Blackpool 2011 “Our World Our Future”
Blackpool Council will host the 107th North of England Education Conference (NEEC) which will be held at the Hilton and Imperial Hotels from 5th to 7th January 2011. This unparalleled event is an outstanding opportunity for senior decision makers in education, Children’s Services, the public sector, associated agencies and organisations to meet.
What is the Virtual Staff College? The Virtual Staff College is the Professional Development arm of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services Ltd (ADCS). The College designs and organises professional development opportunities for local authority children’s services and children’s trust managers, advisers and practitioners working in the leadership, management and delivery of services to children, young people and families throughout the UK.

We are supported by a wide range of organisations such as; the Association of Directors of Education in Wales (ADEW), the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES), Discovery Learning in England, the Regional Training Unit (RTU) in Northern Ireland, the Local Government Improvement and Development (formerly IDeA) , The Department for Education, The Welsh Assembly Government and the Scottish Government.

Come and Join us! You will hear key national and international figures speak who are entertaining, cutting edge and inspirational! You will have the opportunity to follow your own professional interests from a diverse and exciting programme. You will meet others and share opinions, challenges and successes. You will visit the nation’s most popular beach resort – which attracts more than 10 million visitors a year! There will be opportunities to experience the traditional aspects of the town and also to see how we are transforming the nation’s premier resort into a world-class destination.


The College has been established to support the development of leadership and management capacity in local authorities and their Children’s Trust partner organisations and, through this, contribute to the improvement of locality services for children, young people and families.

The conference is now aimed at: All the professions within Children’s Services Major partners who help deliver Every Child Matters – such as those who work in Health, Police, voluntary sector organisations and as school governors Key elected members Those engaged in research and higher education
As the CPD arm of ADCS, the College will seek to:
Develop current and future leaders Provide timely and appropriate CPD opportunities for all ADCS members Horizon scan and anticipate emerging challenges for local authorities and their CT partners Support and lead on new developments to meet these challenges Be instrumental in developing the “collective intelligence” of the children’s services community Respond to systemic and organisational changes in children’s services

Our Logo

The opportunity to work on live briefs is one of the most exciting aspects of studying at Blackpool and The Fylde College’s School of Art, Media and Performance. That’s why the School was absolutely delighted when the Education Department at Blackpool Council approached them with a brief to design a logo for the NEEC (the North of England Education Conference) being hosted in Blackpool in 2011.

As logo design is one of the key activities of any graphic designer the brief naturally fell to students in the second year of their National Diploma in Graphic Design. Moreover, to give them a real taste of what working in the industry can be like, the students had just one day to turn around their ideas. Fundamental to any design concept for this brief was the fact that the logo had to reflect both the nature of the event and also its location. Equally, the design had to work on both a large and small scale, ideal as a podium backdrop but also workable on much smaller items like conference literature and merchandise.

Several designs were highly commended, but the eventual winner was Sam Sharples whose design features on this website and who is pictured on this page.

Sam received a £50 prize together with a pen already featuring his newly designed logo from Blackpool Council’s David Lund in an informal presentation in the College’s new gallery space last October. Although Sam will hopefully be at university (where he is planning to study Graphic Design) by the time the Conference takes place, he has every intention of accepting the invitation to see his work on show at the event itself: “This project has really brought home to me what being a graphic designer is all about. Seeing my work at the Conference will be amazing.”

Paul Sealey, Programme Leader for Graphic Design, says of the project: “We cannot stress enough how important it is for our students to have opportunities to work on ‘live’ briefs. Not only does it allow them to demonstrate their creativity, but also, it makes them aware of the importance of ensuring their design ideas are commercially viable. I’m very proud of what all the students have achieved and delighted for Sam whose work will enjoy such visual prominence.”