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AoC's College Collective recognised at Institute of Leadership awards

23 November 2023

ILM awards

The Association of Colleges has been recognised by the Institute of Leadership for its College Collective programme.

At the Leadership Awards in November, AoC bagged the runner-up award in the Most Innovative Institute Approved Programme category.

The College Collective, founded in 2020 and run by AoC and The KWP Ltd, is a unique approach to sector-led consultancy. At its heart, the programme retains and develops talent in colleges, and facilitates the sharing of expertise and best practice with others across the sector.

College managers are selected and then trained to be AoC Associate Experts, and then matched to support other organisations across the UK, while their college receives support from other Associate Experts.

More than 20 forward-thinking colleges from across the UK are part of the Collective, with insight and best practice shared on several areas including commercial development, innovative pedagogy and curriculum development and leadership.

The value has been felt by those right across the programme, with participants reporting increased confidence in their ability and knowledge, and direct impact on learner experience, college strategy, and skill development.

Adam Sturt, Head of Quality, Teaching & Digital Innovation, Bridgwater and Taunton College, said: "Collaboration within the sector is a powerful tool for all those who partake. The role I have undertaken within The College Collective has increased my professional network and further increased positive relationships to support positive change."

Alan Pease, Deputy Principal Suffolk New College, said: "Joining a project delivered by the FE sector for the good of the FE sector was particularly appealing to me. Providing experts to support other colleges is fantastic CPD for those staff, whilst we also benefit from the support of external experts in other areas. As far as I am aware, this peer support initiative across multiple providers is unique."

Gerry McDonald, Project Board Chair and Group Principal and CEO of New City College, said: “The College Collective is dynamic, inclusion and people-driven, and it has had a brilliant impact in the three short years it has been running. To be named as runners-up in an extremely competitive category is recognition of all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to make it so successful, and of value to colleges.”