About the Trust
Established by colleges for colleges in 1996, Association of Colleges (AoC) is the national voice for Further Education, Sixth Form, tertiary and specialist colleges. The AoC Group includes the AoC Charitable Trust, AoC Sport and AoC Services.
The AoC Charitable Trust’s primary purpose is to raise funds and oversee their application for the benefit of post-16 education and its vision is to have great colleges transforming lives and communities. The Trustees are appointed from the Association of Colleges’ Main Board, AoC's executive officers and independent representatives. Trustees appointed from the AoC’s Board include the Chair, the Chief Executive and the Director of Finance; executive officers include the Trust’s Director. Independent representatives are appointed for their knowledge, experience and status in the sector. All appointments require the approval of the Trustees. An informal induction process is carried out. As a minimum, the Trustees meet on a termly basis, although additional meetings are held if required.
The Charitable Trust is a Registered Charity in England and Wales (charity number 1040631) and in Scotland (charity number SC039064).
Our Guiding Principles
The guiding principles of the Charitable Trust are to:
- Advance social mobility, equality and aspiration
- Celebrate and champion inclusion and diversity
- Promote well-being, physical activity and mental health
- Lead change for the benefit of colleges, their students and the communities they serve
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
The AoC Group is an equal opportunities employer and recognises the need for diverse thinking, therefore we build equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) into all that we do. We celebrate, value and actively promote fairness, respect, equality, diversity and inclusion. Striving for a better, fairer society in which everyone can succeed.
AoC is also working with the National Centre for Diversity (NCFD) towards a Leader in Diversity status. You can find more about how we support EDI in our organisation as well as the sector on our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion webpage.
Colleges are community leaders, major employers with significant responsibility for estates and buildings. They have a key role to play in mitigating the impact of their work on the environment.
We are supporting our members to transition through several pieces of work, including the innovative FE Climate Action Road Map which has already been adopted by over a third of FE colleges; we continue to offer regular webinars, briefings and updates. The AoC board have recognised the climate crises and as such have committed to being carbon neutral on Scope 1 (direct emissions) and Scope 2 (indirect emissions by 2030). Additionally we have established a Green Thread Policy Group that focuses on:
• Environmental Sustainability
• The Climate Emergency, Climate Change and Carbon Reduction
• Skills for the New Build Back Better/ Green Economy
The purpose of this group is to act as an advocate for the strategic importance of these three focus areas and to interpret and provide expert analysis to the FE sector on government policy in these areas.
More about the work that we do in this area can be found on our Sustainability and Climate Action Hub.