About Us

About Us

ccConsultancy provides professional learning and development courses, events and a range of other programmes for practitioners involved in post-16 teaching and training.

What we do:

Shaping Success

On behalf of The Education and Training Foundation (ETF), between 2014 – 2021 we have written/ co-written a wide range of CPD courses and resources to support Maths and English delivery. The courses were for practitioners at all levels and stages of their development.

Side by Side Evaluation

Advancing Equality in Further Education

An online course to support and develop knowledge and understanding of the role of equality and diversity work within Further Education.

Digital and Blended Learning Project

A collaborative collective working together to share and develop digital and blended learning practices.

Citizen Literacy

Imagine living in a world of written words you do not understand?

Post-16 Phonics Approaches: A Toolkit

This toolkit is intended to support practitioners wishing to use phonics approaches with post-16 learners.

Maths and English in Prison Work and Training

A collection of innovative task-based learning approaches used in secure estate workshops.

Prevent Duty and British Values for Adult Learners

A guide to support the embedding of British Values and the Prevent Strategy

Doing Action Research

A Guide for Post-16 Practitioners

SEND Mindfulness Toolkit

A toolkit designed to be used with prisoners with a range of SEND needs (with a particular focus on mental well-being)

Effective Practice Guidelines

Assessment for Learning

It doesn’t have to be this way

A resource for practitioners to open up conversations with learners about healthy relationships.


Professional Learning

We offer professional learning and development in a range of areas, including: train the trainers (in teaching, learning & assessment approaches); and personal/ pedagogical CPD in English, maths and digital literacies.

Our training is online

All of our sessions and courses are delivered online via Zoom by default. We can work with your team to enable a hybrid model of training if required. However, if you would prefer us to travel to you, we can also do this but there may be an extra charge. You can read all about the reasons we have made this decision on our Sustainability Statement.

Our training is interactive

We believe in modelling the kind of sessions we purport to encourage; a space with flow and rhythm; a space where everyone has the opportunity to be heard and share their experiences; a space where practitioners have time to think, consolidate and take action. Additionally, we have digital specialists as part of our team who have helped perfect the interactive nature of our sessions with engagement and accessibility at the forefront.

Our training encourages continual reflection

We recommend that you choose to take advantage of the ‘rhythm of CPD’ (Teacher Development Trust, 2015) model that inspires the scaffolded development of each of our courses. This involves a reflective question posed in a pre-session survey to help us understand the teachers’ needs and expectations, as well as give them time to reflect upon the subject we will be soon exploring together. Additionally, there will be a break of at least a week before sessions with light touch yet valuable reflective activities between the two. We have found that this break allows practitioners to digest the content from the first session, reflect on what it means to them and their own practice, and perhaps even try a few things out before the next session. However, we’re aware that this break is not viable for everyone and we can be flexible and work towards your time frame.

Additionally, we also offer pre-session consultation and post-session mentoring sessions to truly extend our training offer and ensure that you and your team get the best out of it.

  • Screen Industry Trainer CPD (on behalf of ScreenSkills)

    CPD developed for trainers working (or wanting to work in the screen industry). Sessions paid for (and accreditation subsidised) by ScreenSkills.

    • 1 and 2 day sessions include: effective practice for training online, supporting neurodiverse trainees and supporting ESOL trainees.
    • Level 3 Award in Education and Training.
    • and bi-monthly alumni forum and mailout.

This page is currently being updated, there will be more course information coming very soon! In the meantime, please contact us.

If you’re interested in L3 accreditation in English, please visit this page.

Practitioner Research

Practitioner-led Action Research

We have led national practitioner research programmes in England since 2014. Our programmes aim to support teachers, trainers, support workers and managers from post-16 learning providers to:

  • develop rigorous, transferable action research approaches that inspire sustained professional development for all practitioners in the sector; and
  • generate learner-friendly strategies and resources that address critical issues in current post-16 provision. 

This year we are facilitating the Step Forward programme on behalf of CDN supporting Scottish Colleges. There will be three thematic strands to the programme with the first (current) being transitions. In future cycles of the project, practitioners will explore themes of tackling poverty and climate change.

Find out more about previous and current practitioner research programmes by selecting the titles to the right.

Practitioner-Led Action Research Mailout

The FE AR mailout is sent every second Wednesday of the month. Read our past mailouts and sign up below.

Action research is just a couple... It's you, and us, in collaboration that will make the world a better place

  • Step Forward

    Step Forward is the CDN Research and Enhancement Centre’s action research programme; enhancing the practice of college practitioners by providing opportunities to undertake their own action research projects, and nurturing Scotland’s emerging network of college researchers.

  • Doing Action Research: A Guide for Post-16 Practitioners

    Written as part of the Outstanding Teaching, Learning and Assessment (OTLA) action research programme, this guide is written in an accessible and straightforward way that we hope will help put aside any worries you may have about doing research in your own practice.

  • OTLA 8 (English, ESOL + EDS)

    This is the final phase of the OTLA (Outstanding, Teaching, Learning and Assessment) action research projects funded by the Education and Training Foundation. With partners: NATECLA, That Reading Thing, Skills for Life Network + Real Time Education.

  • EDS 1

    A short action research programme focussing on Essential Digital Skills (EDS) in further education/ community learning contexts, on behalf of the Education and Training Foundation. With partners: That Reading Thing and Skills for Life Network.

  • OTLA 7 (English and Maths)

    This is the seventh phase of OTLA (Outstanding, Teaching, Learning and Assessment) projects funded by the Education and Training Foundation. 36 projects are researching approaches for teaching English and Maths in the post-16 sector.

  • OTLA 6 (English)

    This was the sixth phase of OTLA (Outstanding, Teaching, Learning and Assessment) projects funded by the Education and Training Foundation. Twelve projects researched new approaches for teaching English in the post-16 sector.

  • OTLA 4 (digital)

    In 2018, we supported action research projects focussing on digital practices in post-16 contexts, working with our partners the Newcastle College Group. 19 organisations collaborated across 5 projects on topics as diverse as ‘unlocking social capital to support outcomes in maths and English’ to ‘engaging staff with using digital technology within teaching, learning and assessment’.

  • OTLA 3 (North East + Cumbria)

    As part of OTLA Phase 3, working in the NE of England and Cumbria, practitioner-led action research took place with a focus on attainment, retention and progression. Thirteen projects took place,  involving 42 providers and over 200 practitioners from colleges, adult and community learning, offender learning, third sector and independent training providers.

  • PLAR 2

    Working with a team from emCETT, we supported 63 providers through the Education and Training Foundation’s Practitioner Research Programme to to undertake practitioner–led action research.

  • PLAR 1

    Working with a team from emCETT, we provided blended support through the practitioner–led action research programme to 63 practitioners or groups of practitioners from organisations, reflecting the diversity of the education and training sector across England.

Situating Practitioner Research

The Padlet nest below includes links to three Padlets:

  • OTLA Showcase with blogs, podcasts, articles, presentations and other publishings from past and present OTLA cohorts.
  • Coffee Time Reads includes a variety of quick reads and recommendations relating to research
  • Reading Recommendations is a list co-created by teachers from FE, for teachers in FE (and beyond). It contains a vast range of reading recommendations.

From Our YouTube Channel

OTLA 8 (English, ESOL + EDS)

The OTLA 8 (English, ESOL and Essential Digital Skills) Action Research Programme

The OTLA (English, ESOL and Essential Digital Skills) programme was delivered by ccConsultancy in partnership with That Reading Thing, NATECLA and Skills Digital. This was the 8th phase of OTLA projects we delivered on behalf of the Education and Training Foundation and funded by the Department for Education. This was the 5th OTLA phase that we were involved in as delivery partners.

Fifteen clusters researched new approaches for teaching English, ESOL and Essential Digital Skills (EDS) in the post-16 sector and focused upon driving professional development for staff through encouraging practitioners to use action research to explore and integrate those approaches into teaching, learning and assessment.

You can now download all the reports from the Excellence Gateway’s Practitioner Research + Evidence Portal (PREP).


Seeing the wood and the trees: the contributions of OTLA 8 practitioners towards the growth and development of action research in further education (Editorial)

Dr Vicky Butterby and Claire Collins

OTLA programme manager and programme director.

#OTLA over bamboo forest looking up to the sky

Sharing and Celebration Event 2022

Event Landing Page

You can also read the final event curated programme.

Cultivating professional change through action research (Editorial)

Dr Andy Convery

Research and Professional Development Lead

NATECLA 22 Conference

Action Research Posters

Exhibited at the NATECLA Conference, 2022.


Our collective (+ reflective) action research tree

The Action Research Forest

Seeing the wood and the trees: the contributions of OTLA 8 practitioners towards the growth and development of action research in further education

Claire Collins + Dr Vicky Butterby

Project Director and Programme Manager

Anthology of Practitioner Action Research Reports 2021-22


As each iteration of the Outstanding Teaching Learning and Assessment (OTLA) programme draws to a close, we hold a celebration and sharing event. Our sharing event is one of the highlights of our work on the OTLA programme, as it is a rare opportunity for us to come together as a collective to connect with, and learn from, one another. Over the course of the day, individual project teams share their research findings, reflect upon their professional and personal journeys and consider their next steps as action researchers. Our celebration and sharing events are usually a noisy affair, punctuated with laughter, deep discussion and challenging questions about what it means to be an action researcher in our highly complex, and wonderfully diverse, Further Education (FE) sector.

Professor Emerita Jean McNiff recently described action research as ‘not a technique to be applied, but a practice to be lived’ (McNiff, 2022) and this year, we employed the metaphor of a forest to help guide us through the day and situate our research practices as lived experiences within our teaching and learning communities. Drawing on the work of forester and author, Peter Wohlleben (2016), we were able to appreciate some of the similarities between forest networks and action research communities, extending some of Wohlleben’s reflections on what is required for healthy forest growth and development to consider how action research as a ‘lived practice’ can help create conditions that have the capacity to breathe new life into tired teaching spaces. Just as healthy forest networks are intricately connected through their canopies and root systems, and buzzing with life, action research activities and connections can invigorate and energise educators to free themselves (at least in part) from imposed practices: firstly, about ‘what works’ in education and secondly, about who is qualified to make these judgements. Just as growth within a forest is simultaneously visible and invisible, with feelers sent into open spaces and deep underground, the work of action researchers within FE occurs both in plain sight and deep within its undergrowth. Hidden between the cracks of long-established systems and approaches, action researchers are able to push their way through the dead wood, working together to reuse, recycle and repurpose educational curricula to ensure that learner-centred practices are at the heart of FE.

At the end of this year’s programme at the final sharing event, we facilitated a roots and leaves activity, which helped us to appreciate and understand how engaging in action research can make a difference to professional practices within FE. First, we asked people to share their ‘action research roots’, to tell us about the connections they had made and nurtured throughout the programme. Then later in the day, we gathered our‘canopy of leaves’, helping illuminate what practitioners wanted togrow from theiraction research projects moving forwards. Throughout this think piece, we draw on responses to the roots and leaves activity, alongside our day-to-day work on the OTLA 8 programme, to consider how action research within FE has the potential to:

  • Seed and grow sustainable research communities.
  • nurture safe and respectful spaces for developing and sharing practice.
  • encourage compassionate, social practices within teaching and learning spaces that centre relationship building, promote social justice and critique marketized approaches to education.
  • ignite curiosity and support the deepening of contextualised, co-created knowledges within our sector.
rocks and moss

Growing sustainable research communities in Further Education

A tree’s most important means of staying connected to other trees is a “wood wide web” of soil fungi that connects vegetation in an intimate network that allows the sharing of an enormous amount of information and goods.

– Tim Flannery (in Wohlleben,2016)

This year’s programme has once again necessitated practitioner action researchers working against a backdrop of uncertainty, as teaching and learning communities have had to adapt to the various ‘new normals’ that the Covid-19 global pandemic has bestowed upon them. In many instances, learners and teachers were back in face-to-face contact, with others taking tentative steps towards their physical classrooms and workshop spaces. In some instances, teaching was still taking place remotely, with a mix of blended learning, online classes and one to one work. The pandemic has cast, and continues to cast, its shadow over both our working and personal lives; many learners and colleagues have lost loved ones, and staff and learner absences through sickness or through shielding have been inevitable, leading to ever-widening gaps in learning, short notice cover work, and increasing withdrawal from re-energising Continuous Professional Development (CPD) opportunities.

In this extremely testing climate, described by one teacher as ‘surviving rather than thriving’, asking people to ‘go above and beyond’ their day-to-day roles to critically explore their teaching and learning practices as part of an action research project seemed a very big ask. When trees are unhappy, they shed their leaves to conserve energy, and for some, the shedding of anything other than an immediate concern for supporting learners to progress was an entirely understandable course of action.

But action research has an uncanny way of bringing people together, particularly when resources are scarce and there is a real and pressing need to think outside the box. Given the exceptionally challenging circumstances described above, could action research be considered as a form of personal as well as professional nourishment, as a gentle way of building community and offering mutual support and comfort to one another in a time of crisis?

For those who were involved in this year’s projects, the formation of practical research communities -particularly those that were created across diverse departments and between those with very different roles -were highly valued. These communities, which were championed and/or facilitated by mentors, enabled learners and teachers to connect beyond assessment outcomes and learning criteria, to consider not only what they were learning, but how they might apply their learning within other aspects of their lives. For example, learners at Haringey Adult Learning and Skills Service supported one another to apply their language learning so that their voices could be heard in relation to housing issues within their local community, and deaf learners at City Lit applied their English, British Sign Language and digital skills to re-imagine a college-wide charity event so that it became more inclusive. Staff teams were also able to work more closely together, with research meetings providing much needed time and space for colleagues to reflect on past action and discuss ‘what next?’ Staff in diverse roles and from different departments were able to draw upon one another’s guidance and expertise, helping in some instances to ‘tackle old problems in new ways’ and move towards a collective responsibility for practice improvement, as these responses to the roots and canopy activity illustrate:

Q. What connections have you made and/ or deepened during OTLA 8?

Staff across subjects and departments, external agencies (now partners)’

Q. What will grow from your work this year?

‘I hope a desire for more action researchers to come forward within our organisation. I also hope the great relationships we have built with important stakeholders. I hope a better environment for our learners.’

The development of these cross-organisational working practices through action research activity can help contribute to refreshing and strengthening collaborative working culture within organisations (described by Kemmis et al, 2014 as understanding the site’s ‘practice architectures’). We can again compare this to a healthy forest, which is nurtured and nourished through the mutual relationships that are established and grown between flora and fauna. Furthermore, widening stakeholder involvement in relation to the development of effective teaching and learning strategies, also encourages a shift away from siloed (individualistic) practices towards holistic educative practices that are firmly rooted in, and deeply responsive to, learners’ lives.

trees in a forest

Cultivating safe and respectful spaces for professional and practice development

When trees grow together, nutrients and water can be optimally divided among them all so that each tree can grow into the best tree it can be. If you “help” individual trees by getting rid of their supposed competition, the remaining trees are bereft.

– Peter Wohlleben

In a forest environment, information is continually shared, which supports the health and development of the entire ecosystem. These ‘rhizomatic connections’ are equally important in our own work in FE, as they forge important lines of communication that enable and encourage shared learning within and across organisations (Sidebottom and Mycroft, 2018). Over the course of the OTLA 8 programme, it was exciting to notice where and how these connections developed, with practice being discussed, shared and critiqued both in the open (through organised meetings and dissemination events) and below the surface (through informal in person and/ or online conversations between practitioners). In many instances, OTLA 8 Research Group Leads (RGLs) and mentors were able to operate as metaphorical switchboards, linking those who had similar research interests, common experiences or shared teaching and learning challenges. These new (or in some cases, renewed) relationships between participants within and across organisations helped cultivate fresh ideas and sparked innovative approaches to teaching and learning support. Nurtured by action research as a methodology that encourages questioning, risk taking, critical thinking, self-reflection and challenge, the OTLA 8 programme was able to provide much needed space and time for FE practitioners to act as critical friends for one another, access mentoring support and actively engage with learners and colleagues as co-researchers. In several cases, practitioners spoke about feeling energised by the process, as they felt that their working practices and professional values were becoming more closely aligned:

Q. What connections have you made and/ or deepened during OTLA 8?

‘Connections with other programme teams all working to try and make FE an even better place to work and study’.

Q. What will grow from your work this year?

‘A desire to challenge inequalities within educational spaces (and beyond)’.

In a similar vein, the OTLA team were able to work closely this year with colleagues facilitating other ETF programmes, including the Advanced Practitioner Programme, Maths and SEND Centres for Excellence and the Essential Digital Skills team. Coming together with other programme facilitators helped generate a collaborative understanding of the current challenges within FE, the internal and external support systems being developed in response, and where programmes needed to stand together to better understand and help meet the needs of our participants. Our joint meetings also enabled good news stories to be shared, collaborative CPD opportunities to be promoted, and respectful challenge to be offered to one another regarding how programmes could be further strengthened and developed. Working in this collaborative, non-competitive way helped us to stray across boundaries and appreciate fresh growth across the sector, helping to rhizomatically unite previously disparate patches of woodland to further develop, encourage and extend the rich and diverse forest of home-grown research that is currently being produced by those who are working and learning within FE.

Rhizomatic working has energy, it brings an activist focus by tunnelling its way out of the flowerbed, crossing disciplines and refusing to differentiate between gardens and wasteland: it is essentially democratising, revealing unseen demarcation lines before breaching them.

– Mycroft and Sidebottom, 2018, p.2

Paramount to the success of these spaces within the OTLA 8 programme (and also between the different research-based programmes on offer through the ETF) was the careful creation and nurturing of conditions that fostered respect and trust between practitioners (Donovan, 2021). This was especially important in instances where research topics and/ or findings threatened the status quo, either in their divergence from well-established practices/ dominant academic literatures and/or by their challenging of organisational policies/ hegemonic ideas about FE. In the current political climate, which posits education providers as businesses and learning as something that can be bought and sold (Smith, 2014; Kulz, 2017), the use of action research as a way of forging safe and respectful spaces for dialogue between individuals, organisations and professional development programmes felt extremely important. Through their engagement in action research, practitioners were able to challenge and reject some of the invasive knowledge systems that have been imposed upon FE from the outside, moving instead towards a more holistic form of learning about how to improve and develop teaching, learning and managerial practices, which stems from within.

bluebell field

Action Research as a social practice

Nevertheless, I have learned from this just how powerful a community of trees can be. “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” Trees could have come up with this old craftsperson’s saying. And because they know this intuitively, they do not hesitate to help each other out.

– Peter Wohlleben

We have established above that action research carried out through the OTLA programme enabled and nurtured relationships and collaborative development in FE settings. If we view action research through a ‘social practices’ lens, one that has been more commonly applied to the teaching of adult literacy over the last 30 years(Papen, 2005) we can also start to explore the power that it gives teachers and learners to work together to identify for themselveswhat works, where andwhyand, thereby, to improve teaching, learning and assessment from a situated and grounded perspective. Social practice theories refute the idea that there are forms of knowledge that, if learnt correctly, can be applied anywhere. By viewing action research as a social practice, we can also challenge the idea that the purpose of research in education is “to change educational practitioners’ practices so they will conform to educational theorists’ theories about how practice should be conducted.” (Kemmis, 2009, p.5) Instead, action research foregrounds the socially and historically-constructed nature of knowledge and gives teachers “intellectual and moral control over their practice” (IBID, p.6).

The importance of positioning teachers (and learners) as knowers, with the resources and aptitude to identify effective teaching, learning and assessmentpractices, cannot be understated. There is much rhetoric at the moment in FE about the use of ‘evidence informed’ practices, which can be interpreted narrowly and, as Wrigley (2016) argues far too simplistically and mistakenly, as being about teachers adopting approaches ‘proven’ through ‘objective research’ to work at a large scale. Knowledge is seen differently however on the OTLA programme. Here, we focused on teachers (as well as other professionals and, at times, learners) gathering and analysing their own evidence of what works or doesn’t work in particular contexts and with particular learners.

Viewing action research as social practice is not just about identifying/ developing ‘effective’ forms of teaching, learning and assessment it is also about understanding and responding to the consequences of our actions on ourselves and others (Kemmis 2009). It is, thereby, a practice rooted in our individual and collective values. This understanding can help us to problematise what it means for an educational practice to be ‘effective’ (effective as in ‘this assessment for learning practice really works!’) When considering the effectiveness of their actions, OTLA researchers tried to understand what consequences these actions had on their learners and on eachother. Virtues such as sensitivity and compassion were shown by those who took part in the OTLA programme. This was evident in their reports; that talked about how the action research had influenced and affected others and what was done to ensure people were included and their views understood and represented. Often, as McNiff notes in her editorial for ‘Value and Virtue in Practice-Based Research’ (2013), people’s values are not illuminated clearly enough during action research. McNiff (IBID) explains the importance of expressing our work in terms of our values so we can ‘shine where the light and life are’ and argue clearly that we are engaged in ‘virtuous practices’. In his closing piece for the same book, Julian Sternfurther stresses the importance of doing action research in our communities, where we can ‘live divided no more’.

An example of a virtuous OTLA project is illusrated here by the team at NOVUS (it was hard to choose one to share, as value-based decisions and virtuous actions were evident everywhere we looked in the OTLA 8 anthology of reports. The project involved people from across the prisons where it took place. People who had previously often been excluded from taking part in digital developments, such as vocational trainers in the prisons, were included from the outset, alongside prison learners as key creators and evaluators of the approaches being trailed. The action research “opened up an opportunity for the production of learner-led, co-designed digital skills development strategies and resources, which can be incorporated into future schemes of work as learners suggest the platforms and digital tasks they would like to explore next.”

Q. What connections have you made and/ or deepened during OTLA 8?

‘Building a community and sense ofshared understanding with learners.’

Q. What will grow from your work this year?

‘Really involving learners from the outset in new and authentic ways’

Conceptualising action research as social practice on OTLA encouraged us to create space for people(with each other, with their mentors and research group leads and with people from other projects) to identify what they knew and needed to find out in order to move their practice forwards in virtuous ways.

trees in a forest with some purple flowers in the background

Action research as a curiosity igniter

Perhaps we are poorer for having lost a possible explanation or richer for having gained a mystery.

– Peter Wohlleben

Throughout the programme activities, from our large events, to more intimate research round tables and project-level mentoring meetings,we expressed action research as a way to explore the unknown, to be curious. In doing so people ‘changed their practices, their understandings of their practices, and the conditions under which they practiced’ (Carr and Sometimes it's nice to be lostKemmis, 1986) This action research curiosity, to explore the unknown, is different to traditionalist social science, as it can lead to more questions than answers. However, as we noted above, action research processes or ‘meta practices’ (Kemmis, 2009) are, in themselves, enactments that can be virtuous and, also, incredibly fulfilling. There is ajoy in being able to wander along different paths and have the opportunity to explore lesser trod areas. Action researchers often had a general idea of where they wanted to go but they appreciated that they could take many different paths and that what they found there might not be what they expected (or hoped for!)

We, the OTLA programme team, reminded people that sometimes it’s good to be lost! They could re-route and that was OK. We encouraged people to appreciate that, in getting lost, they would almost always learn knew things and make new discoveries about their practice. As Jean McNiff reminded us recently (2022), ‘all movement is movement’ and it is the job of action researchers to identify the significance of what they are learning for themselves and others.

Thinking about the significance of our work is not always straightforward. As Jean McNiff outlined in a summer school we ran this year (McNiff, 2022), questions of significance invite us to consider the criteria against which our work will be judged and the standards that will be employed in that judgment. Jean also invited us to critique the notion of ‘impact’ and think instead of the influencethat our action research has/ could have on others. It is important, as many of the OTLA action researchers reminded us this year, to work with others to understand our influence on them so that, when we share more widely, we can express the trustworthiness and relatability of our work. This is in contrast to more widely held research values of reliability and validity and of the notion of rigor. Rigor, like ‘evidence-based’ is a concept in research that seems so ‘obviously correct’ and we had no wish to present ideas of research that were not rigorous. We interpreted this in different ways, however, using such concepts as ‘trustworthy triangulation’ (thanks to our colleague Dr Andy Convery for introducing us to this idea) when it came to identifying evidence of what was working or not (triangulating evidence in terms of time (before, during and after an intervention) and people (our own reflections, that of our peers and that of our learners.) Again, the ideas of trustworthiness and relatability were central here.

Q. What connections have you madeand/ or deepened during OTLA 8?

‘With myself! Thinking about my own impact (positive and negative) on my world’

Q. What will grow from your work this year?

‘More curiosity, greater space for creative, learner-centred thinking. Activism and further challenging of inequalities.’

Concluding thoughts

This year there was a tinge of sadness within the team, as the OTLA programme is coming to an end. However, action research is always more of a comma than a full stop, and we are excited to see how our forest of FE research will continue to grow and self-sustain left to its own creative devices. We will each take what we have learnt during our time on OTLA into our future work and lives.We have shared our reflections above on the symbiotic relationships between action research and community; the idea of knowledge co-creation, how we see action research as social practice and an ignitor of curiosity, and why this matters. We can see in the OTLA 8 anthology countless examples of projects that were values-driven and positioned teachers (and other educators), along with the learners they teach as ‘knowers’ and ‘effective practice’ asdeeply rooted in context and social purpose.In our often marginalised, ‘second chance’ sector, where we typically work with learners who are less heard, who are pushed to the peripheries of society and who feel less valued by education (Duckworth and Smith, 2019), the development of contextualised, learner-centred pedagogies and practices that feel meaningful and relevant is of the utmost importance. Through action research, we have an opportunity to work withlearners rather than doing tothem, to embrace our curiosities about teaching and learning and (rather than mindlessly following pre-determined routes and irrelevant signposts of success) explore the forest that is the further education sector together.

red mushroom

Carr, W. and Kemmis, S. (1986). Becoming Critical. Education, knowledge and action research. Lewes: Falmer.
Donovan, C. (2021). Professional Trust. [accessed 30.8.22].
Jones, S (2020). TES: How to put teacher-led research at the heart of FE [accessed 1.8.22].
Kemmis, S. et al. (2014). The Action Research Planner Doing Critical Participatory Action Research. 1st edition. Singapore: Springer.
Kemmis, S. (2009). ‘Action research as a practice‐based practice’. Journal of Educational Action Research.17(3), pp.463-474. DOI: 10.1080/09650790903093284.
Kulz. C. (2017). Factories for learning. Making race, class and inequality in the neoliberal academy.Manchester: Manchester University Press.
McNiff, J. (2022). Action Research Summer School 20.7.22.
McNiff, J. (2013). Value and Virtue in Practice-Based Research. Dorset: September Books.
Meaby, V., (2018) ‘Establishing Professional Learning Communities to Support the Promotion of Equality and Celebration of Diversity: Reflections from a North-East Community Learning Teacher’, Teaching in Lifelong Learning8(2). DOI: https://doi.org/10.5920/till.538.
Mycroft, L. and Sidebottom, K. (2018) ‘Constellations of practice’. In Bennett, B. and Smith, R. (eds) Identity and Resistance in Further Education. Abingdon: Routledge, pp170-179.
Papen, U. (2005). Adult Literacy as Social Practice. Oxon: Routledge.
Smith, R.(2015).‘College re-culturing, marketisation and knowledge: the meaning of incorporation’.Journal of Educational Administration and History. 47(1), pp.18-39. DOI:10.1080/00220620.2015.974145.
Wohlleben, P. (2016).The hidden life of trees: what they feel, how they communicate: discoveries from a secret world. William Collins: London.
Wrigley, T. (2016). ‘Not so simple: the problem with ‘evidence-based practice’ and the EEF toolkit’. Forum58(2), pp.237–252.

Deeper Thinking and Stronger Action

A Personal and Organisational Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

An interactive thinking tool for prison teams

Bringing teams together to promote and support rehabilitative learning in the Secure Estate

Andy’s Thinkpiece: Cultivating Change

Cultivating Professional Change Through Action Research

Dr Andy Convery

Research and Professional Development Lead


Welcome to our new environmentally-friendly, freely accessible and shareable compendium of OTLA action research accounts from all corners of the Further Education and post-16 sector. This digital platform is liberated from the constraints of the 15th Century Gutenberg printing press technology, and gives busy staff immediate access to the illuminative appendices which accompany each report. At the click of a mouse you’re invited into living classrooms filled with recognisable students – young and old, rowdy and reserved, nervous and noisy. At the beginning of their stories, these learners often share a common initial frustration that success in education will be out of their reach. Then gradually, through the illustrated appendices, we see these learners blossoming as teachers and support assistants build learners’ trust – learners’ trust in the teachers, learners’ trust in their changing classroom experiences, and increasingly, learners’ trust in themselves to actually achieve success.

“in some cases we had reduced our expectations of our students’ capabilities and therefore reduced the challenge too much….

We are now beginning to push learners more and expect more of them.”

Through the clickable links, readers may recognise painfully familiar teacher experiences of being faced with negative students rejecting prescribed approaches within ‘one size fits all’ systems. However, time after time on their research journeys, the accounts and appendices document how staff fire learners’ sense of their potential as curious readers, as more assured writers of English, or as digitally confident communicators. Readers will recognise teachers’ delight when they make breakthroughs and spark learners into believing in themselves. In the following accounts, we see how these triumphant moments are almost always triggered by teachers searching for – then investing in – their learners’ feedback. Both teachers and learners enjoy ‘eureka’ moments as they realise what fresh possibilities await. These OTLA 8 accounts are brought to life by teachers providing examples of annotated learners’ work, highlighting learners’ and colleagues’ comments, and sharing candid commentaries and perceptive reflections about their changing classroom relationships. Teachers reading these will seize on these lively supplements as intelligent insights into what is pragmatically possible in similar circumstances – and begin to plan their own changes.

Refining teachers’ pedagogical practices

We see teachers adopting and adapting new teaching strategies (such as encouraging target-setting, introducing ‘resilience’ materials, or introducing new online applications) and such ‘pedagogical processes’ are often the starting point across our 41 projects. We often see teachers agreeing to explore a strategy – such as target-setting – and then negotiating how best it can be applied and evaluated in their particular settings. The findings are revealing: teams find themselves confronting their own assumptions about how strategies work; how learners can use these strategies; and what they, as teachers, need to do to help these learners. For example, through investigating target-setting in practice, colleagues on different projects quickly realised that target-setting was not straightforward, and that it could become dominated by ‘teacher targets’. Such research gives teachers confidence – and a sense of responsibility – to devise personal pedagogical approaches that are effective and meaningful in their classrooms.

Across almost all the following accounts, the major shifts in teachers’ pedagogical understanding – and their classroom decision-making – resulted from their emerging and renewed insights into their learners’ potential. As they revised their appreciation of how learners actually experience the learning process, they began working together to recognise and remove the barriers that block learners’ engagement and stifle their commitment to learn.

Listening to (and learning from) learners

The catalyst for teachers changing their pedagogical approaches was when teachers began meaningful conversations with learners about learning. When teachers created a space to listen attentively to learners’ feedback about the practical initiatives they were introducing, this inspired Cycle to show the power of consulting learners.the teachers to work with the learners to experiment with changes.

In practice, teachers built working research relationships with learners.

The successful development of all teaching strategies depended upon the teachers’ willingness to listen and learn about the learners’ experience, and to design activities that learners found more engaging.

For example, Preston College’s delight that classrooms became workshops’ typically illustrates how learners’ passive expectations could be transformed by working together to design inspiring learning activities that boosted learners’ belief in who they could become.

In many accounts, projects became successful when learners got onboard to fashion their learning activities and teachers learned to place more trust in learners’ feedback.

Learners became both motivated and receptive in response to teachers’ genuine concern to improve learners’ skills and confidence. When staff listened carefully to learners, and then acted on the learners’ thoughtful responses, teachers were able to adapt their approaches to introduce more relevant strategies in a receptive environment.

Developing improved professional development

Across the English, ESOL and Essential Digital Skills projects that follow, teachers reveal their emerging awareness of the complexities of post-16 learning settings, and of their potential to take further steps to help their learners. Project teams are inspired to help learners who have often – for a complex variety of hidden reasons – been failed by the dominant pedagogical approaches practised elsewhere. The OTLA 8 programme frees teachers to invest energy in designing more relevant activities that are not directly prescribed by the content of the syllabus or assessment criteria. For example, investing their energies in encouraging reading cultures, or working through resilience activities to boost learners’ self-esteem. The principal pedagogical change evident across the OTLA projects (and especially so from OTLA 8) is teachers’ confident capacity to make professional judgements – and take actions – that address their learners’ fundamental interests. Put simply, through joining action research projects, teachers’ eyes are opened to what hinders – and helps – learners’ progress.

“One of the comparative strengths of the OTLA8 project was the creative freedom it offered.”

In the accounts that follow, we see staff and learners developing greater empathy. When teachers initiate meaningful discussions about learners’ relationship with their subjects and their learning environment, staff began to appreciate and value learners’ complementary cultural capital. Teachers’ professional expertise stems from their capacity to establish learners’ starting points; the action research investigations provided even deeper insights into learners’ lived experiences so they could better understand how dominant academic forms of expression and representation might be inhibiting learners’ potential. Consequently, across a range of projects, responsive teacher researchers negotiate reading schemes to build upon learners’ preferred interests; technology staff rephrase obstructive terminologies; vocational staff are invited onto project teams to help overcome cultural barriers to reading from apprentices; and everywhere, there is a new appreciation and respect for learners’ traditions. Time after time in the reports, project leaders highlight how the projects have helped staff enhance their professionalism, often citing Professional Standard 5: ‘Value and promote social and cultural diversity, equality of opportunity and inclusion’

Staff working and learning together

These projects certainly refreshed teachers’ professional know-how; however, it was the social element of staff working together on the OTLA programme that gave individual teachers a newfound confidence to risk attempting their new ideas in challenging settings. Often, teams created a dynamic; staff became excited by new ideas, and then feeding back how their attempts had fared created fresh enthusiasm across teams to take further risks.

Some teamwork was carefully planned from the start – for example SAVTE wanted to explore the benefits of Graphic showing the power of teachers working together. Inspired by MacBeath et al, (2003).teaching triangles. For others, teamwork began in departmental meetings as an organisational convenience, and an unexpected bonus of these projects are the improved relationships between staff within – and between – English, ESOL and EDS departments. Many of the projects illustrate departmental teaching teams enjoying a refreshing and enlightening review of their practices, and most draw attention to the importance of their wider teaching relationships with support workers, vocational teachers, learning resource staff and admin and management. Several projects noted how staff working outside of English, ESOL or digital support departments embraced the project initiatives as opportunities for them to develop their own English, ESOL and digital understandings, thus contextualising digital, literacy and/or language practices to enhance their existing approaches. In the secure estate, four prison education projects noted how their efforts had refreshed the links between separated provisions and contributed to national staff development activities.

The project format often acted as a very effective professional development focus. Well-managed projects responded with sensitivity to teachers’ individual development needs which recognised their differing situations.

“The project has afforded the opportunity for English and Learning Support staff to work together more closely and provided us both with more time to reflect on how we can best support our learners and ensure that they get the most out of their classes.”

Some projects were inspired by ideas that did not achieve their intended potential and needed to be refocused and revised, and this process of joint discovery and problem-solving; “Why is this not working?” – often proved important for team development.

Most projects were instigated by experienced teachers operating in a curriculum leadership role, and some were organised by those with overarching management responsibilities. Several senior managers noted how projects had improved their connections with teaching staff in the search for workable teaching and learning solutions – resetting their relationships with the staff whom they managed as the project activities highlighted the degree of teachers’ professional commitment. Through the project, they developed a better understanding of the teachers, the learners, and the challenges in context. Projects varied in the extent and commitment of staff; for example, Boston College project focused the attention of five staff (including ESOL, vocational and support specialists) on two ESOL learners. This not only benefited both learners but it also proved an intensive professional development opportunity for the team, giving them all insight into how they might prepare for future support of ESOL learners.

“Some teachers thrived within the sessions; they had ‘lightbulb moments’, were open to implementing and trialling new approaches and were not put off if they did not work first time. However, other teachers struggled to see how the concepts could be applied.”

Some projects also took advantage of support from the wider community – Leeds College of Building encouraged University students to act as mentors, and Myerscough College engaged UCLAN students to support individual learners’ creative writing activities. These attempts to introduce new participants into learners’ lives had positive impacts on extending learners’ social worlds and communication skills. We see teams enjoying fresh opportunities to work together, and these project initiatives revived participants’ sense of agency – the project opportunity stimulated participants’ sense of potential and motivated commitment.

“The most impressive impact is that after our director saw our research work, she decided to implement all these activities into our Grade 1,2 and 3 GCSE English Schemes of Work for 2022-2023!”

Alongside teachers seizing the chance to reinvigorate tired topic approaches, vocational tutors volunteered as role model narrators to demonstrate the importance of reading, support workers assumed new responsibilities when freed by the projects, and managers rediscovered the excitement of sparking learners’ interest. Haringey Adult Learning Services and Darlington College engaged learners as mentors which both inspired the mentors and ensured that learners were given additional support and opportunities to communicate their needs through additional channels. The management of Essex ACL encouraged participation in the research process by persuading staff to share their own ‘teaching nuggets’, thus increasing buy-in to experimenting with tried and tested resources that were endorsed by credible colleagues. However one team leader regretted that participation in regular team Zoom meetings – which had been central to staff communication in lockdown – were no longer scheduled. Staff were keen to resume face-to-face contact, and it became difficult to carve out time for those dedicated teacher meetings as staff were once more sucked into their organisations’ demanding schedules.

“In a college community which is predominantly white, working class and male, it was important to us to open up the frame of reference and make unexpected partnerships. The work we are doing with Leeds Arts University is a good example of this, enabling our students to work alongside undergraduates and gain an insight into different lifestyles and world views.”

Teachers becoming researchers – the social benefits

We can see teachers were often excited to be researching together. Although staff may have worked alongside each other for years, their OTLA 8 projects injected a new focus for rethinking old practices that weren’t working, and this created a team bonding which inspired risk-taking and honest sharing of results. For example, there are several ‘resilience’ projects which created a space for teachers to review why learners were unreceptive to teachers’ best efforts. These projects provided staff with the time and space to rethink why learners might be reluctant to engage. This space also encouraged teachers to judge which new approaches might be most valuable for their particular cohorts, and they felt less threatened about making changes as they were supported by the group. Across the projects, we see examples of stronger social relationships with long-standing colleagues – relationships that are now more professionally rewarding.

An important aspect of the team research is the reassuring acceptance and acknowledgement of what strategies are unsuccessful, and several team leaders have indicated that team members were encouraged to contribute more openly when experienced team leaders had shared their own lack of success with differing approaches. This trust prompted further self-disclosures that paved the way for colleagues to establish common ground and to commit to discovering more effective and responsive strategies. This social research process is so important in moving teams beyond a frustration and resignation about, “What doesn’t work” and prompts a constructive energy focused upon, “What learners need…”

Diversity in project leadership

Projects were initiated by project leaders in differing situations. Some projects were led by experienced practitioners who were interested in rolling out new strategies, resources or ways of organising learners. Other projects had more of a management design, and were keen to refresh the wider workforce by introducing new practices or resources. Where project leaders were experienced practitioners enjoying regular contact with learners and colleagues in teaching a subject, there seemed to be more investigation, action and reflection; typically these teams were relatively small and dynamic. Some mentors were frustrated that management-driven projects appeared to be ‘remote-controlled’ – direction from above did not translate into committed action by participants. In some situations, where management had encouraged an approach or use of a resource, teachers seemed to politely accommodate the resource by integrating it into their teaching in ways that did not interfere with their preferred approaches. This is mirrored in Johannesson’s (2022) research into Professional Learning Communities. He discovered that where action research is treated as a project – rather than as a process – the professional development benefits are not as fully realised. The more successful management initiated projects were based upon a willingness to trust staff to explore practice without being overly-directive about what should be the focus (and the implied outcomes) from the research. This facilitative stance enabled project leaders and staff to take greater ownership of change activities with more evidence of local changes being implemented.

“Our evaluative process is always rigorous; we try to make changes to value cultural diversity, to motivate and connect with our learners, who have often lost interest and hope. However, this research gave us the time to evaluate throughout the year in a meaningful way and to gather students’ views too.”

Across all projects, there is evidence that those who initiated projects from different positions progressed their professional learning. Managers learned about their teaching teams; they gained fresh appreciation of the barriers inhibiting change; they learned that ‘straightforward’ topics could be difficult to comprehend because of learners’ lack of familiarity with examiners’ cultural assumptions; and they learned that pedagogical approaches are heavily influenced by context.

Using literature – finding our spaces

Many of our projects cite literature to establish the credentials of the research. In the best projects there is evidence of teachers accessing a variety of relevant teaching publications to seek insights into challenging situations. Teachers draw on these insights from schools and colleges, and test these approaches in their own classrooms. When written up and illustrated in the accounts which follow, they create their own source of literature which give other teachers access to more relatable information. Mentors were often crucial to opening up alternative teaching approaches, guiding project leaders towards insights from different education sectors, or from different corners of our own post-16 education and training sector.

“Using existing research by Myhill’s team which was conducted on a younger cohort with more regular English lessons, we have been able to apply some of the principles and measure their impact on students. It has meant that learners were able to have a dialogue with teachers on how they learn and what has helped them.”

Because the majority of teachers in FE do not enjoy easy access to electronic journals (unlike their HE counterparts), these reports make very good use of available literature from search engines. They draw upon teachers’ blogs, open-access papers and repositories such as the ETF ‘Practitioner research and evidence portal’ which house a wide range of Using graphic templates as a tool for evidence gathering.teacher research reports. Because the OTLA 8 research reports are almost always testing previous research and inquiry in unique settings, the research represents a critical evaluation of the previous reports that were accessed. They contribute to the store of evidence-informed practice which can continue to help practitioners and professional researchers alike.

In addition to the illustrations of practice-based, evidence-informed accounts that follow, participants have already extended their work to (and beyond) the sector through contributing to conferences, blogs, podcasts, and writing up for journal submissions (please see the OTLA Programme Action Research Showcase Padlet for examples of work that has been produced for publication over the course of the programme). For example, a group of ESOL project leaders have produced posters for the NATECLA conference 2022 to prompt colleagues into experimenting with their practice. Their posters are creatively illustrated by the graphic templates which have been developed through project and mentor collaboration. An additional bonus for this programme has been the generation of an ESOL-dedicated supplement to the 2021 Doing Action Research in FE Guide which now offers a variety of ESOL-friendly research methods for all teachers to explore when helping their learners. The prison education teams are also editing materials to inspire staff to build on their new interest in researching their practice in this specialist sector.

A testament to mentors

Every project was appointed an action research mentor; an experienced subject specialist whose interests were tailored to their project, and the quality of the project experiences as captured in these reports is largely down to the sensitive supportive insights that project mentors have provided at all stages. Mentors have:

  • Helped frame and focus projects
  • Drawn on their extensive teaching experience to inspire pedagogical progress
  • Pointed project leads to accessible literature for added support and direction
  • Hosted a rhythm of regular sharing sessions with like-minded project teams
  • Addressed setbacks by steering teams to productively refocus
  • Encouraged the honest sharing of all aspects of practice
  • Acted as critical friends and writing buddies in fostering these rigorous reports to fruition

All mentors were carefully chosen for their specialist experience and capacity to lead teachers to A screenshot of a Padlet Board designed to support one of the Novus teams with their action research.conduct meaningful action research in challenging contexts. As part of OTLA’s contribution to practical knowledge about how to conduct high quality educational action research, might we direct readers to one of the Padlets designed by the mentor for the Novus prison projects: Simulations for Essential Digital Skills Learning.

The Padlet headings provided a partially populated template framework that invites participants’ own contributions. This user-friendly Padlet guides participants through the stages of evidencing the rationale; shares sources of inspiration and relevant literature; explores suitable research methods; illustrates project resources, and finds spaces to value stakeholders’ reflections and contributions. Other projects might well be inspired to draw upon these templates as ways of prompting potential action research teams who are almost ready to commit on their own educational explorations.

OTLA – creating an expansive professional ecology through action research

In conclusion to this editorial, it is timely to acknowledge the visionary encouragement of the Education and Training Foundation in creating opportunities to begin a root and branch change to the prevailing professional culture of Further Education. As teachers on OTLA projects have engaged in action research, they have begun to develop a view of themselves as capable of proactively shaping the learning context. The OTLA programmes have challenged the limited approach of sticking-plaster remedial training to help tired teachers cope with the latest crisis; rather, they have created a supportive space for what Fuller and Unwin (2004) describe as expansive learning environments, where teachers are given time, space and support to collectively stand back, reflect and reimagine new possibilities. Through the action research seeds that OTLA planted and nurtured, we see the green shoots of cultural change as teachers gradually blossom and mature into extended professionals. In the following reports we see teachers shaping a much healthier post-16 environment as they assume greater responsibility for leading learning, using their informed professional judgement to inspire change in classrooms, staffrooms and across communities.


Fuller, A. and Unwin, L. (2004) Expansive learning environments: integrating personal and organisational development, in Rainbird, H., Fuller, A. and Munro, A. (eds) Workplace Learning in Context, London: Routledge.

Johannesson, P. (2022): Development of professional learning communities through action research: understanding professional learning in practice, Educational Action Research Vol 30:3 pp 411-426.

MacBeath, J., Demetriou, H., Rudduck, J., & Myers, K. (2003) Consulting pupils: a toolkit for teachers Cambridge; Pearson Publishing.

Accessibility Statement


Under the Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations 2018, public sector organisations are now required by law to produce accessible websites and apps, along with a full accessibility statement. Although CCC is not a public sector body, a commitment to accessibility is at the heart of our practice and extremely important for our work as educators, researchers and independent evaluators.  

At CCC, we advocate for a holistic approach to accessibility that moves beyond legislative requirements. Below we share our accessibility statement, as well as some examples of how we are putting our words into practice within our work and through the resources we produce.   

We are always looking for ways to further develop our practice and understanding of accessibility. If you have any comments, suggestions or ideas about how we can extend and develop this aspect of our work, we warmly invite you to share your thinking through the Padlet Board below.  

Website Conformance Status

Our website (https://ccpathways.co.uk/) is partially conformant with WCAG 2.1 level AA. Partially conformant means that some parts of the content do not fully conform to that particular accessibility standard. Read the latest accessiblity technical overview of our website completed on 14/7/22 including audit with issues addressed.

Accessibility Statements for some of the key digital tools used during training by the CCC team

Our teaching and learning practices

Infographic to visualise SCULPT; Click link for access to textAt CCC, we take a person-centred approach to teaching and learning, which aims to utilise people’s existing strengths and knowledges as experts in their own lives and learning practices.  In order to facilitate equitable teaching and learning opportunities, we continually undertake attentive, dialogical quality assurance processes within the CCC team, helping ensure that the sessions we design, the materials we develop and the platforms and sources of information we advocate are fully accessible. Recently, we have been using Worchester Council’s SCULPT Model as our point of reference, helping us to consider key aspects of resource development, including: Structure; Colour and contrast; Use of images; effective practice for sharing Links; and the use of Plain English.  

Whether our training is facilitated online, as a hybrid activity or face-to-face in a physical environment, the CCC team embrace evidence-informed pedagogical approaches that model effective practice. Much of this evidence base has been built up through the shared experiences and insights from the many hundreds of practitioners we have worked with and supported in the past, resulting in a tacit knowledge base and the utilisation of co-created practices for accessibility that truly resonate with, and meet the needs of, participants. This approach consists of: 

  • Sharing resources and agendas prior to training sessions, so people can access them according to their personal preference (e.g., by changing the colour or font on documents or by putting them through a screen reader).
  • Opening both face-to-face and online training rooms before our training sessions begin, so participants can check their equipment and ensure that they feel comfortable within their learning space.
  • Wherever possible, embedding digital tools within our website, resources and training practices that enable individual users to set their own preferences.
  • Not overloading people with too many different digital tools during training sessions. Instead, we prefer to select a few key digital tools, so people can try them out and develop their confidence in using them. We also strive to only use digital tools that have been developed with accessibility requirements in mind (to read the accessibility statements for some of the key digital tools we commonly use during our training sessions, please see above).
  • Taking an ‘under the bonnet’ approach to accessibility that (where appropriate) makes our pedagogical decision making explicit. By articulating not only what we are doing but why we are doing it, we are able to share our learning with others so they can adapt and contextualise it for their own practice.
  • Creating participatory spaces within our training sessions for meaningful discussion, ideas sharing and creativity around the facilitation of inclusive learning and effective practices for accessibility.
  • Embedding opportunities for digital literacy development, supporting and empowering people to articulate and address accessibility challenges and engage in learning in ways that meet their individual needs.
  • Offering people a choice about how they engage in or respond to a learning activity. For example, in an online training situation, participants may be encouraged to share their responses to a stimulus question using Mentimeter, with the chat function on Zoom also provided as an alternative method of response.  
  • Checking how our teaching and learning content and resources look and how they are accessed on a range of devices. This approach supports us to consider how the materials we use for our training and events is experienced by people who are accessing the session using different devices (for instance via a tablet, mobile phone, face-to-face or on a computer).  
  • Sending a follow-up email or evaluation form following training events, asking people to share their experiences of the training, whether they felt their needs were addressed effectively and to share their ideas about how we can continue to develop and improve our practice.  


Stories from the team about how CCC’s commitment to accessibility works in practice

Our values: continuing to grow and learn


Level 3 Education and Training

Educating Yourself In Prison: An Inside Job

Our film aimed at helping prison inductees new into the regime, to give them some hope and to help them see how valuable education can be on their journey.

SEND + Neurodiversity

SEND + Neurodiversity Training

Supporting Neurodiverse Learners is a foundation course which aims to develop your awareness of how to support trainees who are neurodiverse and/ or have specialist educational needs and disabilities (SEND). You will focus on practical strategies and reasonable adjustments for including all learners on your courses. This course can be amended to ensure it is specific to your organisation and the sector you work in; from community learning to prison or college to industry training.  

If you are interested in any of the above (or to book), please contact us.  

Please note, our preferred method of delivery is online via Zoom. Our training is interactive and will often have an asynchronous activity before the event to help inform the content of the session. However, please let us know if you would prefer to host the session on another platform. Whilst we prefer to work online (read our Sustainability Statement to understand why), we can discuss potentially travelling to deliver an in-person event.  



ESOL + ESOL Awareness

Whilst all our courses are developed with all learners (including ESOL) in mind, we have developed and delivered a series of professional development courses, webinars and input with a specific focus on ESOL awareness development for ESOL teachers. These include:  

  • ESOL awareness (for non-teaching staff) 
  • Supporting ESOL and EAL learners  
  • Action Research  
  • Using phonics approaches  
  • Digital Tools for Assessment for Learning interactive webinar 
  • Digital Literacies using embedded Essential Digital Skills (EDS) course 
  • Supporting ESOL professionals in the screen industry 

However, we are also able to offer bespoke in-house training where we work alongside you and your team to develop something specific for your needs. We have dual specialists on our team with experience in both ESOL and digital; they are keen to work with you to develop training that is specific for your team, department and organisation.  

If you are interested in any of the above, please contact us.  

Please note, our preferred method of delivery is online via Zoom. Our training is interactive and will often have an asynchronous activity before the event to help inform the content of the session. However, please let us know if you would prefer to host the session on another platform. Whilst we prefer to work online (read our Sustainability Statement to understand why), we can discuss potentially travelling to deliver an in-person event.  


Digital Literacies

Digital Literacies

We have developed and delivered a series of professional development opportunities with a specific focus on developing digital practices for teaching, learning and assessment. These include:  

  • Digital Pedagogies course 
  • Digital Literacies using embedded Essential Digital Skills (EDS) course 
  • Embedding digital skills in ‘low-tech’ environments 
  • Digital Tools for Assessment for Learning interactive webinar 
  • Effective online approaches interactive webinar 
  • In addition to a series of platform specific webinars such as: Wakelet, Zoom, PowerPoint and Google Suite. 

However, we are also able to offer bespoke in-house training where we work alongside you and your team to develop something specific for your needs. 

In addition to our group delivery, Claire and Chloë are both digital mentors. If you are a Screen Industry trainer you can access mentor support and view the ScreenSkills specific professional development page. 

If you are interested in any of the above, please contact us.  

Please note, our preferred method of delivery is online via Zoom. Our training is interactive and will often have an asynchronous activity before the event to help inform the content of the session. However, please let us know if you would prefer to host the session on another platform. Whilst we prefer to work online (read our Sustainability Statement to understand why), we can discuss potentially travelling to deliver an in-person event.  


T-Levels CPD: Maths, English and Digital

Supporting technical teachers and trainers to embed maths, English and digital skills within their technical subject teaching.

Equality and Diversity statement

Our Values

Claire Collins Consultancy (CCC) celebrates and values the diversity brought to its workforce by individuals and believes that CCC will benefit from employing a diverse workforce which represents our learner profile and the surrounding communities by providing positive role models for both learners and staff. We promote equality, diversity and inclusion to all our staff and learners and value difference.


General Principles

  • We are committed to equality of opportunity for all employees and learners regardless of their status and will treat all employees with dignity and respect.
  • We will create a positive inclusive ethos with a shared commitment to challenging and preventing stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination between all members of CCC community.
  • We will seek to promote a positive working environment free from discrimination, harassment or victimisation.

Download our full Equality, Diversity + Inclusion Policy

Our values: continuing to grow and learn