Festival of Student Governance 2021

The Biggest Student Governor Event Is Back For 2021!

Unloc in partnership with the Association of Colleges and supported by The Blagrave Trust are pleased to bring back the Festival of Student Governance for 2021, to raise the profile of student governors and train them up for their roles at the UK’s largest further education event.

Held at the Birmingham International Convention Centre, The Festival of Student Governance brings together young people from across England for governance training that ensures they are knowledgeable, supported, and prepared for the responsibility being given to them in their role.

They’ll develop their leadership abilities and attend workshops that will focus on key skills and practical knowledge for governance. Importantly they will also have the opportunity to meet and network with clerks, principals and other student governors from around the country.

Student governors will  become equipped with practical skills and knowledge, hear inspirational guest speakers, and develop abilities that will empower them to deliver positive influence and change at their college. 

Our dynamic one day conference includes overnight accommodation, interactive workshops, bespoke training, inspiring guest speakers and a networking dinner.

Your student governors’ attendance will also recognise your college’s continued commitment to providing the very best support and training to its governance representatives. 

Programme Outline

Delegates will check into the Ibis Birmingham New Street Hotel from 5pm on Monday 15th November. At 7pm that evening there will be a networking dinner event where all attendees can meet, get to know each other, enjoy a meal and hear from our inspirational guest speakers. 

The next morning on Tuesday 16th November delegates will enjoy breakfast, then head to the Birmingham International Convention Centre for a 9am – 4pm conference event, filled with engaging workshops, training, lunch, guest speakers and immersive activities.


Thanks to a heavily subsidised ticket we are pleased to offer delegate passes at £75 each. 

This includes the conference, all food, entertainment, and overnight accommodation. 

Delegate passes are offered on a first come first served basis. There are a limited number of places available – so be sure to reserve a place for your delegates sooner rather than later.


What’s included in the ticket price?

The cost per delegate is a £75 contribution. This heavily subsidised price covers all accommodation, meals, guest speakers, refreshments and training. The only thing not included is travel to and from the event, which is to be met by the delegate or their college.

What accommodation is provided?

Delegates will be staying at the Ibis Birmingham New Street Hotel, Arcadian Centre, 21 Ladywell Walk, Birmingham B5 4ST. All rooms are single occupancy and will be assigned to delegates by Unloc staff. Delegates will be accompanied to and from the ICC by Unloc staff.

Do delegates have to attend from Monday evening or can they simply visit the conference on the day?

We would strongly encourage students to attend the networking dinner on Monday evening, as it provides a great forum for networking and mixing with other student governors, a selection of engaging guest speakers of huge benefit, and also ensures that our delegates are on time bright, early and rested for the conference the next morning. Travel delays, missed transportation and forgotten test results and paperwork can severely impact on the conference and what the delegates get out of the day. In the event that they absolutely cannot attend on the Monday evening please contact us directly so we can discuss the available options.

Who will be overseeing the overnight stay and event?

Unoc staff will be on site to oversee all young people attending the event, and will take responsibility for supervising students at the Ibis Hotel. We expect delegates to behave in a respectful manner at all times during the event. Please be aware that all consumption of alcohol – regardless of age, is strictly prohibited both at the hotel and at any time during the conference. Failure to comply with this will result in a delegate’s place being cancelled and their return home. All Unloc staff have enhanced DBS certificates as issued by the Disclosure and Barring Service, and will also be staying on-site at the hotel.

What safety precautions regarding Covid-19 will be taken?

All delegates attending the conference must comply with all Covid 19 safety requirements and regulations contained in the contract with the Ibis hotel and the ICC and Unloc. 

This includes the requirement for all delegates to show evidence of a negative lateral flow test taken on the day of arrival. 

Unloc reserves the right to refuse access to the event if a Student Governor cannot provide their test result evidence (e.g. a photograph taken with the negative test result clearly shown). Students should also report their negative test result via the NHS app. Unloc staff will be following strict safety protocols including daily testing, the use of single hotel rooms, and enhanced hand washing. For your reassurance, the Ibis hotel has obtained the ALLSAFE elevated cleanliness and prevention label, verified by Clifton. This ensures that hygiene and prevention measures meet the highest standards. Unloc will require all students to stay in their own rooms following the Dinner. The International Convention Centre is committed to providing safe and secure environments for customers, visitors, staff, contractors and partners. In order to achieve this, they have a number of measures in place. They call this Venue Protect. Full details can be found here at www.theicc.co.uk/protect

What happens if another lockdown decision is made by the government, or the event has to be cancelled due to a change in Covid-19 restrictions?

Should the event be cancelled for any reason, including a change of government policy regarding Covid restrictions, we will refund the amount of £50 per delegate. The remaining amount will be required to cover administration costs connected to cancellation of accommodation and catering.  In the unlikely event this does take place we will provide free access for your student governor to a one day live digital Festival of Student Governance event that will take place on Tuesday 16th November similar to that in 2020.

Get In Touch

Have a question? Email Jo Burfitt on jo@unloc.org.uk.