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About the project

There is no single route to being outstanding and the journey will be different for every provider dependent upon its context; three substantially different ‘suites of activity’ have emerged from the initiatives.

The lead organisations have been working with providers of all sizes and learner types, from general FE Colleges to adult education, independent training providers and third sector organisations. They came with very different organisational cultures, learner profiles, staff cohorts and OFSTED profiles. Consequently, themes within the projects have varied greatly, but all have currency and interest for practitioners and leaders alike. The unifying feature has been a desire to share effective practice across the sector and move towards outstanding (or remain there for some providers).

What were the initiatives about?

The Learning Consortium (led by South Essex College) initiative has been based on their intervention and training improvement model: “The Learning Framework”. It promotes a whole organisational approach to improvements in teaching, learning and assessment, through training and development modules for practitioners, managers, senior leaders and governors.

This work was supported by a small number of Joint Practice Development (JPD) projects and research into what had been identified as outstanding or noteworthy practice taking place within their region (covering: Essex, Kent, East Sussex and parts of South and East London). Further details of these practices can be found as case studies or in the “Excellence in teaching, learning and assessment in the South East …” report.

AoC London region’s aim was to contribute to closing the gap in the performance of the London education and training sector as compared with the average performance of the sector across England. (At the start of the project, London provider OFSTED inspection results were 76% good or outstanding compared to 82% nationally.)

The initiative featured 20 collaborative JPD projects supported by a team of advisors. There was also a desire to build sector capacity for sustained improvement by developing a team of trainee peer advisors within the projects.

Examples of achievements and progress made in the projects can be found as case studies and resources on this exhibition site.

The EMFEC initiative consisted of a number of action-centred research projects working around identified area-specific priorities within quality improvement for the sector:

  • tutor skills development,
  • learner skills development,
  • supporting learner transition,
  • peer evaluation
  • blended learning.

Nottingham Trent University provided support on the research aspect of these projects detailed in the final report. Further details on the projects can be found in EMFEC’s “Outstanding Teaching, Learning and Assessment” booklet and the providers’ action-centred research reports.

Following completion of their activities, many of the providers have been actively involved in a number of networking and dissemination events, seminars and a national conference (June 2015) to showcase and share their experience and the outcomes of collaborative working more widely with the sector.