FE+ is a group of colleges located in the Tees valley corridor in the UK. They came together to build on their strategic approach to working with colleagues across the Tees Valley region and synchronise the support offered amongst the colleges.

This case study is a summary of the colleges’ findings when working collaboratively on this project aimed at learning outcomes for learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.

The colleges involved in this ‘cluster’ were:

  • Cleveland College of Art and Design
  • Darlington College
  • Hartlepool College of Further Education
  • Middlesbrough College
  • Redcar and Cleveland College
  • Stockton Riverside College.

Here is an excerpt from the full document which can be downloaded below:

'We met as an FE+ Group team and agreed the areas each college would lead. Activity was shaped and determined by consulting with teaching staff, students, senior management and parents. The group set out an action plan with detailed key targets and deadlines.'


Co-ordination for the project was via the FE+ Operations Manager who monitored all activity. All colleges worked collaboratively to shape the FE+ Group’s strategic and support structures.


The full summary of findings can be downloaded below, however just some of the many key lessons included:

  • It takes considerably longer than you think to gather the data that informs your decisions. Working with and gaining the trust of parents/carers is essential. 
  • Ensure key workers are available at specific times of day to support learners e.g. coming into college, lunchtime and at the end of day for reflective work. 
  • Students really value work experience placements – positive feedback was given by all learners with regard to their placements. 
  • Curriculum model needs to be flexible to meet a wide range of student needs. 

The six institutions involved also provided breakdown of their own achievements and reflections on the project, discussing how they are moving forward from this project, and how the work will be shared out among the ‘cluster’. 

External links