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Collaborative Projects

Professional Development
Skills for Life Network

Just before Christmas, participants in our 4 collaborative projects enjoyed a wonderful opportunity to meet up and share progress at our Collaborative Project Convention. The event, hosted and facilitated by Sue Owen-Evans and Colin Forrest, took place in Birmingham on the 13th of December, its purpose to capture and exchange emerging messages for embedding, enhancing and extending the AP role.

The day began with delegates sharing their experiences, using Action Learning Set structures and protocols. What emerged strongly from the discussions was the importance of leadership in the AP role and this became a major theme for the day. The projects had already undertaken a self-assessment using the tool in this resource: How Managers Can Support and Develop Advanced Practitioners – An Organisational Approach and this gave insights into the challenges and solutions encountered. The challenges were grouped under three key questions: 

  • How do you facilitate leadership’s understanding of the value of the AP?
  • How do you adequately resource the AP role?
  • How do you develop and extend the skills sets of APs?

A wide range of solutions were suggested, as shown in this example:

challenges issues and solutions

Discussions then moved on the question of leadership and how it can be used to create the conditions that foster high quality teaching and learning. Research reports from O’Leary and Greatbatch and Tate were used to frame a discussion of approaches – some may call them tactics! – to enhance this leadership dimension. Examples of the thinking here are given below:

supporting high quality
factors enabling success

Evidence from the research reports was complemented by an input from Sue Keenan of Myerscough College. This thought-provoking presentation reminded participants that the curriculum is now at the heart of the inspection framework and discussion focused on the positioning of the AP, particularly in the implementation phase.

AP evidence

The day concluded by looking at the ‘Who’, ‘What’, ‘How’ and ‘Why’ that underpin the dissemination of the messages from the projects. Examples of possible approaches were given in a separate padlet.

To support dissemination, delegates were also signposted to a resource available through Joanne Miles. Joanne offered each project lead two coaching calls lasting between 60-90 minutes, to include dissemination support as well as preparation for the workshop that project teams will be delivering at the final conference. 

Altogether, this was a remarkable, exciting, energetic day and even the two evaluators who were present got stuck in! The shared passion and commitment to make the AP role work, especially with widely different levels of resourcing and contexts in play, emerged very strongly and we wish to thank everyone involved for making it so memorable, including Alison and Joss for their organisational and planning inputs, and Joanne for her ongoing support.  

The resources, summaries of the discussions and group outputs from the event can be found here.

Remember, all 4 projects will lead workshops at our National Conference in March 2020! 

  • Myerscough College in partnership with Barnsley College and Kendal College
    Developing a ‘Culture of Excellence’ through collaboration
  • Bolton College with Hopwood Hall College
    The Next Chapter – Great Teachers, Great Sharing 
  • Chesterfield College with Sandwell College, Lincoln College & Nottingham College 
    Reclaiming the joy of teaching – developing happy, healthy capable, confident students and staff 
  • East Surrey College with John Ruskin College, Academy of Contemporary Music, Reigate School of Art & WEA
    Building the capacity of the Advanced Practitioner role to drive quality improvement in pedagogical content knowledge across a diverse partnership collaboration

Book your conference place now  


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