Dr. Brian Marien, Founder and Director of Positive Group

For colleges across the UK, June 2017 marked the results of the first Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) assessment, a new scheme designed to provide a rigorous review of teaching and learning in further education institutes. Of the 106 assessed, 14 further education colleges achieved gold status, 46 silver and 31 bronze*, and while the proportion of institutes achieving the top ranking is undoubtedly encouraging, there remains the question of how those with lower ratings can improve their standing.

The TEF assessment considers a broad range of variables, with examples including teaching quality and student satisfaction. Clearly, there are a great number of factors which influence these variables, and as such, a simple solution for improvement is difficult to offer. However, advances in neuroscience, human psychology and the medical sciences have made it quite apparent that the importance of psychological wellbeing cannot be disputed.

Our psychological wellbeing affects every aspect of our lives. Regardless of age or circumstance, a prolonged disruption can have a significant detrimental effect upon an individual’s cognitive functioning, physical health, relationships, satisfaction and overall quality of life. The impact of change and uncertainty is a leading risk factor in psychological wellbeing, and in further education environments, where the navigation of transitions and changing requirements is so fundamental, it is easy to see how an absence of support might affect staff and students – and in turn, assessment ratings.

The question, then, becomes how we might use our knowledge of human psychology and wellbeing to bring about a positive change within education environments.

Across the 2016–2017 academic year, Positive Group worked with students from Reading University to deliver cognitive and behavioural tools and techniques designed to manage pressure and build resilience. These evidence-based tools encouraged self and social awareness of moods and emotions, with an emphasis on normalisation and the importance of perception rather than eliminating ‘negative’ experiences. At the end of the programme, 89% of surveyed students reported an increased ability to control unnecessary worries, 69% an increased ability to focus on academic work and 70% an increased ability to deal with pressure and setbacks.

While the importance of supporting the student population remains for colleges, the greater contact hours and more intimate relationships between staff and students in these environments puts the teaching population more directly in the spotlight. It is now widely acknowledged that emotions and behaviours are contagious. Indeed, data collected by Positive found 84% of sampled staff agreed or strongly agreed that their moodstate impacts the behaviour of their students, and as such, it may be deemed futile to attempt to achieve a positive change in the student population without similar support for staff.

On a practical level, there is in fact an extremely strong argument for centring psychological wellbeing initiatives on staff. In the first instance, supporting staff to better manage stress and pressure means quality of teaching is less likely to suffer during challenging periods. As well as improving assessments of teaching, such consistency will immediately affect students’ experiences and satisfaction. However, as educational specialists, staff are also ideally placed to deliver training to students.

By helping staff to improve their own psychological wellbeing and then supporting them to pass on their learning to students, colleges can drive change at the multiple levels required even with significant time and financial restrictions.

The world of further education can involve great pressure, change and uncertainty for staff and students alike. As assessment frameworks become more intelligent and comprehensive, institutes wishing to succeed must decrease their reliance upon simple, tick-box style solutions, and instead, adapt their approaches to acknowledge the bigger picture and the true complexity of their human elements. For education institutes of all kinds, a commitment to psychological wellbeing and the support of social and emotional learning provides the very real opportunity to improve assessment scores and, most importantly, to help students and staff at all levels to fulfil their true potential.

Dr. Brian Marien, Founder and Director of Positive Group - specialists in evidence-based programmes to improve psychological wellbeing and build resilience enabling individuals and teams to fulfill their potential.

*the remaining 15 FE colleges received a ‘provisional’ rating, meaning they did not have sufficient data to be fully assessed

positive logoAbout Dr Brian Marien, Founder & Director, Positivegroup.org: Dr Brian Marien is a Founder and Director of Positive Group, a Doctor of Medicine and a health psychologist. He studied cognitive and behavioural psychology at Kings College London and wrote his master’s thesis on occupational stress and ‘burnout’.

Over the past 10 years he has worked collaboratively with a highly experienced team of psychologists and neuroscientists at Positive Group to combine research-based knowledge, practical cognitive techniques and adaptive behaviours that are readily integrated into day to day life. He has worked with senior leadership teams to embed ‘Positive Programmes’ in Asia, USA, Australia, UK and Europe.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 1 hour 6 minutes ago

Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers 2020

Join us as we announce the Nation’s Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers, presented by Martin Birchall, Managing Director of High Flyers, and Chanise...

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 1 hour 7 minutes ago

RT @FENews: Preparing for an Apprenticeship Audit (Zoom Conferencing): Education and Skills Funding Agency funding rules and requirements a…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page