Further Education (FE) colleges in Kent undertook an unprecedented Professional Development event with over 2000 support, teaching and learning staff on Wednesday 7th February, organised by the College leads and Kent Further Education (KFE).

The inaugural event saw staff from North Kent College, East Kent Colleges Group and MidKent College come together for a day which promises to elevate the standards of Further Education in Kent and foster innovation in teaching and support practices.

Simon Cook, Chair of Kent Further Education and Principal & CEO of MidKent College said:

 “Over the last few years, Kent's Further Education colleges have worked relentlessly to create strong partnership working amongst our staff. This is without doubt having a tremendous impact on our students, staff, and the communities we serve. Our ambition has been to provide more opportunities for staff to share their ambitions and challenges with one another to resolve common challenges.

 Our first staff conference signals our commitment to work together to ensure that through providing excellent training and sharing of good practice we can consistently drive high standards across the educational landscape of our county.”

Keynote speaker, Maggie Alphonsi, the face of international women’s rugby opened the sessions and spoke around topics such as Understanding Pressure, Psychology of Winning, Transferring Skills and Pressure Management.

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Above: James Dand spoke on dealing with challenges through effective mind management

Renowned experts held interactive workshops covering a diverse range of topics including positive mental health and resilience, unlocking the power of Chat GPT, The Future Ready Mindset, Joyology sessions.

David Gleed, Chief Executive and Executive Principal, North Kent College added:

“Kent FE’s unique county wide training day for all staff, across all three colleges in Kent, showcased the deep and genuine partnership that exists locally.  Kent’s colleges have been rightly recognised nationally as some of the leading pioneers of collaboration within the FE sector. Events such as this further enhance the deep-rooted commitment to establishing a successful and joined up skills eco-system for the benefit of students and stakeholders alike in the county. “

Dedicated networking sessions, where staff collaborated with their opposite numbers and connected to exchange ideas, explore challenges, share experiences, and collectively develop solutions to enhance best practices within education. Teams explored cutting-edge teaching methodologies and support team strategies designed to enhance the learning experience for students.

Graham Razey, Chief Executive of East Kent Colleges Group, also commented: “Working collaboratively has always been in East Kent Colleges Group’s DNA, so it is absolutely wonderful to be delivering a Kent-wide training session for literally thousands of colleagues. We know that there’s so much that we can learn from our peers, so this event will ensure we’re able to continue to deliver the best possible educational opportunities across the communities all our colleges serve.”

The Kent wide Further Education staff development day marks a significant milestone in the continuous improvement of education in Kent, bringing together Further Education staff for a day of collaborative learning, skill enhancement, and networking. By coming together, sharing ideas, and embracing innovation we can shape a brighter future for Kent education and all our local communities.

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