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Campaigning and influencing

Through our campaigns, strategy groups, consultations, events and direct lobbying, AoC has an excellent track record of influencing policy makers. We are working towards a strong, sustainable sector, secure for years to come. Our policy priorities are set by members, through the AoC board, national policy groups and through our close engagement with colleges throughout the year.

We have worked hard to develop and nurture positive relationships with Ministers, MPs, key government departments, industry and unions. We work with them as a collective, while striving to support colleges to be involved at every stage. When you are meeting with policy makers and politicians, we will help you with data, evidence and case studies. We have also built strong relationships and fed into the work of think tanks, employer bodies and research organisations to widen our reach and improve the intelligence we can provide you. We know that we are stronger together, that is why we also work in partnership with other sector bodies and seek common ground to build our influencing work.

Your strategic input

We have a range of national strategy groups, covering each of our priority areas which form the basis of our policy development. More than half of all members, including all regions and types of colleges, are represented on these. The groups report regularly into the AoC board to maintain that vital strategic oversight.

We also run short-term task and finish groups focused on specific policy areas providing the opportunity for consideration of areas including international work, equality and diversity, and technology. Alongside our groups, members have regular opportunities to engage in policy development through discussions at regional networks, our conferences and events and through formal and informal consultations. Members can also feed into AoC’s campaigns and responses to government.

We keep members informed of discussions and outcomes of the groups via regular communications.

Strengthening the reputation of the sector

Colleges transform lives and communities. We know that, but there is still significant work to do to make sure that everybody else does. That is why over the last few years, we have strengthened our public-facing work, including our media and lobbying activities. As a sector, through our collective action with campaigns such as Mind the Skills Gap and Love Our Colleges, we really are changing the conversation.

Media and PR

Throughout the year, we work closely with editors and journalists from key newspapers and publications to get colleges into the news. We’ve secured hundreds of pieces of local, regional, national and international coverage, including college pieces in the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times, and many more, as well as on national and regional radio and television. We are looking to continue to expand our reach ever wider.

In all that we do, our focus is on giving colleges a platform. Wherever possible and relevant, we put forward college leaders, rather than just AoC staff. To talk to the Communications team about media opportunities for your college email

Group shot Mind the Skills Gap 2048x1365