Workshops 23

Two 1-hour workshops will run on both Monday and Tuesday with a wide range of topics to choose from.  

These are a great opportunity to hear from subject specialists and ask questions. 

Scroll down to see all our workshop options

Choose your workshops and book tickets here

Losing a student to suicide: How further and higher educational institutions can respond

Presented by Alice Newton-Leeming, Director/Trainer, Mental Health Learning

Many colleges are investing in suicide prevention- and rightly so! But how many have a protocol for suicide? No college likes to imagine that one of their students could die by suicide - I hope you will never have to experience this - but this workshop will provide you with a plan to implement should this tragedy occur.  It will help you to prepare to respond in a sensitive and supportive way for your staff, students and the family involved. 

Mental Health Learning is an advice and training provider relating to mental health, self harm and suicide prevention.

Gambling and Gaming: Staying Ahead of the Game and Supporting Students to Prevent Harm

Presented by Kev Clelland, Director of Insight and Engagement, Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust

Advances in technology, a national pandemic and the cost of living crisis mean put young people at an increased risk of experiencing gaming and gambling harms. We will look at why some young people gamble and the blurred lines between gaming and gambling, including the increased popularity of cryto investments. We will also offer advice on how colleges can support their students (and their parents) with our City & Guilds assured training, online resources and ongoing support.

YGAM is an award-winning charity with a social purpose to inform, educate and safeguard young people against gaming and gambling harms. We believe harm prevention education should be targeted not just at young people, but at teachers, youth workers, university and college staff, health professionals and parents.

Managing CBD products (including pre-loaded disposable Vapes) 

Presented by Dave Parvin, Director and Senior Trainer, Drug Sense UK

The workshop will discuss the growing concerns about CBD products (including the epidemic rise in disposable vapes and what they may contain). We will look to cover the following:

1. The legislation and law surrounding these substances/products

2. Potential risks and dangers associated with these substances/products.

3. Managing incidents on site in which these substances/products may be suspected

4. Updating your policies and Student Agreements to reflect these substances/products thus avoiding any ‘potential conflict’ as to what they can and can’t bring onto campus or indeed use whilst on site.

A full Drugs display including these products will be on display for staff to get hands on and familiarise themselves with during the workshop.


Practical steps to include more learners

Presented by Fil McIntyre, Manager and Assistive Technology Lead, TechAbility

Many accessibility options are already built into devices students use daily. This quick-fire session will cover a range of hardware, software and techniques, most of which are freely available.

This highly practical workshop will raise awareness of the multiple ways learners’ needs can be addressed with adaptations and by ensuring digital resources are accessible.  Topics covered will include (but not be limited to):
- Using Your Voice to Type
- Office 365 Learning Tools
- Making your Documents Accessible – it is digital, but can it be read?
- Captioning – easy ways to use subtitles in live online and recorded teaching
- Using your phone to read text and handwriting
- Supporting literacy on websites – why Chrome isn’t always the best

TechAbility is an Assistive Technology support service. We aim to improve outcomes for learners with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities in mainstream and specialist education.


The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) and the annual BRIT Challenge - an invitation for every UK College

Presented by Phil Packer, Founder and Non-Paid Chief Executive, The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT)

How NAMSS Members can be integral to the successful delivery of the annual BRIT Challenge, represent their college on their respective BRIT Regional Steering Groups and how NAMSS Members can steer, shape and guide BRIT to support and improve student and staff mental health and wellbeing throughout the UK.

The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) exists to support and improve young adult, student, and staff, mental health, fitness and wellbeing. BRIT deliver the annual inclusive BRIT Challenge and invite every university, college and specialist college in the UK to take part. The next BRIT Challenge (after the conference) will take place between the 24 January and 24 March 2024.

How to stop EDI falling down the priority list.

Presented by Haroon Bashir, Head of Equality and Diversity, Halesowen College 

After the murder of George Floyd on 25 May 2020, many colleges made a commitment to positive changes about race. But over two years later, does that commitment hold or has the concept of equality and diversity (E&D)  become the proverbial elephant in the room?  This workshop will discuss the Equality and Diversity journey taken at Halesowen College and provide an opportunity to share good practice, discuss key issues and lesson learned.


Halesowen College is a further and higher education college in Halesowen (which part of the West Midlands). We offer A Levels, Vocational Course, T Levels and apprenticeships. We're committed to nurturing our students within an excellent learning environment and a caring, supportive sense of community. We offer exceptional opportunities for students making the transition from school to higher education or the career of their choice.

Good Practice in Social Action

Presented by Dean Hardman, Director of Sport and Student Experience and Alyson Hastie, Senior Projects Manager, Association of Colleges

The purpose of the Pears #iWill Youth Social Action Apprenticeship programme is to raise awareness of social action and empower students to take action and address local issues. The project has had amazing outcomes and we’d like to share the benefits and practical examples of the impact that social action can have on colleges, students, and their local communities.

The session is designed to support colleges in their social action journey. The apprentices will present their learnings from year one of the programme. Specifically giving top tips on student engagement, student voice, identifying community needs and much more. Case studies will be discussed to give you advice on developing projects and good practice examples will be shared.

Association of Colleges is the national voice for further education, sixth form, tertiary and specialist colleges in England. We are a not-for-profit membership organisation established in 1996 by colleges, for colleges. Our members make up more than 90% of the sector - educating and training two million people each year.

The Journey to Net Zero

Presented by Mark Nettle, Director of Student Services, Bridgwater and Taunton College

The government has an ambitious net zero target but can Colleges, with limited funding and resources, take meaningful steps toward net zero?

During this session we will be discussing:
- reducing the carbon footprint of the organisation and its activities, with mention of Salix funding, solar PV and shifting to EVs
- The shifts needed in curriculum
- The opportunities for education and awareness (and a word of warning about telling students to reduce their carbon footprint!)
- The AOC Green Sig and opportunities to get involved in an entirely non-competitive area of activity...

Bridgwater and Taunton College is the largest college in Somerset, with three campuses at Bridgwater, Taunton and Cannington. It includes almost all FE subjects and the University Centre Somerset and National College for Nuclear. It has one of the largest apprenticeship programmes nationally and 200 residential places at the Cannington Campus.

Supporting Young Adult Carers in College

Presented by Emma Whatson, New Business and Partnership Development Manager and Naomi Sykes, QSCS Development Worker, Carers Federation

This will be an interactive session looking at the issues and barriers facing young people with caring responsibilities to access and achieve in further education and what colleges can do to support them.

The Carers Federation was established in 1992 as a small local charity and has grown steadily to become an organisation which works throughout England.  We provide a diverse range of services that range in size and complexity and have a national reputation for the excellence of our work.

How to create successful employment pathways for high needs students

Presented by Julia Farrar, Curriculum Area Manager, and Alys Tregear, Head Of Faculty, Kirklees College

With the right preparation, the overwhelming majority of young people with SEND are capable of sustainable paid employment.  Our employment pathway finishing with Supported internships are a great opportunity to improve the life chances of young people with SEND by supporting them into sustained, paid employment. Achieving paid employment not only brings young people financial independence, but it can be key to:

- building confidence and self-esteem
- increasing health and well-being
- gaining friendships and a social life


There are also benefits for the economy, employers, families, the local community and wider society.

In this workshop we will explore how we have grown our employment pathways and how they are successfully leading our young people with EHCP's into gainful employment, on one of our programmes we have had 88% success rate.  We will provide you with case studies and resources to take away and share with your organisation.

Kirklees College has seven sites, with the two largest in Huddersfield and Dewsbury. The college provides study programmes, adult learning programmes and apprenticeships across a wide range of subjects. The college also delivers programmes for learners who have high needs. Around 3,740 learners aged 16 to 18 are on study programmes from entry level to level 3 and around 3,000 adults are on adult learning programmes from entry level to level 3. The college has 1,150 apprentices on programmes from level 2 to level 4.  Around 520 learners have education, health and care plans.

Exploring the potential of AI for Student Support

Sue Attewell, Head of edtech, Jisc


An introduction to Artificial Intelligence and the potential implications and opportunities for student services.  We'll cover chatbots, bias, automation and recommenders. 

PLEASE NOTE:  Bring your laptop to this session for a chance to try out demo's

From chatbots and digital assistants, to adaptive learning platforms and predictive analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to help educators better understand and meet the needs of their learners.  To ensure that Jisc’s members can benefit optimally from this innovation, the national centre for AI in tertiary education has been established to support members to utilise artificial intelligence effectively.

Residential provision within a Further Education College - our Myerscough journey

Presented by Lisa Hartley, Director of Student Support and Welfare, and DeniseWilliams, Safeguarding, Support and Welfare Manager at Myerscough College

This workshop will share:

- Our experiences of developing our Residential Strategy to improve outcomes for our Residential students.

- How we approached our self-assessment and quality improvement planning.

- Our approach to meeting the requirements of the SCCIF and NMS and inspection.

An Introduction to Gender Identity

Presented by Sophie Sims, Training and Education Manager, The Proud Trust

This workshop is on the topic of gender and trans (including non-binary) identities. It will provide a summary of the most up-to-date terminology around gender identity, and will offer a brief introduction to trans inclusion in an educational setting, as well as signposting towards useful resources and services.

The Proud Trust is an LGBT+ organisation that supports LGBT+ young people and provides training for professionals who work with young people.

Developing an effective Mental Health and Well-being Strategy 

Presented by Lisa Humphries, Associate Principal: Students/Customers , Chichester College Group (CCG)

This workshop will explore how CCG developed and implemented their AoC Beacon Award winning Mental Health and Well-being Strategy.  The session will explore the strategy but also look at how it was practically implemented and supported. 

Chichester College Group comprises of 7 Colleges across West Sussex and Brighton and Hove.  The demographic area of each college is very different and the group has focused on ensuring individual identity for each of the 7 Colleges. Delivering vocational and academic qualifications, as well apprenticeships and HE, the curriculum is diverse. The group was last inspected in March 2020 and achieved outstanding. 

Hurdling the barriers to embedding careers in the curriculum

Presented by Laura Bell, Director, and Mark DeBacker, Deputy Director of the Education Development Trust

We all face barriers in embedding careers education in the curriculum. At our workshop we'll share hints, tips, case studies and approaches to hurdling those, what can feel like, insurmountable barriers. We will take a walk-through Gatsby Benchmark 4 and show how it can be successfully achieved. 

At Education Development Trust, we improve school systems at scale and provide empowering employability and careers services to young people and adults. We own and manage a portfolio of schools and, as a not-for-profit, we invest annually in our programme of education research that informs policymaking around the world as well as our own work. What we do affects how teachers teach, leaders lead and students learn and we help to improve the life chances for all. 

Supporting students in FE who stammer

Presented by Kirsten Howells, Programme Lead, and Joanna Gaukroger, Chair of STAMMA

Recent findings suggest that up to 2% of adults in the UK stammer, potentially adversely affecting their educational achievement, their job prospects, and ultimately their mental health. This is a shocking statistic.

Joanna is a former college principal and Kirsten is a specialist speech and language therapist.  Both have stammered since childhood. Reflecting on their experiences, the most challenging period for each of them was between the ages of 16-25 – leaving the structure of school, making the transition to college, and then ultimately finding a route through to permanent employment.

During this workshop they will discuss:

- The myths and facts about stammering and speech disfluency

- Stammering and the Equality Act (2010) and the Disability Discrimination Act

- Making reasonable adjustments, as applied to examinations and assessments

- Helping lecturers and support teams ensure that all students who stammer achieve their potential

- Support which can be provided by STAMMA

While focusing on stammering, much of the learning from this session will also be applicable to supporting students with other communication differences.

STAMMA, the British Stammering Association, is the UK national charity for people who stammer (or stutter) and those that support them.  We are people who stammer and people who don't, including educators, employers, creatives, speech & language therapists, parents, GPs and HR professionals.  We exist to create a world that makes space for stammering. Where a stammer is embraced as just a difference. Where no-one judges us on our stammer or the way we choose to deal with it. It's simply how some of us talk.

Prevention of Sexual Abuse and Harassment - online tutorial resource

Presented by Jenna Martin, Student Experience Manager, Bolton College

An overview of an FE project funded by the AoC around the creation of an online tutorial that focusses on the prevention of sexual abuse and harassment. The session will provide a timeline of the project, a demonstration, the impact following a pilot and information on where to access this package. 

Bolton College provides high quality vocational training with over 800 full- and part-time courses delivered at four main centres around Bolton.


Fine Lines

Presented by Steve Wright, Director, Routes Puppets and Isabelle King, Head of Safeguarding & Prevent at Education Training Foundation (ETF)

An interactive workshop focussed on facilitating and managing challenging conversations for students and colleagues on the most contentious issues faced by post 16 educators - Values, Activism, Radicalisation and Mental Health.

Steve Wright presents cutting edge contemporary performances and workshops for students across the UK in FE settings. Prevent, British Values, Sexual Harassment, Knife Crime and Mental Health feature amongst the hard hitting, relevant and accessible resources he has created and delivered in the sector. 

ETF support teachers and leaders across the Further Education and Training sector to help them achieve their professional development goals for the benefit of learners and employers across England. In doing so, we help to transform the lives of individuals and communities across the country, unleashing potential and benefitting the economy.

From education to the working world – a deeper insight into understanding the mental health challenges of young adults 

Presented by Billy FitzJohn, Senior Partnership Manager, and Kayleigh Frost, Head of Clinical Support at Endsleigh (our main conference sponsor for 2023)

With reports of 75% of mental health issues arising before a person reaches the age of 24, helping students with the transition from college into higher education and work is vital in supporting the workforce of tomorrow. Health Assured, partnered with Endsleigh, have the benefit of providing both Student and Employee Assistance Programmes to education providers and employers across the UK and have a vast insight into the struggles of the younger members of our nation’s workforce.  Many of these struggles could be avoided with additional support, and appropriate interventions whilst still within the learner space.

This session aims to take a deeper insight into the key struggles of college-leavers navigating their next steps, and what proactive measures can be taken whilst still studying to reduce the impact of transitioning out of education and into the workplace.

With 57 years’ experience providing protection for students and the education community and as producers of the annual Student Happiness Index, Endsleigh has unparalleled insights into student needs and is a driving force in championing students’ mental health and wellbeing. Our mental health and wellbeing support, provided through our Student Assistance Programme, partnered with Health Assured, enables colleges to offer 24/7 BACP-accredited support for their students. These support services are available to help students with a range of issues from mental health to financial, relationship, health and lifestyle concerns.