Teresa Carroll, ETF

FE News chat with Teresa Carroll, the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) Head of Well-being and Inclusion about the new report on SET members Mental Health and Well-being findings that were released at the annual SET Conference 2019.

Teresa discusses the reporting findings, some of the interesting initial outcomes were that newly qualified and practitioners nearing retirement were the most positive. Interestingly, those newly qualified practitioners in years 1 and 2 post-qualification stage were at the greatest risk of being under stress.

Teresa also pointed out that those teaching staff with real-world experience and particularly those with disabilities flagged a negative experience and Teresa flagged that this is an area in particular that the team are interested in exploring more and addressing this to make it a more positive teaching experience.

Teresa then gives some practical tips to help practitioners with their mental health and well-being.

Please listen to the podcast below to hear more information from Teresa:

The SET member's Mental Health and Wellbeing Report

The reason that we wanted to conduct this research is that there isn't really very much evidence about the state of the FE sector in terms of the staff's experience regarding mental health. So, we conducted a survey with our SET members.

We got over a thousand responses to that, which was very positive. We then followed that up with six focus groups, which got into the detail about what was happening there.

One of the things that we wanted to try and identify was whether there were times in an FE professional's career when they might be more risk to poorer well-being.

What we found was really interesting and the three headlines that came out of the research was:

  1. Support - It's very important who your line manager is, that you have a strong and supportive line manager and that has real bearing on whether you have a good or poor experience at work and impacts on your well-being.
  2. Trust - The second thing is autonomy, and trust is so important, and people feel free to get on with their jobs and they're trusted to do so.
  3. Leadership - And then the last thing is how important leadership is, that organizations are led from the top, where it's important that people feel comfortable in discussing their mental health and are free to talk about whether they're in distress and can receive support around that.

In terms of the pinch points within a career, it's interesting, through the survey it indicated that those that were newly qualified, and those reaching retirement were the most positive, which I think isn't really that surprising.

When we dug into the findings through the focus groups there was something that came out, that between years 1 and 2 of newly qualified teachers that was a risk time, that actually people were more likely to experience stress, and be at risk of leaving the profession. There is something there that we need to actually think about.

The other thing that came out for me, and this is because part of my work is on special educational needs and disability. I'm a real advocate for our profession to have people with real lived experience, so learners see people like that them in their roles. Something that came out of the research was staff with disabilities seemed to be the most negative in terms of their experience.

So, we will be following that up and seeing what's going on there, because it's all very well me saying that it's important for learners to see staff like them, and to encourage more disabled staff into the sector, but if there is something happening there, we need to actually find out what that is.

From the research that you've undertaken, what practical advice can you give to practitioners, to teachers, lecturers, trainers, assessors, to better help with their mental health or well-being for themselves, their learners and their teams?

I would say use what's out there already. That's something that we were very keen on, to make sure that we maximize what's available already. That's why we've partnered up with the Education Support Partnership, with Mind, and Specialist Charity.

The Education Support Partnership offer a free help line for stressed out educators, so we encourage people all the time to make use of that support, they have access to counsellors. They also have a whole range of support offers that they can offer to our sector as well, so tap into that.

The other thing to say is Mind conducted an audit of the best of the resources in the mental health sector, and have created the mental health at work portal, which houses the best of the resources. We've done a bit of a curation of the best of the resources for our particular sector, and they sit on mental health at work.

We would say, if you are working with colleagues, if you are managing colleagues, go and have a look at that, because there are lots of good resources that you can tap into. Everything that I've spoken about there is available on our corporate website. If you tap in the search engine mental health, you'll be signposted to those resources.

With my special educational needs hat on, we recently commissioned three Centres for Excellence in SEND, and they are delivered by:

  1. Weston College: Which has the theme of People.
  2. Derby College: Which has the theme of Curriculum
  3. Norwich College: Which delivers on the theme of Community

Weston College on their theme of people, that is all about making sure that everybody is responsible for special educational needs, and very much about creating an inclusive organization.

They are offering all sorts of support around supporting learners with special education needs, with mental health issues, so I would encourage people to tap into that.


Subscribe to the FE News podcast or visit Gavin's Newsroom on FE News

You may also be interested in these articles:

The Ufi VocTech Challenge – what does it mean for FE? #VocTechFutures Episode 3

Sponsored Video


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

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 Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 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, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

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.


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.


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