Archived spotlight topics

This page details previously spotlighted topics of interest to support the Further Education sector in recovering from the immediate impacts of Covid.

Motivating yourself

At a time of year when days are short and motivation can be hard to find, we have collated a collection of resources to help you, and your learners, find some much needed motivation to start off 2022. You might only have time to explore these 4 Tips for finding self-motivation, or you might want to think about your career progression and achieving your professional potential.

If you are looking for some inspiration on how to delivery even better teaching and learning, Geoff Petty outlines ‘Five steps to improved teaching’ in this blog: sometimes, having some new ideas can provide a spark of creativity.

With many of us making promises for the New Year, this blog from SET explores the reality of fantasising about achieving goals, and why it is we, despite our intentions, fail to achieve such goals.

Come back in a couple of weeks to continue with this theme and read about motivating your learners.

Further resources:

Promoting positive behaviour

Our efforts as educators must go beyond literacy and maths and the range of vocational courses our learners attend. We need to include creating the right environment which will allow learners to build the social, emotional, and behavioural skills they will need to fully access and participate in learning and make the most of their potential and future opportunities. 

Amid the pandemic, we know that our learners have experienced so much. The true extent of the collective ‘trauma’ has become revealed with many learners ‘outing’ this trauma through their behaviour from low level disturbance in the classroom, to immature and disruptive behaviour causing potential safeguarding concerns. 

We can’t unlock students’ potential unless we also address the needs they bring with them to the learning environment each day.  

This spotlight topic provides some practical resources for you to use to support with creating an environment that is emotionally nurturing, something which is fundamental to learner success. 

Resources include a webinarblog, and short publications covering a restorative approachbehaviour intervention and de-escalation strategies, as well as top tips on creating a positive culture and managing behaviour and creating a safe space when teaching online.

Further resources:

Mental health and wellbeing

The FE workforce continues to adapt to ensure that our learners can access their studies in these continually uncertain times. But there is no doubt that the amount of change and uncertainty brought about by Covid-19 is taking a toll on both staff and learners. 

In our webinar Mental health and Wellbeing in FE: the new landscape1, our Centre for Excellence in SEND at Weston College highlights that in a survey by Young Minds 2020, 80% of young people said that Covid-19 had made their mental health worse. And even more worryingly, 25% of young people who tried to access mental health services failed to receive any support. Further, the AoC report on mental health and colleges2 reported that 94% of colleges reported having students who had attempted suicide.

Similarly, Covid-19 has impacted on staff wellbeing. In a forthcoming report on the wellbeing of the FE workforce during Covid-19 by University of Portsmouth due to be released in January 2022, they report a marked increase from pre pandemic responses to the statement, ‘I am thinking about myself in a positive way.’ 

So, what can we do to help? Ensuring that the mental health and emotional wellbeing of both staff and learners is supported from the moment they enter our sector and throughout their time with us is a priority. There are some excellent examples across the sector including Bridgend College, Winners of the 2021 AoC Beacon Award for mental health and wellbeing3, and Weston College’s whole organisational approach to supporting mental health4

1 Mental health and Wellbeing in FEE, webinar
2 Mental health: 94% of colleges report suicide attempts, 28 Jan 2021 tes.com
3 Leading the way for mental health and wellbeing, Bridgend College
4 Emotional recovery language in FE – what’s yours?, SET

Further resources:


Additional support for Further Education and Training recovery

The Education and Training Foundation is highlighting resources for leaders, managers and practitioners in the Further Education and Training sector. This includes online CPD, digital teaching support, webinars, and journals. Please visit the main Futher Education and Training recovery page to see the help that is available.


If you require further information about this project please contact anca.egan@etfoundation.co.uk

This two minute survey will guide us in choosing future spotlight topics. Please come back and fill it in as often as you would like.