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Swindon College regional networking meeting

May 13, 2014

P1030642Our meeting at Swindon College on 8th May drew the largest crowd of members so far, for a varied programme of presentations and a discussion session for members’ topics.

Susan Lewis of Northampton College started off the day with a lively and informative session on running a large event – the 2013 FEstival, which was attended by nearly 3000 young people and their parents at the college last June. It was a huge gamble for the college, hosting and managing a music festival in miniature, but one that has paid off in profile, positive response and reputation. Northampton College won gold in the FE First Awards last year for their entry on this event, and Susan had lots of advice for colleagues who might be considering something as brave.

Christopher Brossard and Liz Williams then talked us through the redevelopment of the website for Richard Huish College – from an attractive one that didn’t do all they needed to a purpose-built and responsive one that is fit for purpose but under constant review. They outlined useful strategies and pitfalls to look out for – and told us that it was attending the 2013 regional meeting at Swindon that had spurred them on to enter their website project for the FE First Awards – where it won Gold last November.

P1030670Delegates had half an hour before lunch (not long enough according to feedback!) for round table discussions on issues of their choice, before we enjoyed an excellent buffet lunch provided by the college. Our final presentation was by Helen Ward from Chichester College which has recently been graded outstanding by Ofsted. Helen outlined how the college has been preparing for Ofsted over a period of time, and how marketing has supported and helped to develop the ethos and approach needed to achieve the grading. We also had contributions from Carla Tucker of Swindon College, and Gill Fowkes of Weston College, both also outstanding colleges.

Thanks to all our speakers for their contributions to the day, and to Swindon College for hosting us.

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