Current projects

Ufi VocTech Trust Partnership - creating a post-Covid 19 EdTech strategy
Over the course of the next few months, we will carry out research into colleges’ current capacity to enable high-quality distance learning with support from Ufi VocTech Trust. Findings from the research will be used to create a post-Covid EdTech strategy for the college sector that leaves no learner behind. The research will result in a series of articles, published in June 2020, providing provocations, solutions, and recommendation to the government on the biggest challenges faced when implementing and delivering digital teaching, learning, and assessment. We will also be running a series of webinars that will compliment the articles.

CEC Personal Guidance Fund
The Careers & Enterprise Company are funding a group of colleges to develop and deliver triage training for curriculum staff to support the delivery of personal guidance interviews to as many learners as possible, as well as upskilling existing careers professionals. We will share a final report with the sector to share findings once this project finishes in September 2020.

Teach Too
The Teach Too programme (from the Education and Training Foundation) will distribute funds across the sector to see industry experts spending time teaching current practitioners to help ensure that off-the-job vocational education and training is as up to date as possible in accordance to current work practices.

The 5Rs - A revision year approach to GCSE Maths Resits
The 5Rs - A revision year approach to GCSE Maths resits is a Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) project that aims to support students re-sitting their GCSEs to improve their attainment. We are currently working with over 40 post-16 providers to trial the approach and disseminate findings to the wider sector. The programme content is built on the 40 most common topics in GCSE exams and common exam pitfalls and also aims to introduce students to alternative methods for undertaking common but tricky calculations, such as multiplying numbers and adding fractions.

The project will end in March 2021, with outcomes communicated to the sector from October 2020.

Centres for Excellence in Maths
The Centres for Excellence in Maths is a national programme funded by the Department for Education (DfE) and managed on its behalf by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) with a range of delivery partners, including the Association of Colleges. It aims to deliver a step change in maths teaching up to Level 2 in post-16 settings to help increase the number of young people leaving compulsory education with basic maths skills, up to GCSE and equivalent level.

T Level Transition Programme
AoC is working in partnership with the Department for Education (DfE) and a number of T Level 2020 providers to explore current and innovative practice to ensure students are T Level ‘ready’.The T Level Transition Programme is a preparation programme for T Levels that is intended for students not yet ready to start a T Level at age 16, but who can realistically achieve a T-level by age 19.

The Transition Programme consists of five core components:

•Diagnostic and guidance period
•English and maths
•Work experience and preparation
•Introductory technical skills
•Pastoral support and personal development

The Framework for Delivery sets out information for post 16 T level providers about the T Level Transition Programme, and how it should be delivered from the 1st September 2020.

Professional Exchanges in London and the South West
The Professional Exchange 2019/20 aims to develop a network of practitioners to come together to share ideas, resources and to test and trial innovative approaches to teaching, learning and assessment.

Governance Development Programme
ETF have commissioned Association of Colleges to develop this comprehensive training programme for college governors. We are currently working on Phase 4 of this programme.

The Governance Development Programme provides a structured yet flexible approach to learning for board members as they begin their roles; the programme also aims to support experienced members of governing bodies as well as governance professionals to ensure they have the skills required to add substantial value to the organisations and students that they serve. 23 of the 29 modules are now available; you can find the overview of modules to access and those in development on our governance pages.

Regional Governance and Student Governors Programme 2019/20
The Regional Governance and Student Governors Programme aims to support chairs, governors, student governors and governance professionals to improve board effectiveness and overall provider performance through a series of induction events and conferences. Funded by the Education and Training Foundation and facilitated by Association of Colleges, these events will cover local issues as well as current hot topics such as:

  • Insolvency
  • Board assurance
  • Devolution
  • How student governors can support their governors during difficult periods

Pears #iWill Youth Social Action pilots
AoC is working as the Learning Partner for the Pears #iWill Youth Social Action Pilots. City of Bristol College, North Hertfordshire College, Newcastle College, RNN Group and Shipley College have all designed their own projects to pilot and embed Youth Social Action in their colleges.
As part of this project we will share best practice with the sector, to encourage other colleges to look at similar approaches. We will share case studies when the project ends in December 2020.

The Scholarship Project – The Scholarship Framework
The Association of Colleges (AoC) was awarded £2.75 million by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Catalyst Fund to support the development and embedding of a distinct scholarly ethos across the college higher education (HE) sector. A key output of the Scholarship Project was The Scholarship Framework. The framework provides resources that can be used to support scholarly activity within college HE. This includes student scholarly activity, peer review and employer engagement.

Greater Manchester Mental Health Project
With funding from the NHS we are embarking on a project that addresses the mental health support available to students in the FE sector. The project will involve numerous colleges from the Greater Manchester area. 

Erasmus+
AoC is currently involved in two Erasmus+ projects. Both projects focus on areas of importance to college life such as our Key Action 1 project 'Developing Good Practice in Safeguarding Students'. This projects examines mental health support strategies in Finland and the Netherlands and focuses on issues around extremism in Sweden which are linked to England’s Prevent strategy. AoC's Key Action 2 project 'SHERPA' looks at why some European economies and societies are more successful than others in integrating asylum seekers and refugees into their labour markets, and in offering opportunities which enable young immigrants to showcase their talents and obtain qualifications. [Both study visits are currently on hold due to the COVID -19 situation, with the aim to rearrange later on in the year]

UKIERI
AoC is a Secretariat member of the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI). The UKIERI programme enhances educational links between India and the UK, funding bilateral projects. AoC supports the delivery of skills and leadership development projects.

Apprenticeship Q
Running from October 2017 until September 2021, this Erasmus + funded project will produce examples of effective practice in apprenticeship and work based learning settings from seven other European countries. This best practise will be shared at the end of the project with further education colleges in England.
The project is being led by DHBW Center for Advanced Studies in Germany, along with other contributing partners from Austria, Belgium, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain.

Regional Specialist Leads
ETF Regional Specialist Leads (RSL) support practitioners and providers throughout the country to access professional development in maths and English. They can signpost you to the activities that best suit your needs. To find your region’s RSL, visit the ETF website.