HELOA Professional Development Conference
Widening Access to Higher Education
Tuesday 3rd October, Studio Venues, Birmingham
The HELOA Professional Development Conference (formerly known as the Experienced Practitioners’ Conference) provides an opportunity for higher education practitioners to attend workshops and discussions on a particular topic relevant to their everyday work. The upcoming PDC will focus on widening access to higher education with spotlights on access agreements, engaging with schools and monitoring outcomes.
This one-day conference, held in collaboration with OFFA, is suitable for a wide range of practitioners working within the Widening Participation sector.
The Provisional Conference Programme is now available to view. To book your place at the conference, please complete the online booking form. Your booking will be confirmed on the system as soon as you submit the form, but you will receive email confirmation of your booking once bookings have closed.
The conference fee is £130 for members and £175 for non-members. This includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day. Please note that in order to qualify for the HELOA member fee of £130 we must receive your HELOA membership form by 26 September. Accommodation is not included, but there are number of affordable accommodation options in the Birmingham area.
SPA (Supporting Professionalism in Admissions) Resources
Members will be aware that there are a significant range of changes in 14-19 qualifications across the UK. To assist HELOA colleagues in preparing for the changes, there are a range of resources that have been developed over the last six months by SPA (Supporting Professionalism in Admissions) that you may wish to take advantage of:
SPA (Supporting Professionalism in Admissions) National Expert Think Tank on Curriculum and Qualification Reforms
The next few admissions cycles will see a period of continuous change in UK applicants’ entry qualifications, including substantial reforms to A levels and GCSEs across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the continued bedding in of Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland, changes to the assessment and structure of the BTEC, the introduction of Core Maths qualifications in England, and new approaches to vocational qualifications in England and Wales.
In 2014/15 SPA convened a National Expert Think Tank (NETT), consisting of practitioners from ten HE providers (HEPs) plus a UCAS representative, to consider the challenges that curriculum and qualification reforms present to HE providers and to fair admissions in particular.
Members of the NETT group conducted research in preparation for a two-day residential during which they identified and developed a number of key resources to support HE providers in engaging with qualification reforms, including:
* Key considerations for qualification reforms and HE admissions to support HEPs in developing their own approaches to the forthcoming (and any future) qualification reforms.
* Qualifications Reform Operational Timeline to help HEPs ensure they are on track with their planning for qualification reform and the UCAS Tariff switchover.
*Curriculum Reform Template for Staff Survey for HEPs to investigate the level of understanding of, and engagement with, qualification and curriculum reform within their own institution.
* Recommendation that all HEPs publish a Qualification reform statement guidance confirming how they will respond to the changing qualification landscape in the UK and ensure a fair approach for all applicants, and guidance on the areas that could be addressed by such statements.
* Resource list for HEPs<http://www.spa.ac.uk/documents/Qualifications/NETT/Resource_pack.xlsx>, gathering together information and guidance from a range of sources, including NETT research, HEPs, UCAS, Awarding Organisations and school groups.
SPA is indebted to the members of the NETT for their time, effort and contributions, and to their institutions for supporting their work in this collaborative project.
If you have any queries or suggestions relating to the NETT project or resources, or would like to discuss your approach to engaging with qualification reforms, please contact SPA (email@example.com/ 01242 544891).