West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges

28 March 2022

Pioneering collaborative training of FE staff will see new resources replicated across multiple colleges

FE Catalyst training has been delivered to a partnership of colleges from across West and North Yorkshire. As initial sessions end, the continued success of the project will be in curriculum collaboration.

Funded by the Department for Education, the training has been designed to address challenges faced by staff entering further education from industry, as well as upskilling existing staff in vocational areas. The training has been attended by ‘Learning Influencers’, who will share the knowledge within their eight respective colleges. This will help to ensure that there is longevity and legacy from the project.

Emotions Coaching

The last of the preliminary training sessions took place on Thursday 24 March, with a focus on Emotions Coaching. Delivered by expert coach and trainer Graeme Blench and hosted by Leeds College of Building. Graeme has a wealth of experience in FE, both as a Head of Department and Vice Principal within two colleges. Graeme is also a trained therapist and was an Ofsted inspector for nine years.

The Emotions Coaching session looked at how FE staff can use empathy and validation to enable problem solving within colleges. Participants discussed how being regulated in intense situations can enable them to better handle student conflict.

Graeme - “You don’t need to be a qualified professional to be an emotions coach, it’s an intervention that can be used in life and work.”

The group learned about the ways children's backgrounds can have an adverse effect on behaviour and how some of these have been magnified by the pandemic. After looking at the circumstances that feed into certain behaviours, the group then moved on to understanding how they can help and motivate students.

Replicating across the colleges

A key aspect of the session was that the Learning Influencer participants gained techniques for replicating the training to colleagues. The group discussed potential resistance to the training and how this could be overcome.

Graeme - “There’s no need to be rigid with the specific steps identified in the training, the key thing is following the principles learned here today.

“One great way to show the value of this Emotions Coaching training, is to show a pie chart. The pie chart should outline the time taken to learn Emotions Coaching vs the time taken to manage behaviour without the correct skills in place. Emotions Coaching will help everyone to do their job more effectively.”

Great participant feedback

One participant commented on a previous session delivered by Graeme - “You would not believe the difference the Belongingness training has made to our students, even reception staff have commented on it.”

The group then discussed how the training is specific to each college and how to adapt the session to time constraints. Graeme advised that students themselves could also be trained to be emotions coaches and that a great place to start is with early adopters.

One project partner said - “I’ve already got so many ideas about how we will replicate this in our college.”

A short film about the success of the FE Catalyst project is coming soon. This film captures feedback from facilitators, participants and shots of the training in action.

The colleges that have taken part in the training are Askham Bryan, Bradford College, Calderdale College, Kirklees College, Luminate Education Group, Leeds College of Building, Shipley College and Wakefield College.


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