Nick Warren, Interim Manager, Consultant and Author.

Let me tell you a story... Are you sitting uncomfortably? Then I’ll begin!

Everyone loves a good story. In fact, if you think about it almost everything we do in our lives is made sense of through stories.

We read newspapers and books, tell jokes and anecdotes, watch soaps and films and documentaries. We gossip.

We walk past people in the street and we overhear someone saying, “You’ll never guess what happened next….” Or, “Then she said,…………….” And we are tempted to slow down a little.

We read stories to our children and give books to our friends. We especially like stories about people.

FE teems with people with amazing stories to be told.

We have some wonderful stories to tell, but so often we seem to get it wrong.

We should never underestimate the compelling power of the human interest story, yet we miss so many opportunities.

Let me tell you a story...

I worked at a college a couple of years ago where they used student stories. There were boards on the walls with nice pictures of students and some text.

But all the text described was their experiences of their course. “I love my BTEC at x college, they have such good equipment and the tutors are so helpful etc. etc.” Admit it, we’ve all seen them.

The trouble is, and I got some death stares once for saying it to a room full of curriculum managers, no one wants to do a course.

No one! A course is a sort of necessary evil. My son is studying Drama at university. He doesn’t want to do a Drama degree, he just wants to be an actor. I’m sure he’s enjoying it, but he’s looking to what happens when it’s finished.

A course is just a route from A to B. To be fair, some colleges get it. “I came from X school and learnt all about Motor Vehicle Engineering at Y College and now I am a mechanic for the Mercedes racing team and travel all over the world.” Wow!

“I studied A levels at Z College, got into Oxford and now I work in publishing in London.” Wow.

We tend to like tales of adversity overcome, or of people who surprise themselves. They are more dramatic.

We also miss a huge trick with stories about our teaching staff.

Let me tell you a story...

About 4 years ago I was working in a college and sent out an all staff e mail asking the question, “How interesting are you?” with an invitation to come and tell me about their experience and expertise.

What happened next was extraordinary.

First through the door was Val.

Val was in charge of animal care and approaching retirement. She had had a varied career, including a spell as a Customs Officer searching boats for contraband, but she had got into FE and changed career.

Every summer, and I think she still does it, she went to Texas for 6 weeks and turned into a cowgirl, rounding up cattle on horseback and branding them. Wow!

Then came Jim.

He taught computing. It turned out he had honed his computer skills in the RAF when he was seconded to the USAF Top Gun high performance jet fighter school in Nevada.

Then there was Sue, who taught airline cabin crew.

She had worked for a private charter airline and had a fund of tales about William and Harry, Alan Sugar, George Harrison, King Hussein of Jordan and Paul Gascoigne, several of them unrepeatable. She hadn’t learnt it from books, she’d lived it.

Yet no one knew these things about them. We told their stories in a campaign, and the stories of many others too.

We used the strap line, “You could learn a thing or two from him/her”.

The message was that college staff were experienced experts in their fields. Who’d have thought it?

I tried it again in a different college about a year or so ago. Guess what happened next. Yup, amazing people with amazing stories which they had never been given the chance to tell.

Powerful stories can have a big impact on prospective students. Here’s an idea. Put out an all staff e mail. Ask for their stories. You will be delighted by what happens next.

Nick Warren, Interim Manager, Consultant and Author.

Nick is a member of the Policy Consortium

Do you have an amazing story, or have you asked your staff for their stories? FE News would love to hear them! Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or comment below.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Video Advert

Newsroom Activity

Which Will Be The First College? is now a featured video. 14 hours 54 minutes ago

Which Will Be The First College?

Stefan Drew of https://www.mediaset.co.uk/stefan-drew/ looks at the College of the Future .. # CollegeComm #CollegeoftheFuture Remember the first...

Stefan Drew shared a video in channel. 14 hours 59 minutes ago

Which Will Be The First College?

Stefan Drew of https://www.mediaset.co.uk/stefan-drew/ looks at the College of the Future .. # CollegeComm #CollegeoftheFuture Remember the first...

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