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From the 26th February to the 1st March is Colleges Week!

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The Association of Colleges have announced that this week, Monday 26th February until Friday 1st March, is Colleges Week 2024!

Colleges Week 2024 has been brought forward this year as this is set to be a big year for further education. The theme for this week is Political Influencing, which is particularly relevant ahead of a general election some time in 2024.

As part of this theme, the Association of Colleges is encouraging Colleges to get involved in the campaign so that further education is high on the agenda ahead of the Spring Budget, Mayoral Elections and expected General Election taking place this year.

The Association of Colleges has 5 asks of colleges in order to shape the conversation around further education this week.

Engaging with politicians will help you to get your message across and have any issues you have faced as a college heard. It is also beneficial for your students to show them how to engage with local MP’s and communicate their thoughts and ideas.

You can invite local candidates to a hustings event, invite them to speak with staff and students and encourage them to take part in the Colleges Week parliamentary debate

College Week is the perfect time to get students engaged in the education system and encourage them to voice their opinions.

Students can register to vote from the age of 16 in England (although they can’t vote until 18) so encourage them to register. There is a student voter registration drive next week and you can find out more information by signing up to The Politics Project newsletter here

Colleges Week is the perfect time to take advantage on the media focus on the further education sector and obtain local media coverage of your college and all the great work that you do.

You could pitch an interview with your college principal discussing what you would like from the incoming government, invite the media to visits from politicians or provide case studies from your college to the media.

Social media is a great way to reach lots of people with your message. You can use Colleges Week to draw attention to the further education sector and your college.

On Wednesday 28th at 12pm colleges will be sharing their short and long term asks for the government, you can find the social media resources here. Why not join in or re-share other’s posts ahead of the Spring Budget which will be announced on the 6th March.

The relationship between colleges and local employers and organisations is vitally important.

You could use College Week in order to showcase and strengthen these connections by inviting employers into college to speak to students or attend events with MP’s.

You can also use this opportunity to talk about any successful collaborations your college has had with local employers.