Activate Learning to be part of new research collaboration for colleges 

Activate Learning is delighted to announce that it will be part of a new Research College Group which will lead on initiatives to help shape post-16 education and training.  

The group, which will officially launch on Monday 17 May 2021, will be comprised of 10 Further Education and Sixth Form colleges who lead in practitioner research.  

These include, Activate Learning, Ashton Sixth Form College (Stamford Park Trust), Better Futures MAT (Bilborough Sixth Form), Hartlepool College, Coleg Sir Gar and Coleg Ceredigion, Hartlepool College, Lincoln College, Solihull College and University Centre, One Sixth Form, The Bedford College Group and York College. Founder individual members are Mark Beetlestone, Sara-Jane Crowson, Roy Halpin, Peter Shukie and Amy Woodrow. 

The group will seek to raise the profile, standing and value of post-16 education and training through its own research undertaken by its own community, and by leading thinking to develop forms of research and enquiry that reflect the requirements of the sector. 

Sam Jones Chair of the steering committee comments:  “Using practitioner and other forms of research to make organisational decisions is an important part of shaping the post-16 education and training landscape.  Using context rich, locally conducted research can give a unique advantage to these organisations. 

“We hope that through this collaborative work across the UK sector, important insights can be shared within a central point.”    

Anne Haig-Smith, Director of the Applied Learning Foundation at Activate Learning, has led on activity with the research group on behalf of Activate Learning.  

She said: “It’s really important for us to support this initiative and strengthen the research that’s taking place across the FE sector by FE staff.  

“We have been actively undertaking quality research within our colleges to better inform our understanding of our unique sector and to underpin our decision-making in the future. 

For more information on the new Research College Group, go to