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The AoC Award for Widening Participation

Guidance notes for application form

This year, applicants are invited to complete a bespoke application form for each Beacon Award. This form will give applicants the opportunity to address all the criteria that will be assessed: the Beacon Award criteria, and the bespoke sponsor’s criteria that is tailored for each award.

AoC Beacon Awards Criteria:

The Beacon Awards celebrate exemplary practice. In all applications you should evidence innovation, sustainability and impact, ensuring that you clearly show there are features which promote exemplary teaching and learning, and that the initiative has wider relevance and applicability. The application should demonstrate:

  • Bespoke evaluation/quality assurance to influence continuing development of the initiative
  • Regard to the promotion of equality and diversity in the delivery of the programme.
  • That there is clear evidence of impact and sustainability.
  • That it has features which actively promote exemplary teaching and learning
  • That it is of benefit for one or more groups of students, recipients or trainees
  • That it has wider relevance and applicability which makes it of significant value to other colleges as an example of outstanding practice or innovation.

AoC Sponsor’s criteria:

In 1997, the Widening Participation Committee chaired by Helena Kennedy QC published its report, Learning Works. The report profoundly affected developments in further education. It defined widening participation as: access, achievement and progression for those groups often under-represented in further education.

We want to recognise, celebrate and promote examples of college’s ability to widen participation in learning in their communities with strategies to provide transformational educational opportunities through learner engagement which:

  • Engages individuals in learning particularly where they have suffered disadvantage or are an underrepresented group in learning, or a vocational sector.
  • Provides comprehensive support to meet individual learner needs particularly for those who may be experiencing significant barriers to completing their programme or are in danger of disengaging from the learning process.
  • Adopts innovative teaching approaches to meeting the learning and social/personal needs of learners and uses appropriate and innovative learning materials, technologies and approaches which motivate learners and raises aspirations.
  • Enables a high proportion of the learners to gain qualifications and progress to further study or employment.

The AoC Award for Widening Participation application form