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What you said about our free regional meeting last week…

February 24, 2015

P1040457What delegates said about our regional networking meeting last week at Birmingham Metropolitan College ….

It was great to attend my first meeting yesterday. Can you make sure I’m on any mailing lists so I can find out about upcoming events? Also can I sign up to Jist-mail that was spoken about at the meeting?

Hello, really enjoyed yesterday’s meeting and already looking forward to the next.  Please can I sign up for the JISCmail?

Good mix of topics covered and the round table discussion was very useful.

I enjoyed attending the meeting for the first time. I liked hearing from other colleges and the biometrics session was interesting.

Great event, very useful thanks!

Interesting – good to meet other marketers and discuss challenges and successes.

Great first event, wish we’d attended sooner! Can’t wait for the next one!

Useful to know what colleges spend on campaigns, and especially to know what worked/didn’t.

Round table discussion – excellent. Very interesting biometrics discussion, probably ahead of the curve for us.

Encouraging to know we’re all in the same boat. Changing perceptions very useful, lots of tips to take home.

Next meeting at Aylesbury College on 4th March – FREE to CMN member colleges, £75 to non-members. Contact

Regional networking meeting, Aylesbury College, 4th March

February 24, 2015

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

Matt Brown, Director of Marketing & Student Engagement, Aylesbury College
Producing quality video content for your college on a small budget:
How Aylesbury College worked with a graduate film-maker to produce 25 high quality videos for use on the College website and You Tube channel. Matt will take delegates on a walk-through of the project, focusing on the elements that others could easily replicate and he’ll be happy to share documents and templates that were produced as part of the project, which won Gold in the FE First Awards 2014 in the Digital Media category.

Miriam Braham, Marketing Manager, Activate Learning
Beating the A4074
This session charts the route taken by two college marketing teams over the past three years. During this time they successfully navigated through restructure, tackled rebranding and smashed ambitious growth plans to emerge as a strong, high-performing team, operating within a central services framework. But was it all plain sailing?

12.30 Lunch

Dave Cooper, Digital Edge UK (formerly Director of Marketing, Solihull College)
Leaflet Hub
Course leaflet information is key to giving potential students and influencers the required information to make study decisions. Every year, more and more referral websites appear that require this information – SFA, EFA, Hotcourses, UCAS, Notgoingtouni etc. The output of this data traditionally comes from MIS and though the speed and accuracy of this is crucial for marketing, for MIS it is just one of many roles they need to consider.

Leaflet Hub has been specifically developed to allow Marketing to control the output and will simply and efficiently communicate with your MIS system in order to give better and easier control of your course leaflets, course information and more flexibility with the layout and design of your leaflets in multiple locations.

Leaflet Hub accepts a single input from your MIS system and allows you to edit course information from a single place before feeding the course leaflet into multiple locations such as your own website, mobile platforms, social media and affiliate sites.

We will also aim to have time to discuss issues raised by delegates, including benchmarking and promoting 24+ loans …..

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

Venue: Aylesbury College, Oxford Road, Aylesbury, HP21 8PD

Thanks to Aylesbury College for their hospitality.

Annual Conference 2014 – link to presentations

February 24, 2015

The following presentations made at our Annual Conference 2014 are available for download via the link below:

Elvie Shergold, Barnet & Southgate College – Keep warm campaigns
Dave Cooper, Solihull College – The move to digital
Campbell Christie CBE, Bracknell & Wokingham College – The state of FE and marketing
Margaret Adams, The Adams Consultancy – Don’t just do social media – benefit from it!
Lee Parker, Bedford College – Developing a social media strategy
Helen Ward, Chichester College – managing internal communications
Helen Ward, Chichester College – Developing an outstanding brand
Incisive Edge – Taking the guesswork out of marketing

Comms Update from the Skills Funding Agency

February 10, 2015

In this issue of Communications Update – Issue 21, the Skills Funding Agency’s monthly newsletter designed for marketing, communications and business development staff in colleges and training organisations:

  1. National Apprenticeship Week 2015: Stakeholder Toolkits
  2. Apprenticeships Campaign: ‘100 Reasons Why’
  3. Apprenticeships Campaign: ‘Get In. Go Far’
  4. New Excellence Gateway
  5. Traineeship Marketing Campaign
  6. Traineeship Factsheet: Updated

If you have any feedback, please email

VQ Day and the VQ Awards

February 9, 2015

vqdayTaking place on 10th June, the eighth annual VQ Day will celebrate vocational achievement across the UK. It aims to raise the status of technical, practical and vocational learning so that it is valued equally alongside academic paths.

At the heart of the VQ Day celebrations are the students, teachers and employers who take, support and promote vocational qualifications, which is why we hold the VQ Awards.

Nominations for the 2015 VQ Awards are now open. There are three awards:

  • VQ Learner of the Year, sponsored by OCR, is open to learners across the UK.
  • VQ Employer of the Year, sponsored by City & Guilds, is open to employers across the UK. There are two categories for the employer award, large (250+ employees) and SME (1-249 employees).
  • VQ Teacher of the Year, sponsored by the Education and Training Foundation, is open to teachers in England only. There are two categories, one for newly qualified teachers and one for those who achieved their teaching qualification prior to September 2013.

How to nominate

The nomination process is simple and the deadline for all nominations is 1st May. All nomination forms for all awards and all nations can be found here.

England will have nine regional winners as well as one overall national winner for the Learner Award and two category winners- SME and Large Corporate- as well as an overall national winner for the Employer Award. There will be two category winners and one overall winner for the Teacher Award.

Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland will have overall national winners for both the Learner and Employer Award.

Get involved

Last year, hundreds of colleges, schools, learning providers and employers got involved by hosting events and promoting VQ Day. The best way to get started is to download an Action Pack which includes plenty of ideas, advice and tips on how to make the most of VQ Day.

Also on the website you’ll find template press releases, posters, leaflets, website buttons and plenty of ways to share your VQ stories, including our Digital Yearbook and Roll Call.

Case Studies

We are always looking for exceptional and interesting people in vocational fields to use as case studies for media.

Perhaps you had to overcome a stereotype or lack of support in order to pursue your vocation. Or maybe you found yourself heading down a path to higher education that you realised wasn’t for you. Maybe you’re an employer or teacher who has always championed vocational learning. Whoever you are, if you’re proud of your story we want to hear about it.

So, if you know of any students, employers or teachers who are excelling in their field, have an interesting story to tell and would be happy to talk to media, please contact the team at Please include ‘CASE STUDY’ in the subject line.

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 1540. 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.

CMN JISCmail group – networking from your desk

February 6, 2015

What have you been concerned about over the last month? On our online email forum (JISCmail), CMN members have been discussing:

Admissions stats 24+ loans The Prevent agenda
Benchmarking Employer events Carry cases for exhibitions
Graduation ceremonies Brand guidelines Online chat functions
Job shop promotion Website analytics Snow communications

If you’d like to join in these discussions, ask for advice or share experiences, why not join today (CMN members only)? It’s free, ONLY open to CMN members (no external companies or consultants involved), and gives you access to expertise across the country – all from your desk.

  • Up to 3 people per college can join – would some of your team be interested as well?
  • Browse the archives to see what colleagues have already shared
  • Post your own enquiry and see what colleagues are doing
  • Use a marketing@ mailbox if you want to keep the discussions out of your personal mailbox
  • Keep it confidential – the success of the group depends on having the confidence to discuss issues confidentially

Join the College Marketing Network today and claim your three JISCmail logins. And if you’re a member already but haven’t enrolled in JISCmail, email


Regional networking meeting, 18th February

January 26, 2015

The programme for our first regional networking meeting of 2015 will include:

Charmian Turner, Marketing Manager, & Catherine Buckley, Campaign Co-ordinator, Shrewsbury College:
This “summer recruitment and changing perceptions campaign” won a Highly Commended certificate in the 2014 FE First Awards.

James McCracken, Marketing Manager, The Manchester College:
50 in 5 – The Manchester College pledged to place 50 apprentices in jobs in 5 days and succeeded – with a little help from Rio Ferdinand. Their PR Campaign around the project won Gold at the FE First Awards 2014.

12.30 Lunch

Dave Cooper, Digital Edge UK (formerly Director of Marketing, Solihull College) :
Biometrics – With colleges and universities dealing with thousands of students each year, understanding who your customer is cannot be overlooked. Patented facial recognition & biometric marketing technology provides the ability to understand more about students and potential customers and their behaviours.


Each of our presenters will introduce their experiences of their topic, followed by a general discussion and the opportunity to share your experiences with colleagues.

We will also aim to have time to discuss issues raised by delegates, including benchmarking and promoting 24+ loans …..

FREE to College Marketing Network members; £75 pp to delegates from non-member colleges.

Venue: Birmingham Metropolitan College, James Watt Campus, Great Barr

To book, contact:


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