Over the last 18 months, our team of in-house experts and consultants have been offering a range of webinars providing professional development to those in the further education sector. While our online community has grown significantly; we were eager to return to delivering face-to-face events and facilitating a new ‘blended delivery’ model moving forward.
Our training facility in Nottingham saw investment in new high-tech audio/visual equipment to make it possible to deliver in-person and online events simultaneously, ensuring that all face-to-face events would still be accessible to all.
It’s nice to be able to socialise properly again.
This month, Training and Development Manager Will Sibley and Lead Professional Development Advisor Dr Alison Scott facilitated the ‘Quality Matters Network’, which saw a number of attendees join us in person at our Nottingham office, as well as online.
The theme for this Network focused on Ofsted inspections. Elaine Dale (Director of SEND Support and Nursery, City College Norwich) and Bradley Billington (Director of Teaching, Learning and Assessment, Moulton College) provided insights and advice about what they had learned following their recent successful inspections.
Aside from the fantastic content of this session, it was important to note the energy in the room. Participants saw both familiar and new faces, and laughed with each other over the lunch buffet, catching up about the latest sector headlines and life at their organisations. There was a sense of joy and excitement at the reality of “being back in the room with real-life people again”.
Participants were asked by Alison and Will about their thoughts on how CPD training should now be delivered, and what they thought the most optimal way to engage with the sector was. Some remarked:
“It’s nice to be able to ‘earmark’ the afternoon and leave my place of work for a CPD event.”
“Zoom is good for popping in on sessions, as it’s not so disruptive to my day.”
“The social aspect is great; you really feel supported from others at in-person Networks.”
It seems that online training is still considered to be more accessible but also a more laid back approach to participating in professional development. With so many of us having worked in a more solitary way over the last few years, it is clear that people want to get back to ‘normal’ and benefit from the social interaction of in-person events.
“Face-to-face events allow for collaboration, sharing best practice and help break down silos.”
When the session came to a close, and well-wishes and email addresses were exchanged, it was evident that in-person professional development events are important in bringing the sector together again. They provide a space for practitioners to bond over shared experiences and form meaningful connections which might not have otherwise happened virtually.
We offer in-person and online professional development events, browse what’s coming up this year here.
We can also support your end-of-summer-term staff development activity by providing bespoke training and development sessions. To discuss this further contact our team here.
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