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Next regional networking meeting, 17 June, Rugby College

May 20, 2015

Our next FREE (to CMN members) regional networking meeting will be at Rugby College (part of the Warwickshire Colleges Group) on 17th June.

Our programme will include:

10.15am      Arrival, registration and coffee for a 10.30am start.

Duncan Adams, Group Chief Marketing Officer, Warwickshire Colleges Group
Branding a multi-college group

Duncan will outline the rationale behind the Warwickshire College Group’s recent rebrand, which was designed to reflect and encompass the 6 colleges in the group, their place in their local community and the strength of the Group. He’ll also give an overview of the process and of the feedback to the new brand.

Duncan joined Warwickshire College Group in 2013 to lead on Marketing and Communications across the Group. He started his communications career working on high profile cases as a press officer for Sussex Police before moving into management at the Force to lead on communication and crime prevention campaigns, as part of which he introduced the very first Sussex Police website.

Duncan has an in-depth knowledge of FE having worked as Director of Marketing, Communications and Admissions at Croydon College for over five years in the very competitive South London FE market place. Whilst at Croydon he was involved with several AoC groups looking at marketing and crisis management.

11.30 Best & worst of college marketing survey, and feedback from the recent benchmarking survey (if available)

12.00 Round-table discussion time for your topics

IMG_395712.30 Lunch

Dave Cooper, Digital Edge UK (formerly Director of Marketing, Solihull College)
Application Tracker

“It seems that online retailers have recognised that customers need to be effectively informed on the status of their purchases and have well established online tracking. However in education applicants are often left with little information as regards to the position of their application despite the recognition of the value of keep warm activities. The development of this Application Process Communication System is designed to help colleges to communicate with students who digitally apply. In addition, the application will also enable users to track their application process, communicate with the college in relation to applications and provide the College with an auditable trail of communications. As the system uses current application data it allows live geographic tracking of all applicants and effectively map where applications are coming from and where marketing activity should be focussed for maximum effectiveness.”

Venue: Rugby College, Technology Drive, Rugby, CV21 1AR
Rugby College is easily accessible from the M6 (Jn 1) and the M1 (Jns 18 or 19), and by train.

The day will end by 2.30pm. Timings are given for guidance and may be subject to change.

Thanks to Rugby College (part of the Warwickshire Colleges Group) for their hospitality.

Support the College Marketing Network in 2015 – sponsorship opportunities announced

May 14, 2015

Support the 28th Annual Conference in 2015 or sponsor the FE First Awards for marketing excellence and share in the excitement of the only awards for post-16 college marketing.

Join us in celebrating the best in college marketing in 2015. Sponsor the College Marketing Network’s FE First Awards, and support our 28th Annual Conference, to be held at the Hilton Hotel Leicester. The FE First Awards will be made at the conference on Monday 23rd November.

As a company or organisation working in the post-16 sector, you can support the buzz created by these awards, and associate yourself with their prestige. Show your commitment to the dynamic and creative work being done at the forefront of college marketing, recognised both within and beyond the FE sector for its innovation.

The College Marketing Network is a non-profit making organisation which has been supporting marketing professionals in colleges since 1987.

See more at

VQ Award nominations – one week to go!

April 24, 2015

There is just one week to go to get nominations in for the VQ Awards 2015. Do you know a learner who has gone above and beyond to achieve their qualification or a local employer who has championed vocational learning in the workplace? Or maybe you know a teacher who goes the extra mile to make sure their students get the skills, experience, qualifications and motivation they need to get the edge?

Whoever they are make sure they get the recognition they deserve this VQ Day and nominate them for the VQ Awards. The deadline for all the awards is Friday 1st May and you can download all the nomination forms here.

Celebrating VQ Day

The Edge Foundation is joining forces with The Skills Show to help young people understand more about the value of vocational qualifications and raise the status of technical, practical and vocational learning.

To celebrate VQ Day on 10th June, schools, colleges and learning providers are being urged to hold a ‘Have a Go’ event to introduce young people to careers they might not have previously considered.

Event organisers will have the opportunity to win back the costs of holding an event up to the value of £500. The best two ‘Have a Go’ events will also win up to £4000 to come along to The Skills Show in November and repeat the activity there, for thousands of young visitors. Simply follow the Guidance Notes you can find at

Get in Touch

For further information, visit, email the team at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 020 7960 1541. Alternatively, you can tweet us @ukedge and like our Facebook page facebook/ukedge. We are also encouraging people to share their VQ successes on twitter using the hashtag #VQDay.



Feedback from our regional networking meeting, West Thames College, 15th April

April 22, 2015

P1040623What our delegates said:

  • “Good selection of topics; good to meet some new people.”
  • “Really useful, very relaxed. Opportunity to network very valuable. Very interesting topics.”
  • “Very practical solutions and good topics discussed.”
  • “Great to have the chance to speak to everyone and generally network between speakers.”
  • “Very useful session. Great venue, nice people.”
  • “Another super event.
  • “Very informative – really good sessions.”
  • “Very useful. Great to meet other colleagues and share issues/resolutions.”

To book for our next meeting at Calderdale College, Halifax, on 13th May, contact FREE to CMN member colleges.

Be a starter finisher – complete your responses to the FE Marketing Benchmarking Survey

April 21, 2015

We are delighted to have reached almost 120 responses from individual colleges to our national college marketing benchmarking survey – although only 70 have completed the survey – so please make half an hour this week to complete your entry. If you don’t know the answer to any of the questions then please check the don’t know option. If you know but can’t verify your data formally – then check the entry closest to your “known” numbers. If you have any additional explanation to help quantify your entry please use the comment boxes provided. For more help contact

The survey will officially close (no more extensions) at midnight on Monday 27th April so we would love you to make this a really significant study by completing the survey in full.

And remember only those that complete will receive the FREE detailed analysis results and the best practice guide.

Go to to complete the survey….

Share and Learn – benchmarking survey deadline extended to 24th April

March 27, 2015

adOur ground-breaking survey of FE marketing has been extended to 24th April. Make sure you get your FREE copy of the detailed report and a FREE best practice guide by completing your contribution to the survey.

Our researcher Fiona Carthy says: “Thanks so much to the 80+ colleges that have already completed the FE Marketing Benchmarking Survey – we have had a great spread of responses from colleges all over the country and there are some clear emerging themes. However, we know many of you have started the survey and gone off to find the relevant data for completion so wanted to allow you some more time to do this.

“Therefore the survey will remain open until 24th April to allow more colleges to participate and those who have started the survey to complete it.

“Please also note to return to the survey you need to do so from the same computer you started it on. Any difficulties with completing the survey or any questions in relation to the survey can be sent to where I am on hand to provide advice.

“Our target is to have 100 colleges complete the survey for the findings be valid – so we need your support – we believe the results of the research will be influential in the sector and will help to shift the profile and approach to marketing by senior leaders in the sector – so please be part of this important study. All participants will receive a FREE copy of the detailed findings which will also include a comprehensive best practice guide.”


Research on the agenda for the next regional networking meeting, 15th April

March 13, 2015

Our next regional networking meeting will be at West Thames College on 15th April, and will focus on using research for recruitment and curriculum planning, the digital prospectus and discussion of your priorities and issues.

The programme includes:

10.15am      Arrival, registration and coffee for a 10.30am start.

Michael Bennett, Head of Marketing & Communications, South Essex College
Using research to support 16-18 marketing strategy
How South Essex College used primary and secondary research to define key messages and identify new markets. The presentation will include the tactics used, the cost and the outcomes.

Elvie-Jo Shergold, Head of Commissioning, Barnet & Southgate College
Curriculum planning based on LMI
Barnet and Southgate College have piloted a new approach to curriculum planning and the embedding of LMI data is leading that process. This informal session will explain the college’s unique approach to using LMI effectively and talk through some of the barriers to success it is now grappling with.

12.30 Lunch

Dave Cooper, Digital Edge UK (formerly Director of Marketing, Solihull College)
Prospectus Builder
For most Colleges the need to move from print prospectuses to digital versions is well recognised but the cost of doing this has for many proved prohibitive. Building on experience at a number of colleges, there is now a licensed programme that allows colleges to build their own prospectus or indeed multiple targeted prospectuses – HE, Engineering, Management etc – using available video/photo media at a fraction of the cost of a bespoke system. Included in this is the use of Leaflet Hub to ensure efficient access to accurate course information.

We will also have time to discuss issues you want to raise with colleagues in a round-table session before lunch.

The day will end by 2.30pm. Timings are given for guidance and may be subject to change.

Venue: West Thames College, London Road, Isleworth, TW7 4HS

Thanks to West Thames College for their hospitality.



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