25 November 2022

Collaborative FE Catalyst Learning Project Showcased at AoC Conference

The West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges were proud to represent its partner colleges at the annual Association of Colleges (AoC) Conference in Birmingham this November.

Project Manager, Clair Kerry was joined by Project Director Joanne Patrickson and Head of Quality from Leeds College of Building, Daniel Grimes to address around 40 delegates from colleges all over the UK.

WYCC shared lessons learned and successes achieved from the FE Catalyst Learning project, a collaboration between eight colleges that enabled cascade training to FE practitioners, using ‘Learning Influencers’. This project had been funded by the Department for Education.

To date, the project has supported over 160 FE staff with over 270 hours of training across key topics that would benefit the student experience. These topics were:

  • belongingness,
  • emotion coaching,
  • Socratic questioning and,
  • digitalisation.

Over 2,000 learners have already been reached across the region, with more set to benefit from the newly-developed skills of their teaching staff.

At the conference breakout session, Daniel Grimes from Leeds College of Building also explained the long term impact that the project had on the colleges’ staff and students.

“We seconded two members of staff to be ‘Learning Influencers’. These learning influencers were excellent and the reason it worked so well at our college.

“After training other teaching staff, we received feedback to say that it was relevant, appropriate and well delivered.

“Despite various challenges during the project such as the impact of COVID19 and timetabling staff to allow for the training, the project has made a big difference to the college culture.”

Some of the impact of the FE Catalyst Learning project at Leeds College of Building includes:

  • Raising awareness of the value of CPD and creating regular Friday afternoon CPD time.
  • The behaviour management and relationship policy now considers the importance of belongingness and emotions coaching.
  • New sessions on ‘Progressive Masculinity’ have been delivered as a result of the conversations that started with the project.
  • In early Learning Walks this academic year there has been a notable improvement in the TLA delivered.
  • Skills development has been enhanced and a change in college culture, with increased willingness to engage in CPD.

Following on from the success of this project, the Learning Influencer model has now been replicated as a means to deliver training across 8 partner colleges in West Yorkshire as part of the Strategic Development Fund. This training includes Sustainable Development Goals, Electric Vehicle and Retrofit skills and is currently being delivered to partner colleges, funded by the Department for Education.

Colleges involved in the project: Askham Bryan, Bradford College, Calderdale College, Kirklees College, Leeds College of Building, Luminate Education Group, Shipley College and Wakefield College.

Find out more about the FE Catalyst Learning project.


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