Conference Review

Making the Grade D to C in Further Education GCSE resits

4th March saw ACER hold a large conference at Shuttleworth College, the purpose of which was to disseminate some of the project findings thus far and involve participants in some of the ongoing work within the project.

The sixty conference delegates came largely from the Eastern Region but there were also tutors from Liverpool, Chichester and London.  Practitioners were attracted to the event through the power of social media and Twitter and a desire to share effective practice.  There was strong evidence of demand for a similar event later in the year.

Contributors included a range of colleges sharing their practice with a focus upon the following strands of work:

  • Embedding practices within Study Programmes – vocational tutors taking on the challenge of delivering GCSEs
  • Delivery models – a range of different models of approach
  • Innovative use of ILT – exciting classroom resources; flipped learning & independent study
  • Individualised Learning Programmes – homework, target setting, growth mindset and learning coaches

Participating colleges included City College Norwich; Colchester Institute; Franklin College; Harlow College; Seevic College; Writtle College and the Sports Leadership Maths and English Leaders Awards were also introduced.

There was plenty of opportunity for breakouts and detailed question and answer sessions throughout the day with delegates coming from 25 colleges.

The conference is part of a research project which provides Case Studies and a Practitioner focused Resource Guide full of ideas and approaches. There were also free resources for use in the classroom and free places on an exciting pilot, the Maths and English Leaders programme.

Conf 1

Emma Bell, Franklin College on Growth Mindset work






Conf 2Laurie Burton, Seevic College, presenting the work of the college around target setting and homework





Conf 3Richard Shenton, Sports Leaders UK, explaining the pilot Maths and English Leaders Award which has attracted the participation of 8 colleges and 65 students on a free pilot funded through Lottery funding.



Conf 4


Gail Peachey, Harlow College, outlining their innovative starter of the day for English and maths






The success of the conference emulates the findings of the project. There are pockets of extremely creative, innovative and effective practice which yield high success rates for those learners lucky enough to be in front of those practitioners who are really making a difference. However, these pockets are few and far between and the conference aim of disseminating the findings is vital if other learners are to experience best practice.


Julia Smith

March 2015

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