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Evaluation of the AP Programme

Skills for Life Network

The evaluation process of the AP Programme is almost complete, and the final report will be released very soon. In the meantime, we’d like to sign off with a reminder of all that has been achieved over the last two years of the programme:

  • Proven success in each of the individual strands with high ratings across all evaluations.
  • Extensive reach with the programme engaging 684 direct participants, 1,333 indirect and 7,461 broadcast, thus exceeding targets by a substantial margin.
  • All strands extremely popular and oversubscribed.
  • Conceptualised programme design that enabled interface and interplay between the 3-day ‘Developing APs’ CPD, the AP toolkit, the collaborative projects, the CoP and the national conference.
  • Built in progression opportunities into year two of the programme.
  • Career enhancement or promotion for a number of individual APs.
  • The establishment of the AP role as a recognisable brand, irrespective of actual working job titles.
  • The re-casting of the AP network as an engine room for change in FE.
  • Empowering of the AP network through on-going resources, pedagogy and ways of thinking.
  • Encouragement and support of APs who have developed their professional pride, gained confidence and technique in the implementation of change and thrived in the knowledge that they are not alone.

Here are some participant comments:

“The main impact for my department and school has been engaging tutors more in professional development and encouraging them to focus on learning and the impact their teaching has on learning. We are already seeing some results through students’ feedback where learners have felt the new techniques or types of activities trialed by the tutors enhanced their learning.” 

“Sharing with other APs, attending face-to-face meetings/workshops and engaging with online resources all helped me to make a step forward by looking outside of my organisation and gaining knowledge/exploring new areas which I would not have been aware of (and would not have had time to find out about) without the AP programme”.

“Staff have felt supported, developed and inspired thanks to #APConnect ”

“Being part of the project for the last 2 years has given me a wealth of new skills. I have recently been appointed as a teaching and learning improvement leader for a 6-month secondment. This would not have happened with the skills I have acquired on this fantastic project.”

“Thinking Environments have shaped the way we are driving forward new teaching and learning improvements in a newly merged college. This has helped to build trust and unity among those initiating and are subject to change. This has been the foundation for my project, and I have built a new Teach 2 Recruit programme for industry specialists that want to retrain as teachers.”

“I hope this is not the end, and that the Communities of Practice will continue in some form, but whatever happens I am sure we will maintain the links we have made and continue to develop our practice through collaboration.”

And here are some of the exciting programme outcomes:

SET Network

Two APs are leading the formation of local SET Networks (in East Anglia and Sheffield). They are supporting one another/sharing notes in this Slack channel as they form the networks. East Anglia has launched – great success. Sheffield is under discussion as we do not want to cut across the YH AP Network run by Constellation C Stef Wilkinson.

Thinking Environment

Thinking Environment interventions (with staff and SLT) and workshops have now taken place at Barnsley, Central Bedfordshire, Chesterfield, Weston, Lakes, Harlow, Myerscough Colleges and East Riding Adult Education. Norfolk Adult Learning is rearranged for July 2020, as their plans were delayed by inspection.

Webinars

Simon Horner, Mental Health Coach at Bishop Burton College, in conversation with Catina Barrett (project lead for the DfE’s Community Learning Mental Health Research Project.)

Barnsley Sports APs will be contributing to a webinar sharing their impact stories.

APs from Waltham Forest and Shipley College have organised a webinar exchange project based around Victorian Literature, which will culminate in physical exchange visits to their historic localities. This is well underway and was showcased at #APSouth event on 6 March 2020.

South Essex College have established a webinar series.

Research

Amanda Price (Constellation C) has had a paper accepted for the ARPCE conference.

Lliam Dickinson (Constellation B) is submitting an abstract to ARPCE.

Simon Horner (Constellation A) is writing a paper for the CollectivEd working papers series.

Joss Kang and Colin Forrest has had a paper accepted for the ARPCE conference.

AoC are facilitating a national #FEResearch working meeting, facilitated in a Thinking Environment by Lou Mycroft in early July 2020. This arises directly from the experience of APs wanting to do research and feeling confused about the learning opportunities. A real opportunity to influence policy as senior AoC and Ofsted will be present.

Annie Pendrey’s piece for FE Week  – 17 January 2020 – Self-reflection:  the key to being a better teacher. Annie is now a regular contributor.

Annie Pendrey, Constellation C, has organised the first ever Halesowen ResearchMeet event, to involve many APs not part of the programme. Held 17th January 2020. 33 attended.

Y&H AP network initiated by Steff Wilkinson & Lee Dennis in November 2019 (both part of #APConnect) and again on 31 January attracting circa 50 APs at each event.

Twitter

38 APs have Twitter accounts. 7 APs have now hosted a #UKFEchat #APConnect takeover. APs are growing in confidence and the support in this Slack channel is outstanding.

Twitter is also hosting a coming-together of Maths tutors, led by APs Marsida Horeshka and Katheryn Cockerton.

 

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