Wednesday 21 November, 14:50 – 15:55

3.1 - Learning together: enabling peer to peer college improvement

Oldham College and Dudley College of Technology

Location: Hall 8a

In 2018 Oldham College teamed up with Dudley College of Technology in implementing one of the first improvement projects involving a National Leader of Further Education (NLFE) and supported by the Strategic College Improvement Fund (SCIF). Alun Francis, Principal Oldham College and Lowell Williams, CEO Dudley College of Technology and an NLFE will present a frank exploration of what worked well and what did not on this project, share their thoughts on the power of inter-college collaboration and open a discussion on the challenges and opportunities which lie ahead for the sector. They will be joined by FE Deputy Commissioner Teresa Kelly.


  • Alun Francis, Principal and Chief Executive - Oldham College

  • Lowell Williams, Chief Executive - Dudley College of Technology and NLFE

  • Teresa Kelly OBE, FE Deputy Commissioner

3.2 - Ofsted and Apprenticeships

Association of Colleges and Ofsted

Location: Hall 11a

A session delivered jointly between the Association of Colleges and Ofsted looking at the preceding years inspections and lessons to be learnt for next year, to help colleges prepare their apprenticeship offer for Ofsted inspection.


  • Teresa Frith, Senior Apprenticeships and Skills Policy Manager - Association of Colleges

  • Chris Jones, HMI Ofsted, Apprenticeship Specialist – Ofsted

3.3 - Towards outstanding teaching, learning and assessment in technical education

Association of Colleges and Education and Training Foundation

Location: Hall 9

Has your college started to prepare its teaching staff for the introduction of T Levels? The Association of Colleges is leading a major Education and Training Foundation funded programme exploring innovative approaches to the outstanding teaching, learning and assessment (OTLA) of technical knowledge and skills. This workshop includes case studies with practical examples from pilot projects led by colleges and other providers across the country.


  • Morag Gallagher, Association of Colleges

  • Harriet Harper and Jim Aleander, AoC Associates 

  • Melanie Lanser and Christian Roberts, Derby College 

  • Simon Underhill and Richard Ward, Gateshead College

3.4 - How implementation of the government recent green paper ‘transforming young people’s mental health’ will support colleges

Association of Colleges and Department for Education

Location: Hall 11b

A member of the Department for Education mental health strategy team will explain:

  • How colleges are involved in new programmes

  • How the designated senior leads for mental health in colleges will be appointed and trained

  • How the new mental health support teams will function update on the national strategic partnership for 16-25 year olds

Participants will be able to feedback to the Department for Education what is needed for the recommendations to have real impact in colleges.


  • Richard Caulfield, Area Director, North West - Association of Colleges   

  • Viv Mc Cotter, Children and Young People's Mental Health Green Paper Team - Department for Education

3.5 - Developing diverse board talent

AoC Create

Location: Hall 10a

Colleges are under pressure to ensure their board has a range of skills, experience and knowledge to achieve effective and diverse governance. It is no surprise that recruiting to governor positions can prove difficult! We explore the concept of diversity as well as the tools for effective diverse governor recruitment and its impact within FE. Training on unconscious bias and further strategies to support wider diversity within FE governance.


  • Lesley Lightfoot, Recruitment Manager - AoC Create

  • Kayla Benjamin, Training and Development Manager - AoC Create

3.6 - College insolvency and how to avoid it

Association of Colleges and Department for Education

Location: Hall 5

The College insolvency regime starts in spring 2019 at a time when the sector faces serious financial challenges. There is intense competition for students and apprentices, rising staff costs, funding changes and strict limits on bank lending. A panel including Department for Education officials and Association of Colleges will explain how the rules are changing and will discuss what colleges need to do in response.


  • Julian Gravatt, Deputy Chief Executive, Policy Curriculum and Funding - Association of Colleges

  • Kathryn Norton, FE Finance and Resilience Division - Department for Education

  • Andrew Tyley, Deputy FE Commissioner

3.7 - Implementing industry placements

Association of Colleges and Department for Education

Location: Hall 7b

This session will provide delegates with an opportunity to hear from Department for Education officials regarding industry placements as an integral part of T levels, and to hear from college representatives and the team supporting providers implementing placements in 18/19 academic year as part of the Capacity and Delivery Fund, providing top tips and sharing best practice for planning and implementation of industry placements.


  • Kate Haseler-Young, T Level Delivery - Department for Education

  • Sam Dilliway-Davies, Industry Placements - The Challenge

  • Cheryl Grabarz, Head of Funding, Data and Quality - Burnley College    

  • Karen Buchanan, Principal - Burnley College

3.8 - Technical education workforce development support – building capacity!

Education and Training Foundation

Location: Hall 10b

Struggling to recruit technical experts and industry professionals for ‘hard to fill’ teaching roles? Do you have an idea for an innovation project that would allow genuine two-way street working between your organisation and industry, finding local solutions to local challenges? The government made a manifesto commitment to address the recruitment challenge and to build capacity to address technical education reform implementation. This workshop will share the support and funding opportunities available.


  • Cerian Ayres, Head of Technical Education - Education and Training Foundation

  • Commodore (Retd) Campbell Christie CBE, Royal Navy - ETF Further Forces Ambassador

3.9 - The ‘transformational bridge’ of continued adult education


Location: Hall 8b

A key determinant of the UK's future economic and social success is the skills base of our population. Changes in the job market, an ageing population and technological advancements creates an important focus on adult education to close the skills gap. This session will discuss the current issues and present how Pearson is working to develop short courses to support adult learners seeking to switch career paths or refresh their knowledge in sectors of interest.


  • Cindy Rampersaud, Senior Vice President BTEC and Apprenticeships - Pearson         

  • Yvonne Kelly, Principal and Chief Executive - Barking and Dagenham College

  • John Cope, Head of Education and Skills - CBI

3.10 - Celebrating success: the Tes FE Awards and AoC Beacon Awards

Tes and AoC Charitable Trust

Location: Hall 6a

In 2019, the Tes FE Awards and AoC Beacon Awards will be presented side by side, celebrating excellence across the FE sector. Hear from Tes FE editor Stephen Exley and AoC Charitable Trust director Ian Munro, as well as from Nigel Duncan, principal of 2018 Tes award winner Fareham College. Judges David Russell, chief executive of the Education and Training Foundation, and Sarah Simons, founder of #ukFEchat, as they explain what they look for in an entry.


  • Stephen Exley, FE Editor - Tes 

  • Ian Munro, Director - AoC Charitable Trust

  • Sarah Simons, Columnist – Tes

  • David Russell, Chief Executive - Education and Training Foundation

  • Nigel Duncan, Principal - Fareham College

3.11 - Getting to grips with the careers strategy in colleges: what works in practice and models of career leadership

The Careers and Enterprise Company

Location: Executive room 2

The Department for Education Careers Strategy, published in December 2017, includes expectations that all colleges will use the Gatsby benchmarks as a framework to review and develop their careers programmes, and that they will each identify a named careers leader. This session will introduce two best practice guides published by the Careers and Enterprise Company to support colleges: a review of what works and a guide to the role of careers leader.


  • David Andrews, Careers Education Consultant - The Careers and Enterprise Company

  • Lesley Thain, Senior Education Engagement Manager - The Careers and Enterprise Company 

  • Vikkie Morton, Assistant Principal, Student and Customer Experience - Sunderland College and Hartlepool Sixth Form College

3.12 - Beyond employer engagement in East London

UCL Institute of Education, Centre for Post-14 Education and Work

Location: Executive room 1

Through an exploration of a major research and development programme funded by JPMorgan, the session will share findings associated with social ecosystem theory and the establishment of High Progression and Skills Networks. The East London Vocational Education and Training (ELVET): Innovation through Partnership Programme, designed to develop sustainable two-way street partnerships between employers and colleges, was directed by UCL Institute of Education in partnership with AoC London and three colleges - Barking and Dagenham, New City and Newham. Newham college will join the session to provide a case study.


  • David Smith (Chairing session), Co-Director, Centre for Post-14 Education and Work - UCL Institute of Education

  • Professor Ann Hodgson, Co-Director, Centre for Post-14 Education and Work - UCL Institution of Education   

  • Julia Bollam, Director, Centre for Innovation and Partnerships - Newham College

3.13 - How to engage reluctant students in maths

Maths Inspiration

Location: Hall 7a

Maths students at FE Colleges can be among the toughest groups to engage – especially those who are doing GCSE re-sits.  After years of feeling they have failed at maths, somehow they now need to be motivated to get over the final hurdle.  “Fun” will only get them so far: to become engaged, what they need is maths that is relevant to their future, and a chance to succeed in a topic that they have struggled with for so long.  Rob Eastaway offers ideas for how to increase engagement, and how to create an environment where it feels safe to make mistakes.


  • Rob Eastaway, Author and Director - Maths Inspiration

3.14 - The National Retraining Scheme – we want to speak to you!

Department for Education

Location: Hall 6b

The National Retraining Scheme is a new, ambitious government programme to drive adult learning and retraining. We are currently developing the scheme and to help us, we want to speak to you! After providing a brief update on where policy design is up to, we will be running an interactive session testing our emerging model and looking to you to help shape what the National Retraining Scheme will look like.


  • Ian Caplan, Deputy Director, National Retraining Scheme - Department for Education

3.15 - How to address the gender imbalance in Early Years Education


Location: Executive room 7

This session will allow you to understand, from a learner perspective, the perceived barriers to the early years sector which create inequality in representation across demographics. Julie Hyde, CACHE Director with 20 years’ experience in EYE, is joined by Jake Forecast, a learner from Epping Forest College. With Jake’s unique insight, the session will give attendees practical advice on how to address the gender imbalance of early years learners, and benefits it can bring.


  • Julie Hyde, Director - CACHE       

  • Jake Forecast, Learner - Epping Forest College