CfESEND blog: supporting people and upcoming webinars at Weston College

Blog by Jacqui Ford, Deputy Principal Curriculum Innovation and SEND at Weston College, for the Centres for Excellence in SEND programme.


With the continuing impacts of Covid-19 and lockdown being felt across our communities and amongst our learners and staff, our primary focus during June has been on mental health and wellbeing. We have listened to our partners who have requested updates on how to support good mental health. Below is a summary of our activities and we’ve got lots of exciting webinars coming up in July so do check out the Centres for Excellence in SEND are on the SEND site

 3 June webinar: Mental health, wellbeing and anxiety: A practical guide exploring support, tools and training:

Over 160 people joined our CfE webinar on 3 June, ranging from FE providers, strategic partners, employers and employability support organisations.  With a national focus on mental health at this time, the webinar covered:

  • Mental health – a national picture;
  • Legislative requirements and employees;
  • Covid-19 and the anticipated impact on mental health and anxiety;
  • Training and development to support employees and learners including Mental Health First Aid, Understanding Mental Health, Understanding Learning Difficulties and Infection Prevention and Control +Covid 19 – all of which can help organisations to identify, react and support learners and staff;
  • Tools and techniques for keeping engaged, supporting good mental health and creating an inclusive culture including BigWhiteWall, BAM, #MyVirtualCollege, Welfare and other services.

 12 June webinar: Supporting good mental health

As a strategic partner to VisitSomerset Tourism Forum, Weston College’s Centre for Excellence was invited to their event to present to members about supporting good mental health.  They were keen to understand the work of the Centres for Excellence and how the best practice that has and continues to evolve, can be used to support members, many of whom offer work experience and/or apprenticeship opportunities to our learners.  Over 100 people attended the webinar reaching across the south-west.

12 June webinar: Transforming the mental health landscape: Embracing virtual transition programmes to support learners’ mental health and address anxiety

129 people registered for this webinar which focused on transitioning learners remotely, in preparation for September 2020.  It focused on sharing insight and knowledge of some of the resources available to assist providers in promoting positive mental health and engagement in a new learning environment at a time of uncertainty and isolation.  The benefits of using a holistic approach to individualise support for learners was outlined with content including:

  • Our virtual on-line approach to supporting learners with mental health to a seamless transition to college
  • Examples of digital technologies to engage learners
  • How to create positivity and reduce anxiety
  • Transition toolkits
  • Resources to support positive mental health

Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about the work of our Centre for Excellence in SEND.  We’re keen to hear from anyone who would like to work collaboratively with us 

Please do get in touch with your suggestions and ideas:

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