have had my motivation and enthusiasm enhanced.
— Sharon Collet, Greater Brighton Metropolitan College
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The Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn outlining his vision of a new National Education Service, providing free education and the opportunity to retrain and upskill at any time.

AoC President Alison Birkinshaw giving a personal account of how further education supported her and praising the legacy left by a number of influential Principals and encouraging delegates in the room to create their own legacy.

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Great presentations and plenty of debate in the breakout sessions proves that the sector is adept at creatively finding solutions to the many issues we currently face.
— Tim Eyton-Jones, Barnfield College
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Writer and broadcaster Matthew Syed encouraging colleges to follow the example of other organisations to improve strategy and culture.

Science writer and broadcaster Timandra Harkness giving an entertaining speech on the future of learning and technology.

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A great conference that gives both the opportunity to network with colleagues and gain excellent insights into what is happening in our sector. Highly recommended.
— David Francis, Swindon College

A thank you

Thank you to all the staff, delegates, speakers, student volunteers, sponsors and exhibitors for making the Conference a huge success again this year. An extra thank you to Headline sponsor Pearson and Conference sponsors DynisticsLocatED and Mindful Education for their support.