Jane Walton, Education Policy Chair, FSB

Owning and running a business can be hugely rewarding. However, it brings with it demands, responsibilities and risks that can bring personal pressures which can impact a person’s health and wellbeing. When your business is teaching then the additional demands of government agenda, organisational processes and needs of students can be overwhelming.

The Federation of Small Businesses recognises the role Further Education colleges play in developing a skilled workforce, supporting the next generation of employees and helping to upskill and reskill those in employment. As a former FE teacher, college governor and current enterprise educator, I understand the day-to-day pressures of planning, teaching and assessments that can lead to increased levels of stress and ill-health.

Promoting good wellbeing in the workplace can help increase our productivity, improve performance and reduce absenteeism. There is a clear business case that the benefits are felt just as much in our health as individuals, but also by our communities and the wider economy. Research shows poor mental health in the workplace is widespread with around half (48%) of people saying they have experienced a mental health problem in their current job. A culture which recognises the impact that health and wellbeing has on someone’s effectiveness and ability to perform needs to be supported by providing the opportunity for staff and students to ask for help and to access support services when needed.

At FSB we have our own mental health and wellbeing hub which is a central location for information and practical advice for those looking to improve their own wellbeing or that of their employees.

Business owners have a crucial role to play in starting the conversation about mental health in the workplace. They need to lead the way in both destigmatising mental health and acting to help members of our team when they are struggling. There’s never going to be a ‘one size fits all’ approach and not every idea will work for every employer.

A survey by the UCU (University and College Union) in 2014 found that a significant number of respondents cited graded lesson observations as a major cause of stress and anxiety. Having recently been observed under the new OFSTED framework I am pleased to report that the emphasis was much more on whether I felt supported by management through CPD and consideration of my workload in order to teach effectively. The recognition that the context of teaching is as important as the content supports the need for health and well-being to be a strategic priority.

When it comes to successfully and sensitively managing stress in the workplace, it requires different abilities from the employer. Key to this are the need to motivate staff, ensure a support network is in place and providing flexibility where it is required. Small changes can be significant ones too. Always ask yourself if you are sending emails outside of working hours? Have you introduced mental health first aid to all staff? And is mental health and wellbeing part of your health and safety strategy?

In recent times, there has been an increasing emphasis on the need to implement stronger safeguards in the workplace to provide a safety net for staff. This involves creating greater awareness of the signs of symptoms of poor mental health.

Mental health is a huge challenge for everyone in society. Which is why Government, business owners, communities as well as individuals must work together to destigmatise mental health and help to foster an open environment which invites people to feel comfortable to talk about mental health.

Jane Walton, Education Policy Chair, FSB

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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.


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.

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