AoC South East networks

Area Based Reviews Strategic Support

Overview

With some colleges currently going through the Area Based Review process, others at the stage of receiving their recommendations and a few considering how they can implement change, we are delighted to introduce this brand new strategic network to help support colleges navigate these uncharted waters.

The meetings

Each meeting will be driven by the members and will focus on the key areas of concern, such as: college experiences of Area Based Reviews, college mergers, funding, collaboration work, government guidance, internal and external communication and estate management.

The network will also include national updates by key stakeholders.

Group discussions will feature at every network, giving delegates the opportunity to raise any concerns or challenges, as well as share best practice with the group members.

 

Business Development Managers’

Overview

This highly popular network supports college staff in a range of business development roles and is designed to help colleges explore commercial opportunities and manage the increasing demands on generating full cost income. It focuses on all aspects of provision for employers or employment, including apprenticeships.

The meetings

The AoC skills policy team provide regular national updates, keeping the network members apprised to the latest developments and policy announcements.

Invited organisations have included the Skills Funding Agency, FE Business Limited, Pickle Jar Communications, City & Guilds and Laser Learning Awards.

Group discussions feature at every network, giving delegates the opportunity to raise any concerns or challenges, as well as share best practice with the group members

Chris Hare, Director of Enterprise & Employer Engagement at MidKent College, chairs this network and works with AOSEC in development of each agenda ensuring it is relevant and beneficial.

Clerks to the Corporation

Overview

This well-established network strives to promote excellence in governance across the South East. Meetings cover a range of topics specifically chosen to support clerks in their role.

The meetings

The AoC governance team regularly attend offering specialist input and updates.

External organisations have included Ofsted, Eversheds, Druines Limited, as well as specialist CPD training provided by invited facilitators.

 

Group discussions feature at every network, giving delegates the opportunity to raise any concerns or challenges, as well as share best practice with the group members.

Jacqueline Eayrs, Clerk to the Corporation at Fareham College, chairs this network providing valuable advice and guidance in the development of each agenda.

College-Based HE

Overview

This network is strongly recommended for colleges wanting to keep abreast of developments in HE provision within the FE setting. It supports staff with management responsibility for the provision of higher education in colleges.

The meetings

Each meeting aims to include input from key stakeholders such as HEFCE and QAA as well as policy updates from the AoC college HE team.

UCAS, Pearson UK and the British Universities Film & Video Council have all attended, offering insight and updates.

Group discussions feature at every network, giving delegates the opportunity to raise any concerns or challenges, as well as share best practice with the group members.

Mike Ridout, former Associate Vice Principal and Dean of HE at Sparsholt College, chairs this network and is invaluable in the creation of each agenda.

Curriculum Development

Overview

This new network is designed to support college staff in all areas of curriculum development.

The meetings

Teaching and learning, teaching methodology, practical tools and tips, maintaining quality and all things teaching, feature on this agenda.

College experiences play a large role in this network, with colleagues from in and out of the region, presenting innovative work and best practice.

Group discussions feature at every network, giving delegates the opportunity to raise any concerns or challenges, as well as share best practice with the group members.

Virginia Barrett, Deputy Principal Curriculum and Quality at East Berkshire College, chairs this network and offers her experience and knowledge in the creation of each agenda.

Digital Learning

Overview

As the digital future for further education and skills continues to grow and the opportunities to embed digital learning into college provision increase, this network aims to support colleges with the implementation of digital learning and highlight how technology can support teaching, learning and assessment.

The meetings

A variety of external organisations which are leads in their field, have attended, including Wambiz, Portal, Canvas, Jisc and Disquiet Dog. Numerous colleges have shared their digital journey and pioneering approach to embedding digital learning.

Group discussions feature at every network, giving delegates the opportunity to raise any concerns or challenges, as well as share best practice with the group members.

Iain Gibbins, E-learning Manager at Guildford College, chairs this network and offers guidance and support in the development of each agenda.

English & Maths

Overview

English and maths continues to be top of the agenda and a challenge for colleges across the region. This network offers a platform to address the concerns and challenges regarding the delivery of maths and English qualifications.

The meetings

Each agenda is a mix of college experiences and external speakers, all sharing their knowledge and skills to support the application of English and maths.

The University of Southampton, Ofqual, Westminster CETT, OCR and AQA have all presented at this network. College contributions have included Canterbury College, East Berkshire College and Banbury & Bicester College.

Group discussions feature at every network, giving delegates the opportunity to raise any concerns or challenges, as well as share best practice with the group members.

Anne Haig Smith, Head of Faculty English & Maths at Abingdon & Witney College, chairs this network and actively sources agenda items that will support the group members.

Finance Directors

Overview

A long standing, lively senior management network which continues to be an invaluable resource for Finance Directors across the region.

The Meetings

With input from the Education Funding Agency and the Skills Funding Agency, colleagues are kept apprised of the latest updates on the key challenges affecting the sector.

A range of external organisations have also offered input, including Barclays Bank, Lloyds Bank, VATangles, Crown Commercial Service and ECE Architecture.

Group discussions feature at every network, giving delegates the opportunity to raise any concerns or challenges, as well as share best practice with the group members.

This network benefits from the experience of two Chairs: David Moir, Deputy Principal Finance and Resources at Basingstoke College of Technology and Biram Desai, Vice Principal Corporate Services at Sussex Coast College, Hastings.

Hairdressing & Beauty Therapy

Overview

This highly successful and popular network benefits from a breadth of expertise and delegate engagement. It provides a platform to hear the latest updates regarding qualifications, changes to the sector, and innovative approaches to work as well as the introduction of new, cost effective products.

The meetings

Colleagues have enjoyed the opportunity to hear from a wide range of organisations including City and Guilds, VTCT, The Hair Council, Trichocare and Affinage.

Regular tours of college salons take place during networks.

College experiences play a large role in this network, with colleagues from in and out of the region, presenting innovative work and best practice.

Group discussions feature at every network, giving delegates the opportunity to raise any concerns or challenges, as well as share best practice with the group members.

Mark Packham, Head of Hair and Beauty at Bracknell and Wokingham College, chairs this network and brings his passion and enthusiasm to each agenda and meeting.

HRM and Staff Development

Overview

This network provides an opportunity for college HR Managers and Staff Development Officers to share best practice and receive specialist updating to support them in their roles.

The meetings

The AoC employment team attend this network on a regular basis, providing key updates.

External organisations have included the Department for Work and Pensions, Eversheds, ACAS and Mitchell Law.

Colleges’ sharing their experience also plays a key role in this network.

Group discussions feature at every network, giving delegates the opportunity to raise any concerns or challenges, as well as share best practice with the group members.

Julie Shah, Director of Human Resources at East Berkshire College has chaired this network for many years and plays a significant role in its continued success.

Learning Resources Centres

Overview

This well attended network has proven to be highly popular and informative. One of our most successful networks, it supports colleagues to tackle the challenges they face as well as introduce them to new innovative approaches to work and managing the Learning Resources Centres.

The meetings

A variety of external organisations have attended this network, including Libraries and Copyright Alliance,  the Education Training Foundation, Sage Publishing, Prospects College of Advanced Technology and Jisc.

Regular tours of college LRCs take place during networks.

Group discussions feature at every network, giving delegates the opportunity to raise any concerns or challenges, as well as share best practice with the group members.

Fiona Sutherland, Learning Centre Supervisor at Abingdon and Witney College, chairs this network.

Management Information Systems

Overview

This long-standing network provides support to college MIS Managers and enables them to receive regular updates from key external stakeholders.

The meetings

Group members have the opportunity to share specific issues relating to the collection and use of data in colleges.

Input from external organisations has included: Pearson UK; the Education Funding Agency, HEFCE, UKCES and the Department for Education.

Group discussions feature at every network, giving delegates the opportunity to raise any concerns or challenges, as well as share best practice with the group members.

This network benefits from the experience of two Chairs, David Willcox, Head of MIS at Sussex Coast College and Matt Whelan, Head of Information and Funding at Chichester College

Media and Marketing

Overview

This network supports college staff with responsibility for marketing, promotion and communication. Covering all aspects of college marketing and the challenges that presents, this network aims to offer new, innovative, cost effective approaches.

The meetings

Expert speakers from organisations, who have attended these meetings, include: NotGoingToUni, Enrola,  Itineris, Edge Clever,  Wambiz and Net Natives.

The AoC press team attend meetings on a regular basis to provide national updates.

Group discussions feature at every network, giving delegates the opportunity to raise any concerns or challenges, as well as share best practice with the group members.

This network is chaired by Paul Bailey, Events and Project Manager at AOSEC.

New to Further Education

Overview

This brand new network is designed to support staff new to the Further Education Sector. Whether you are a newly qualified teacher or a senior management team member who has joined from a different sector, this network will give you all the knowledge you need to navigate this complex, ever-changing environment.

The meetings

Each meeting will include sector experts from invited organisations and will cover the FE landscape including sector acronyms, policy changes, key information and organisations and their role.

Group discussions will feature at every network, giving delegates the opportunity to raise any concerns or challenges and ask questions.

 

PAs’

Overview

Exclusively for Personal Assistants in colleges, this network aims to update PAs about the current and future changes affecting further education and offer networking opportunities with colleagues from across the region.

The meetings

AoC provide regular updates regarding current policy changes. Topics covered in this network include funding, technologies to assist and support PAs and challenges facing the PA’s role.

College experiences play a large role in this network, with colleagues from in and out of the region, presenting innovative work and best practice.

Group discussions feature at every network, giving delegates the opportunity to raise any concerns or challenges, as well as share best practice with the group members.

This network benefits from the experience of two Chairs, Zoe Stafford, Executive Assistant to the Principal and CEO at Hadlow College and Yolande Box, Senior Executive Assistant at Reading College.

Quality Improvement

Overview

This network supports all aspects of quality improvement and quality assurance. Aimed at senior management teams with responsibility for quality and improvement, this network provides a key strategic platform for delegates.

The meetings

The AoC policy team attend on a regular basis and offer national updates. External organisations have included The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills,  AoC Sport, City & Guilds and the Department for Education.

Group discussions feature at every network, giving delegates the opportunity to raise any concerns or challenges, as well as share best practice with the group members.

 

Skills Competitions

Overview

This brand new network aims to promote and encourage involvement in competition activity across the region, offer national updates, highlight opportunities and help colleagues share best practice on embedding competitions in curriculum delivery.

The meetings

This network will offer a platform for colleagues to share practical ideas and strategies, allow delegates the opportunity to share their experience and learn from other colleges, hear from WorldSkills UK experts and raise their concerns and challenges through workshop based discussion and networking.

Participating in skills competitions can:

  • Improve standards of teaching and learning – widens the realms of creativity for teaching staff
  • Increase job satisfaction for teaching staff – staff are motivated and get enjoyment from training learners to a standard which could change their lives
  • Contribute to the Ofsted Evaluation Criteria
  • Open access to other resources – including support from local employers and potentially even funding
  • Contribute to college’s core mission
Vanessa Cass, Deputy Principal at Itchen College chairs this network.

Special educational needs and disabilities

Overview

The main purpose of this network is to provide a platform for delegates to share and discuss issues relating to learners with special educational needs and disabilities. The focus of this network is to share practical solutions to current challenges.

The meetings

Each meeting includes colleges sharing their experience and approaches.

Several external organisations have attended, including the National Development Team for Inclusion, Jisc and AoC.

Group discussions feature at every network, giving delegates the opportunity to raise any concerns or challenges, as well as share best practice with the group members.

Gemma Baker, Director of Strategy, AOSEC and a SEND Sector Leader, currently chairs this network.

Sports & Leisure

Overview

This popular network is the result of an exciting partnership between AOSEC and AoC Sport.  Open to AOSEC network subscribers and members of AoC sport. The network supports the development of all aspects of sport related activity in colleges and covers both curriculum and operational.

The meetings

AoC Sport provides national updates at every meeting. External organisations have included: OCR and Kent Sport. College experiences play a large role in this network, with colleagues from in and out of the region, presenting innovative work and best practice.

Group discussions feature at every network, giving delegates the opportunity to raise any concerns or challenges, as well as share best practice with the group members.

Ashley Grute, Head of Sport and Public Services at South Downs College, chairs this successful network.

Student Support Services

Overview

This valuable network covers a broad range of topics within student services exploring new initiatives and discussing hot topics. It focuses on sharing best practice, disseminating information and key policy updates.

The meetings

A range of external organisations have attended this network, including the National Citizen Service, Student Minds, STEM4, Loop and AoC Sport.

College experiences play a large role in this network, with colleagues from in and out of the region, presenting innovative work and best practice.

Group discussions feature at every network, giving delegates the opportunity to raise any concerns or challenges, as well as share best practice with the group members.

Penny Dinning, Lead for Safeguarding and Counselling at Brooklands College has chaired this network for many years and is dedicated to its continued success.