News from the AOC conference. attended The Annual AOC conference this week. Here we have summarised some top news from the conference, including changes from the Government in apprenticeships, traineeships, qualifications and standards.

Plans in FE:

The Minster for Skills Matthew Hancock set out Government plans for shaping FE Colleges in the future.


The employer ownership pilot launched yesterday, a scheme overseen by the Department for Business and the Department of Education. It invites employers to work with employees, trade unions colleges, training providers and more to make an impact in driving enterprise and creating jobs. How will they do this? Vince Cable announced £70 million already being committed to companies to extend skills training.


The announcement of new Traineeships to combine rigorous work preparations, work experience, maths and English in order to support and provide a clear progression into Apprenticeship schemes.


At the conference it was announced that a revised list of approved vocational qualifications were being published for 14 – 16 year olds. These will be the courses taught from next September.

It was also announced that in the coming weeks there will be a consultation published on how to identify the highest value vocational qualifications.


This of course was about raising standards in education. Matthew Hancock confirmed ‘this year we will introduce common standards and measure of performance between schools and college’ He also announced reforming exams at 16 for reading and writing and doubling the amount of money invested in adult English and Maths functional skills.

What did you think of the announcements and speeches at the conference? Here we have a few snippets from Twitter that came live from the event:

Simon Feneley ‏@Simon_nf

End the false choice between academic and tech vocational qualifications says Shadow Minister for Education #aocannual12

Richard Alberg ‏@RichardAlberg

Listening to Malachy McAleer. Very impressed by what South West College is doing in a very challenged part of the UK #aocannual12

Ian Ashman ‏@IanAshmanHCC

“@IanAshmanHCC: Doing as Minister suggests @ #aocannual12 : Tech City Apprenticeships scheme launched at Londonfutures:

Brian Lightman ‏@brianlightman

#aocannual12 Launch of PPC Challenges for the future project at our stand at 5pm. Great challenges and opportunities for college leaders.

Gemma Knott ‏@GemKnott

Sir Michael Wilshaw’s first annual report will be launched a week today #aocannual12

Rachel Shute ‏@RachelShute

#aocannual12 “Marion Plant OBE: does Ofsted recognise the breadth of teaching and learning in FE?”

BIS ‏@bisgovuk

Cable: The quality of facilities in FE should match the aspiration of the sector. Today we have confirmed renewal grants to 56 more colleges

What is your opinion on announcements in the FE sector this week?

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