Current projects

T Level Professional Development (TLPD) Offer
The Education and Training Foundation has developed a high-quality T Level Professional Development Offer to support teachers, trainers and leaders in the delivery of T Levels from 2020 and beyond.
Three regional Knowledge Hubs have been established to run local networks, deliver high quality CPD and provide £45,000 project funding for groups of providers.
A series of online CPD materials, webinars and events are available, at no charge. More information about the offer is available on the AoC website

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

End Point Assessment Hub Pilot
Working with City and Guilds, we are piloting a hub model which utilises the skills of college assessors to deliver high quality, local and timely end point assessments on behalf of City and Guilds. We are working closely with the ESFA to develop a model which has the potential to be replicated, creating an effective solution for high quality EPAs, an upskilled workforce and revenue stream.

ETF Governance Development Programme
ETF have commissioned Association of Colleges to develop this comprehensive training programme for college governors. 
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. This 24 module programme is being developed in phases; please see the overview for modules currently available and those in development:

For more information on how to access, please visit our governance pages.

Regional Governance Programme

The Regional Governance 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

Further Forces
ETF have commissioned Association of Colleges to work as the Northern hub of the Further Forces Programme, in collaboration with the University of Portsmouth and University of Brighton. The Further Forces Programme is also supported by the Ministry of Defence and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation. Further Forces is an initiative designed to support service personnel preparing to leave or who have recently left the Services become FE trainers/teachers. There is a high demand within the FE sector for skilled teachers, in particular in STEM roles. The Ministry of Defence is committed to supporting its outgoing service personnel to transition into civilian life. The intention of the Further Forces programme is to service both of these needs. The service leaver will be provided with high-quality training leading to a nationally recognised teaching qualification, and supported to find a job working as a teacher in the FE sector.

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 at the end of the project.

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. 
Project activity will include: 

  • Developing a train the trainer programme for Mental health first aiders. 
  • Work will be done in 9 GFEs to ensure they are ACE aware and to help them develop a Trauma informed approach. 
  • Developing ways to ensure all students can access counselling on the Kooth platform. 
  • Looking at ways colleges can support students through transitions. (i.e school to college, college to university, College to work).

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.

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.