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Embracing Change – FE and skills conference and CPD day

Hilary Read and Ann Gravells

FE and skills conference and CPD day – Leeds 09.06.17   –   A short summary by Ann Gravells and Hilary Read

Last year we delivered several CPD events around the country. This year, we decided to hold one event which would be a combined conference and CPD day. Our aim 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 likeminded 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 skills 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.

During the breaks, delegates were able to talk to staff from companies who exhibited at the event. These included:

After lunch, we had a free text book raffle with books donated from:

Ann 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:

Ann 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.

Some examples of CPD can be found here, and a short video of me talking about it can be seen here:

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. Many selfies were taken and a montage of pictures from the day will shortly be available on Ann’s website here.

Both Ann Gravells and Hilary Read are authors and training consultants. They can be contacted through their websites and via social media.           

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