Since half term, I have attended several CPD events covering my diverse job description - Learning Resource Coordinator (not Manager as I am not responsible for the LRC on a daily basis, more strategic management), Assistant Head of Sixth Form and Careers Coordinator 11 - 19.
On 2nd November, I attended the Launch Event for the Apple Regional Training Centre at Isca College of Media Arts, Exeter. Whilst a very short event - just 1.5 hours long, the focus was on the use of Ipads in teaching and learning with the main presentation delivered by Kelda Richards who describes herself as a lead practitioner in media technology. Her presentation took the form of a pub quiz on Ipad and showed 10 great apps. Those that stood out for me were Shazam, an app that identifies music; i-nigma, QR code reader;Newstand; Dropbox and Pearltrees which she described as apps to make your life easier, although I was aware of these, it was great to have a chance to use them on a Pad and I thought the way of presenting them as a quiz was very innovative.
I then attended a Management and Leadership one day training course run by Plymouth Training and Consultancy. This course was included as part of my performance management and links to my new role as Assistant Head of Sixth Form which requires me to lead and manage teams of staff, including teachers and support staff. The trainer began by explaining the difference between management and leadership; management being associated with working towards a development plan and having a more operational role, whilst leadership tendd towards the visionary, identifying followers from your staff to share your vision. We also looked at all the different roles and responsibilities of being a manager (very scary and daunting), but decided that it came down to prioritising; i.e what is happening today? There were many opportunities for personal reflection, including considering whether your management style was autocrative (all about me), democratic (delegate, but with some control) or delegative (delegating with free rein) and decided that sometimes you have to be all three! We also looked at John Adair's concept of managing the task, managing the individual and managing the team as well as the six core functions of leadership; plan, initiate, control, support, inform and evaluate. Much to think about in terms of my management and leadership skills!
My last conference attended was Careers SW's annual event 'Employability'. Having attended these in the past, I know that these events are excellently delivered and I particularly identified one of the workshops I attended as being very interesting. This workshop was led by a representative from Demos who had recently published a report on 'The Forgotten Half'; that of the 50% who were not part of Tony Blair's vision of 50 young people moving onto Higher Education. As the person in my college with responsibility of delivering the UCAS application process and raising awareness of HE to all students, this was of especial interest. The report identified 5 premiums (what makes a young person employable?); being a graduate (HE is still the best protector in the labour market), individual character and transferable skills, level 2 literacy and numeracy, previous work (part-time, internships, voluntary) and Level 2/3 vocational qualifications citing a negative return on lower level NVQs if not person is not pre 25. The report also focused on what schools had to offer in order to ensure effective progression for their students; intensive literacy and numeracy teaching and support, build students' characters through enrichment and broaden assessment for students on vocational qualifications (more of a workbacc offer) In addition, an interesting and pithy look at the Government's plans for an all age careers service as part of the Education Bill from Paul Chubb, Careers England and the conference was very informative indeed.
My next CPD could be at the UCAS Annual Conference for Teachers and Advisors, so as to ensure that I am up to date with the necessary information, advice and guidance when supporting students and staff with post 16 progression.