This year, Hilary Read and I decided to hold
one event which would be a combined conference and CPD day.
Our aim for the day was to help practitioners in the sector find out about current and future changes. We also wanted everyone to feel comfortable to ask questions, to network with like-minded people and to enjoy the day.
All delegates were given a free copy of our book ‘The Best Vocational Trainer’s Guide’ and had electronic access throughout the day to the documents referred to during the event.
Delegates were able to hear from the following speakers:
Gavin O'Meara, FE News & FE Careers who talked about developments in the FE and training sector and how to keep up to date with the constant changes.
Jonathan White, author of Digital Literacy Skills and Librarian at the University of Derby. Jonathan talked about digital literacy and how to use free/low cost technologies in teaching and learning.
Hilary Read stood in for the Ofqual speaker who had to withdraw due to the election. She explained The Post 16 Skills Plan and what Technical Qualifications involve.
David Russell, CEO of The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) spoke about supporting practitioners and the needs of FE.
After the speeches, questions were put to the speakers and us. These were wide ranging and topical. The big concern for most is what will happen to the teaching, assessment and quality assurance qualifications after the July 2018 extension. The latest information and links to guidance can be found on the ETF website: http://tinyurl.com/ETFITTReview
During the breaks, delegates were able to talk to staff from companies who exhibited at the event. These included:
· Education and Training Foundation – www.et-foundation.co.uk
· FE News – www.fenews.co.uk
· Smart Assessor – www.smartassessor.com
· TQUK Awarding Organisation – www.tquk.org
After lunch, we had a free text book raffle with books donated from:
· Cengage Learning – www.cengage.co.uk
· Critical Publishing – www.criticalpublishing.co.uk
· ReadOn Publications – www.readonpublications.co.uk
· Routledge – www.routledge.com
· SAGE Publishing – www.sagepub.co.uk
· Sue Cowley – www.suecowley.com
I spoke about the differences between the QCF and the RQF, one of which is that awarding organisations (AOs) can now create their own qualifications. This will have the implication that there might be different versions of qualifications which were originally standardised across AOs under the QCF system.
Hilary spoke about the changing role of the assessor/coach within apprenticeships. You can see a short video of her talking about the 20% off the job aspect here: https://tinyurl.com/Hilary20
I followed this by explaining what CPD is about, i.e.:
· keeping up to date with: your subject; the sector; local and national initiatives, legislation; teaching, learning and assessment approaches
· reflecting on your role
· networking with others
· sharing good practice
· doing something with what you’ve learnt.
There was then the opportunity for delegates to discuss the topics of the day in group workshops which proved to be very lively.
We both felt the day went really well, we received great feedback and were both humbled with the amount of support we received. We have some fantastic followers who it was good to meet for the first time or again.
Online feedback from delegates (below) was given anonymously (Anon), but where some chose to give their details this has been included.
Excellent event. Very informative. Anon
Great content. Well presented and paced. Rick Mills
Feel more confident about my knowledge now. Anon
Great day, thank you for all of your hard work and support that went into the day. Sarah Green
Excellent. I have found out so much and made lots of contacts. Jonathan White
Relevant speakers providing a good update of the current situation - however unclear that may be! Anon
Very friendly and highly knowledgeable using an approach I could understand. Excellent! Shaun Tumilty
Considering it was the first time Ann and Hilary have put on an event like that, it all went pretty smoothly. I thought it was a good choice of speakers. Each subject was covered in sufficient detail, which was quite impressive given the fairly restrictive time frames for each speaker. All round, a fun and useful day. So, thank you to you both! Anon
Thank you for inviting us to attend the event. We really enjoyed meeting our members in such a collaborative and informative environment. Victoria Ibbitson, Executive Administrator, The Society for Education and Training.
I must say I feel really motivated, proud and happy that I attended and met both of you. I felt people could communicate in a welcoming environment. It was very professional, open minded and good, Ann and Hilary are both willing to share their knowledge. I absolutely loved it. It has been very beneficial to my role. A very big thank you to Ann and Hilary for putting this event together, it has been very developmental and it perfectly meets my learning needs. Jeminiyi Ogunkoya
A good range of speakers with opportunity to ask questions. Anon
Excellent delivery as always from Hilary and Ann. Great guest speakers too. Thank you for making things clearer and I feel more confident that I'm not alone going through this uncertain time! Louise Reed
It was a very enjoyable day and I learned some new information which will be useful in my line of work. Anon
Many thanks for providing two brilliant BSL Interpreters, much appreciated so that I can have access on equal par with the other participants to attend the event. Agnes Dyab, Appa Training Ltd
This was a brilliant event and I appreciated the informality and the opportunity to meet others in the same profession, and that feeling that you are not working in isolation. I was really grateful to attend and the lengths both Ann and Hilary went to with the resources (Padlet) and structure of the day. The way the talks were organised were really informative and answered what I suspect most of the people in the room were wondering about the future and uncertainty with the FE sector. I look forward to the next training event. Thanks ever so much to you both. Joanna Z Rassello, Blackpool and The Fylde Uni Centre.
Very informative conference giving support in my job role also good to network with others within the same role. Anon
Many thanks for putting on the event. An independent and multi-faceted approach. Looking forward to the next one! Well done ladies! Elaine Jackson Catalyst QA Ltd
Informative, good networking opportunities & discussion time for knowns & unknowns. Excellent CPD which will lead to much reflection & positive action. Looking forward to next year's event! Thank you Liz Carboni Advice UK
Always good to cement your knowledge from "Thought leaders" Great pre-course information, lovely welcome on the day - thanks to your partners for their input! Lots of nice extras - the free book, the raffle, the front loaded Padlet. Many thanks. Chris Harris, Director of Training, KC Jones Training & Development
I am from a charity that delivers NVQs in the prisons and it is very easy to become isolated so events like your conference are really important to keep us in touch and help us feel part of a larger network. Maria McNicholl
IAQ & Development Manager
St Giles Trust