The machinery of government changes, proposed in the ‘Raising Expectations’ white paper, require the further education sector to tackle new challenges and to prove its excellence. The restructuring of the sector and the shift of funding responsibilities to local authorities also means that the sector has more opportunities then ever to take hold of its own fortune and further build its reputation. Strong leadership is needed in the sector as the raising of the learning leaving age to 18 demands the effective delivery of new entitlements for young people. Collaboration within the sector and with local authorities and employers is essential, particularly when delivering qualifications such as the Diplomas. Bringing together heads of schools and colleges, learning providers, local authorities and employers, this conference looked at the challenges and opportunities arising from structural changes proposed in the latest white paper. It also considered how an increasingly self-regulated sector will be able to ensure its own good reputation and deliver excellent provision in a demand-led environment.