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Tuesday 14 November - Strand 2 Breakout Sessions (13:45 - 14:45)

2.01 - Climate change, social justice and sustainability: Learning from designing process

Lead organisation: Bedford College Group

Hall 6a


  • Farzana Khan - Higher Education Manager and Senior Lecturer, The Bedford College Group and University Centre
  • Charles Whewell - Head of Higher Education and Partnership, The Bedford College Group and University Centre

This session is based on researchers’ experience of developing a module in collaboration with students and colleagues supported by a curriculum investigation grant from the British Education Research Association (BERA). It presents a research-led curriculum development initiative that was designed to engage and empower students by making them co-creators of the curriculum, which promotes practical examples of sustainable development implementation. This participatory research has been utilised to promote teachers' agency and students’ voices and empower students as partners in co-creating curriculum. It also promotes teaching and learning that assist institutions to make informed choices that impact individuals and communities to develop practice that promotes sustainability.

2.02 - FEC Active Support: Just One Thing Programme: What next?

Lead organisation: Further Education Commissioner

Hall 7b


  • Shelagh Legrave - Further Education Commissioner, Department for Education
  • Rob Lawson OBE - Chair of the Corporation, Hull College
  • Mark Malcomson CBE - Principal and Chief Executive Officer, City Lit
  • Dr Sam Parrett CBE - Group Principal and CEO, London South East Colleges
  • Wendy Stanger - Director of Governance, East Coast College
  • Frances Wadsworth CBE - Deputy Further Education Commissioner, Department for Education

Building on the success of the Just One Thing Programme designed and delivered as a part of the FEC Active Support Framework, this session will take the opportunity to reflect and hear from a panel comprising Principals, Chairs and Governance Professionals on what they have gained as being part of the Just One Thing: Class of 22/23 and the SEND Just One Thing event. A panel discussion with National Leaders in Further Education and Governance will follow, building on these reflections and draw out next steps for the programme, including audience participation and questions.

2.03 - Generative AI: the myths, the threats and the opportunities

Lead organisation: Jisc, Northampton College, East Durham College

Hall 5


  • Nick Budden - Learning Technologist, Northampton College
  • Kirsty Tate - E-Learning Practitioner, East Durham College
  • Michael Webb - Director of Technology and Analytics, Jisc

The rapid emergence of generative AI and the wider implications of this technology for education can be daunting. In this session, Jisc’s National Centre for AI will debunk some of the myths surrounding generative AI, as well as help you understand the threats and opportunities. Hear examples from colleges such as East Durham and Northampton on their experiences with the Teachermatic and Anywyse tools. Whether your organisation has fully embraced AI or you're looking for guidance on how to move forwards, you will take away practical information to help guide your policies and practice and hear first-hand experiences from experts.

2.04 - AI in FE: Success stories from teachers and students

Lead organisation: Basingstoke College of Technology

Hall 10b


  • Scott Hayden - Head of Teaching, Learning and Digital, Basingstoke College of Technology

Basingstoke College of Technology is committed to using technology mindfully and intentionally to enhance teaching and learning. The college is helping staff and students use technology including AI ethically and deliberately to augment learning and improve student outcomes. Attendees will learn about the college's approach to digital wellbeing and how they can use technology in a way that is beneficial to their learning and their overall well-being. They will also learn how the college is using AI to enhance teaching and learning, and hear about the case studies of how this has been successful.

2.05 - All students as change-makers: Transforming learner voice into action

Lead organisation: Carlisle College - NCG

Hall 8b


  • Sarah McGrath - Principal, Carlisle College - NCG

Carlisle College - NCG is on a journey of transforming our approach to learner voice and supporting learners to take action. We’ve recently found huge value in collaborating with external organisations, in particular Unloc and Loudspeaker. We’ve established a baseline for our core learner voice and leadership systems and are now building up that infrastructure as well as introducing new interventions and opportunities for learners to use their voice for positive change. We’re keen to share our journey with colleagues and spread the mission of ‘every learner a change-maker’.

2.06 - Strategies to maintain high standards, and reduce attendance gaps

Lead organisation: Stoke on Trent College and Leyton Sixth Form College

Hall 9


  • Emma Brannen - Vice Principal – Curriculum and Quality, Stoke on Trent College
  • Gill Burbridge - Principal, Leyton Sixth Form College

This session will focus on a variety of strategies to improve learner attendance, punctuality and behaviours to ensure that high standards are both set and maintained. This session will outline practical approaches towards gaining tangible improvements, as well as specifically considering the impact that these can have in ensuring the attendance of 16-18 year olds to maths and English sessions is comparable to vocational session attendance. Attendees will have the opportunity to consider how these strategies could be applied to their own procedures and practices, and how a culture of collaborative responsibility for attendance, punctuality and behaviours can be developed.

2.07 - How FE colleges can support the NHS recruitment drive

Lead organisation: Gateway Qualifications, NHS England, Weston College and Calderdale College
Hall 8a


  • Arshad Naseem Aqeel - Community Learning Manager, Calderdale College
  • Gary Durant - Vice Principal, Weston College
  • Mike Hudson - Strategic Lead – Recruitment, Weston College
  • Lucy Hunte - National Programme Manager; Apprenticeships, NHS England
  • Katie Walker - Head of Adult and General Education, Calderdale College

Find out what the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan means for FE and how your college can support the biggest recruitment drive in health service history. Hear directly from NHS England on the challenges and opportunities they face and consider how colleges can support Europe’s biggest employer. Discover how two colleges are already successfully helping to fill health and care vacancies in their local area and get practical advice on how you can adopt a flexible curriculum model to create pathways to apprenticeships, employment and further study.

2.08 - Transforming Skills – A bold vision for a radically transformed skills system

Lead organisation: NCFE

Hall 11b


  • Michael Lemin - Head of Policy, NCFE

Transforming Skills, a report by NCFE, Corndel and The Edge Foundation, sets out policy recommendations that, if taken together, could unleash a radically transformed skills system. The report considers the way we equip individuals for a new world of work and skills, before exploring how the system can adapt for a time of greater uncertainty and change. This session delves into the themes of the report, with participants given the opportunity to discuss how the ideas might work in practice, and how they fit alongside other calls for change, including AoC’s Opportunity England.

2.09 - How can we improve careers education to support young people within and into further education?

Lead organisation: Careers & Enterprise Company

Executive Room 2


  • Andrew Hall - Senior Manager: Technical Education and Skills, Careers & Enterprise Company
  • Alison Sadler - FE & Skills Consultant, Careers & Enterprise Company

This year 40 careers hubs have used a common approach to identify the key barriers and supports to young peoples’ take up of technical pathways where they are. By curating data and a plurality of expertise we have developed a regional consensus and national insight into the key barriers that need to be overcome in each area, their relative importance to each other and how colleges, schools and employers can work together to overcome them. This session shares detailed findings from this work. It will also focus on the support and insight available to college leaders to deliver excellent careers education for current learners and how they can work with Careers Hubs and other local and national partners to improve provision.

2.10 - Higher technical qualifications in delivery

Lead organisation: Department for Education, Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE), Pearson and Blackpool and the Fylde College

Hall 10a


  • Connor Bruce - Head of Provider Engagement and Strategy, Higher Technical Education, Department for Education
  • Helen Fogg - Director of Higher Education, Blackpool and The Fylde College
  • Rebecca Mameli - Senior Strategic Lead for HE Research and Product Solutions, Pearson
  • Selene Washington - Senior Engagement & Planning Manager for HTQs, IfATE

Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs) are new or existing level 4/5 qualifications that are delivering the skills employers need. There has been a phased approach to the rollout of HTQs, over 170 HTQs across multiple routes have been approved so far and IfATE is currently administering cycle 4, these additional approved qualifications will be ready for delivery from September 2025. Government has also invested funds to support providers to offer more HTQs, to help with the growth of this provision across the country. This session is a discussion with panellists from DfE, IfATE, an awarding organisation and a college involved in the delivery of HTQs.

2.11 - Quality outcomes through learner neuro-inclusion

Lead organisation: Cognassist


Delegates who have not pre-booked this session won’t be able to attend. Please check your latest confirmation email to see which breakout sessions you have booked.

Hall 6b


  • Chris Quickfall - CEO, Cognassist

We will explore how neuro-inclusion should be part of the foundation of the learner journey; Helping attendees to understand neurodiversity and supporting engagement and retention through tutor training, cognitive assessments, flexible learning strategies, and assessment adjustments. It will also cover current reasonable adjustments and how these can be implemented in your practice. More learners receiving the right reasonable adjustments leads to more learners succeeding and progressing. For the providers, this means higher retention rates and surpassing the 67% government target for 2025.

2.12 - Engaging disadvantaged students in Construction Green Skills for the Future

Lead organisation: Association of Colleges, London Southeast College Group, South Thames College Group

Executive Room 1


  • Bharat Hirani - Director of STEM and Strategic Projects, London South East Colleges
  • Liz Lake - Director of Development, London South East Colleges
  • David McClymont - Vice-Principal and Group Lead for Adult provision, South Thames College Group
  • Loraine Williams - Project Manager, London South East Colleges

The ‘Creating a Greener London- Sustainable Construction Skills’ programme seeks to develop innovative, local approaches to the delivery of green skills training. The programme is targeted at young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds, studying in low-level provision. As part of the presentation, attendees will be informed on the intent of the project, the implementation of their delivery methodology, and how the pilot college groups are engaging disadvantaged and students in construction Green Skills with their CIAG strategies. The outcome of the project will enable students to access skilled, green jobs in the construction sector.

2.13 - Ofsted T level implementation - Report and inspections

Lead organisation: Ofsted

Hall 7a


  • Rachel Angus - Senior His Majesty’s Inspector, Ofsted
  • Kate Hill - HMI Specialist Advisor, FE & Skills Policy, Ofsted

This session will focus on the key findings from the recent Ofsted thematic survey report on T level implementation and inspectors will discuss what these findings mean for colleges. They will also outline the approaches that will be taken to inspection of T level provision.

2.14 - Utilising the power of colleges to influence change: How we can influence the next General Election and beyond?

Lead organisation: Association of Colleges

Hall 11a


  • Shane Chowen - Editor, FE Week
  • Holly Papworth - Head of Policy, Edge Foundation
  • Corrienne Peasgood - President, Association of Colleges
  • Dame Ann Limb DBE DL - Chair, City & Guilds

With the General Election looming, it's time to raise our collective voice and show decision-makers the power of colleges as problem solvers.
You'll hear from speakers who will:
- Provide context on the current political environment
- Share case studies of good engagement with MPs and other influencers
- Offer insights on how to centre campaigns and engagement around the opportunities that colleges offer in solving the major problems of the twenty-first century.

Join us and let's make the most of this opportunity to make our voices heard!