Tuesday 19 November, 13:50 – 14:50

2.1 - Transition to T Level: What makes a student T Level ready?

Association of Colleges

T Levels will be rigorous Level 3 study programmes leading to higher study and skilled employment. Many young people won't be ready for a T Level at 16 but might well be able to achieve one by 19. Join us to find out more about the Transition framework and hear from colleges involved in the development project. An opportunity to ask questions of both policy makers and implementers.

Leave better informed about the Transition framework and how it prepares students for T Levels.

2.2 - Mental health in the workplace and the classroom


This session will focus on mental health both in the workplace and classroom, highlighting why it’s important and how you can bring it to the forefront for both staff and learners. During the session we will support you with solutions for staff CPD in mental health; demonstrate how you can integrate mental health awareness into your study programmes to support with meeting Ofsted expectations; share what we have been doing as an organisation to support the wellbeing of our staff, including the introduction of mental health first aid; showcase real life examples from colleges, highlighting what they have done to support their mental health agenda and explore best practice.       

Delegates will come away with ideas on how to meet this important agenda within their own organisation.

2.3 - Tes FE College of the Year 2019: our journey to success

Bridgend College

In 2013, Bridgend College faced significant financial difficulties; learner outcomes were the worst in the sector. In 2019 they achieved the Times Educational Supplement FE College of the Year Award. In this session you will hear how this dramatic turnaround was achieved and the reach this College has within the community. This case study highlights how a simple vision for supporting people to “Be all they can be” has been the guiding compass and a fundamental part of their transformation.

The session promises to be insightful and thought provoking and moves away from the premise that it is all about the numbers. Participants will be encouraged to think holistically about the needs of the many stakeholders involved in sustaining a thriving College. On leaving this session we want people to: recognise the value in having a simple vision that all stakeholders can buy into; reflect on current practice and challenge the status quo; and think about the wider value the college can have and its potential to positively influence the local community.

2.4 - Student voice - 'Making it real'

Chichester College Group

This year’s AoC survey of colleges showed a very high level of commitment to student engagement at all levels and AoC has developed the Charter Student Engagement to promote and support this commitment. This session will focus on using student voice to improve the quality of provision and enhance student engagement. Lisa Humphries, Group Director of Student Services & Pastoral Support will reflect on key elements of embedding student voice in any college, considering both strategic and operational needs. She will explain how the group have embedded successful student voice at Crawley College, following the merger with Chichester College, when it was graded RI in 3 consecutive Ofsted inspections. A monitoring visit report makes reference to the development of student voice and its impact on supporting cultural change.

Delegates will appreciate the value of student voice to drive up standards and change culture.

2.5 - Creating a culture of curiosity

Coleg Sir Gar and Coleg Ceredigion and Havant and South Downs College

Learning and sharing new teaching practices is what allows the classroom to keep moving and evolving. Through action research, our colleges are focussed on empowering our staff, encouraging them to recognise their own potential, to challenge assumptions and to share their excellent practice. This session will be exploring the journey two colleges have taken to becoming research active through funded and non-funded approaches and will also identify the impact this has had on teaching and learning.

Teaching staff want to have the trust of their institution to experiment. This session will demonstrate how it is possible to achieve a college wide culture of supported experimentation that embraces the needs of individual staff and the needs of the college.

2.6 - What is a structural review? Would it be right for your college? Could you be part of a successful solution?

Department for Education

At a time of tight funding, ongoing cost pressures and increased competition from other sectors, many colleges are looking at how to ensure long term sustainability. Structural change can deliver this, but what are the options and would doing a structural review be right for your college? Come and hear some best practice case studies and the latest policy guidance from senior members of the FE Commissioner’s team and DfE officials engaged in this work.

People will come away with better knowledge about the options available to them in terms of structural change, as well as what a structural review is – how it works, and the benefits it can potentially bring in ensuring sustainability for their college. They will also have learned the steps to take to go about taking a structural review forward and the role of the FE Commissioner in different types of review. As well as those colleges that might need to consider structural change, those who are in a good place and see themselves as part of the solution will also have a chance to contribute to the debate.

2.7 - ETF and Oxford Saïd Business School: sharing our leadership learning

Education and Training Foundation 

Over the past three years, the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) has worked with our partner, the University of Oxford Saïd Business School, to co-design and co-deliver a suite of interrelated programmes for CEO/Principals, Deputy Principals and Chairs of Governors. In this workshop Sir Frank McLoughlin, together with Louise Watts and Steve Mostyn (Oxford Said Programme Directors), will share the lessons they have learned from working with more than 200 of the most senior leaders in the FE sector. They will put this in the context of the wider Executive Leadership lessons derived from Oxford Saïd’s Global research.

Leadership is key for any organisation. Attendees to this workshop will be given insights, knowledge, understanding and confidence to look at their own and their organisation’s leadership needs.

2.8 - The importance of creating the right culture

Chichester College Group, Education Partnership North East (Sunderland College) and Ali Hadawi, CEO, Central Bedfordshire College

Investing in culture is key to an organisation’s success and in this session, three colleges are coming together to share their experiences. Chichester College Group will discuss how they set the tone for cultural change at Crawley College, winning hearts and minds and setting high expectations for staff whilst putting students at the heart of the organisation. Education Partnership North East will give an overview of how they engaged the workforce on their journey to Excellence and the usage of their employee engagement tool to drive proactive leadership actions, boost performance and engage people in success. Ali Hadawi, CEO of Central Bedfordshire College, will put before you the findings and recommendations from his professional doctoral study into college mergers, focusing on the actions and language that need to be used to get the human side of merger right, showing that culture is key.

Delegates will leave with a strong understanding of the importance of employee engagement and different strategies to approach this.

2.9 - The Independent Commission on the College of the Future: Where are we now?

Independent Commission on the College of the Future

This session will bring together college leaders to discuss their hopes for the college of the future. As part of the Independent Commission on the College of the Future’s stakeholder engagement, this event will provide attendees with the opportunity to feed into the Commission’s work at a key time in the consultation on its work. It will begin with a short panel session, with an overview from one of the commissioners, and be followed by a facilitated workshop.

Attendees will feel like they have had input into a key piece of work into colleges, and what we want and need from them in ten years' time.

2.10 - Can colleges drive up the achievement of GCSE maths retake students

Association of Colleges and Education and Training Foundation

The Centres for Excellence in Maths (CfEM) project is a major government funded improvement programme based in 21 colleges in England, each of which is at the centre of a network of other colleges working collaboratively. The centres are trialling a range of different approaches, engaging in local action research and participating in national research trials. The project’s 4 interlinked themes are: contextualisation, engagement and motivation, mastery and technology. Attendees will hear from national partners and two of the centres about the progress of the project so far.      

Delegates will learn more about the CfEM project and how to get involved in a network in order to be able to share some of the good practice which is emerging.

2.11 - Using industry research and collaboration to power curriculum design


For all colleges, planning the right curriculum is essential. It allows colleges to respond to the needs industries, the economy and provide students with a greater chance of securing employment.  This session will show, using the case study of the London Aerospace and Technology College, how industry collaboration ensures that colleges remain at the cutting edge of curriculum design, skills development and innovation. Using commissioned industry research and modelling; employer advisory networks; industry leader visits; and curriculum workshops.

2.12 - What does DfE’s UK EdTech 2019 Strategy mean for colleges?

Mindful Education

In April 2019, the Department for Education launched the UK’s first ever EdTech strategy for schools, colleges and universities. In this session, Mark Mckenna and Martin Doel CBE will be joined by senior management from Walsall College, an OFSTED grade 1 provider, to discuss the EdTech strategy and what it means for your college. Key areas of focus include: DfE’s overall strategy, significant announcements made, and key elements relevant to your college

Attendees will have understood DfE's new EdTech strategy, as well as understanding how they can embrace education technology for their college.

2.13 - The Education Inspection Framework: your questions answered


During this session, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman answers delegates’ questions about the new education inspection framework. The session will be chaired by AoC Chief Executive David Hughes and Amanda will talk about the new framework and early findings from the first inspections.

2.14 - Manchester jobs for Manchester people

The Manchester College

The focus of the session is to share the lessons learnt from a long-standing partnership between The Manchester College, DWP and the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. They will share the practical steps from engaging with the right learners to co-developing an ever-changing curriculum that results in high job outcomes (72% in 18/19) and an average reduction of NHS staff turnover of 9%. This Sector Skills Work Academy model has now been replicated across Greater Manchester.

Participants will leave the session feeling enthused and empowered.