Bob Parsons, SET fellow and lecturer of supported learning, is a member of the new East Kent Local Networking Group. He explains why local networking groups are so beneficial to his role as a lecturer and why the group is looking for new members to join from a range of educational and training backgrounds.
I was a lecturer for many years in IT and worked in Guernsey College in the Channel Islands before taking early retirement. I ran a gift shop on the Isle of Sark and eventually came back to the mainland where I was keen to get back into working with students again – simply because I love doing it. I am now a lecturer in the supported learning area of Canterbury College where I work with people with all sorts of barriers to learning.
I was living in Southampton when the Hampshire local networking group was introduced. I attended some of their meetings and liked what I saw, so when I moved back to my home county of Kent I thought it would be worth getting together a similar group.
Diverse range of experience and skills
We currently have four members in the East Kent local network group, each with diverse backgrounds in education. One of our members is working towards QTLS, another is a trainer for ACAS and the other member is a lecturer in hairdressing and beauty therapy – so there’s a fairly wide range of backgrounds.
In special needs, my particular interests are autism and students with visual impairments. This is why it is always useful to meet and talk with other people who have different skills and experiences, so we can learn from one another and promote good practice.
The network events will be an opportunity for people to meet with each other and discuss what they would like out of the group so they can explore their particular interests. They will also provide a forum for people to share ideas, raise questions, and seek advice and guidance.
Book your place on the East Kent local networking event
Our first official meeting is being held on 21 February from 6 to 8pm at Canterbury College. All members within the locality are welcome to attend and you can book online on the SET website. As well as face-to-face meetings, which we expect to run three times a year, we will also try to use the Local Networking Facebook group. Ultimately, we will be listening to what members want and the meetings will be member-driven.