Event Focus: AoC/ETF Autumn Term Curriculum Conference

In this month’s Event Focus blog, Catherine Sezen, Policy Manager at the Association of Colleges (AoC), writes about 2020/2021 Horizon Scanning and the AoC/ETF Autumn Term Curriculum Conference taking place in London on Tuesday 8 October 2019.


AoC/ETF Autumn Term Curriculum Conference

When I worked in a college I always thought a Tardis would be helpful to help me manage my time, planning and increase success; this is especially true at the beginning of the academic year. As a college manager at this time of year you are always working in three time zones;

  • Last year to ensure all the achievements are in and you and your teams have acknowledged the success of each and every student
  • This year to ensure induction goes smoothly
  • Plus, starting to think about next year as open evenings for the 2020 intake loom.

So, what is on the horizon for 2020?

For 16 to 18-year-olds there will be the first three T Levels in Childcare Education, Design, Surveying and Planning and Digital Production Design and Development. Some of the 2020 providers will also be offering a transition offer to students who need extra help and support in order to achieve a T Level by age 19. Unlike T Levels it is planned that this study programme will be 600 hours in line with the current offer, so what makes it different? All students not on T Levels, A Levels or apprenticeships will need to be enrolled on an RQF qualification as the first part of the Level 3 and below qualification review recommendations are rolled out.

At part of the overall vision laid out in the industrial strategy the Department for Education is focusing more attention on adult curriculum too. The National Retraining Scheme, a new Government initiative to help adults retrain and be ready for future changes to the economy, including those brought about by automation. From September 2020 will be able to offer essential digital skills and from 2021 digital functional skills to adults. How prepared are you and your college for these new initiatives, do you have the right staff with the right skills?

ESOL is also under the spotlight as the Department prepares the much anticipated ESOL strategy. What impact will that have on your community, college and curriculum offer?

At the same time, the current academic year brings significant change with the new Education Inspection Framework. With a renewed focus on the intent of the curriculum offer for students, implementation and impact and separate grades for personal development and behaviour and attitudes, what should colleges be aware of in order to ensure that their students have an outstanding experience?

At AoC we don’t have a Tardis, but If you want to find out more about these key curriculum updates, ask questions of policy makers, hear about good practice and network with peers, the AoC / ETF Autumn Term Curriculum Conference will ensure you return to college better prepared to make those crucial planning decisions.

At this event you can hear the latest updates on:

  • T Levels and the transition year and how 2020 providers are planning for their introduction
  • The Level 3 and below Qualification Review and the Level 4/5 review and how it will impact on curriculum.
  • The EIF with Ofsted, including a college’s approach to personal development and behaviour and attitudes.

You will also hear from the below:

  • Gain an update from Sue Clarke from Department for Education on T Levels and the qualifications review.
  • Hear from John Laramy, Principal, Exeter College, one of the 2020 T Level providers, who will share the lessons they have learnt and explore how your college can prepare for T Levels.
  • Learn from Anne Leese and Lucy McLeod from East Kent College Group about how they are approaching enrichment in the curriculum and gain ideas on how your college can meet the new grade of Personal Development in the new EIF.
  • Discover what outstanding curriculum design and delivery look like in the new Education Inspection Framework (EIF) from Paul Joyce HMI, Ofsted.

College led breakouts will focus on learning from the Centres for Excellence in Maths, developing a college strategy for ESOL, embedding youth social action and enrichment in the curriculum, employer engagement, preparing students for external assessment and an update on digital skills.

Further details of the programme and registration can be found on the event website. I look forward to seeing you there.


Every month in the ETF course e-newsletter an upcoming FE sector event or conference will be highlighted in on our Blog by the event organisers under the title ‘Event Focus’. If you would like one an upcoming event of yours to be highlighted on our Blog, in our monthly courses newsletter, and in our event calendar, please contact Ed Smith. To sign-up to the courses newsletter and other ETF newsletters go to our newsletter page of the ETF website.

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