From education to employment

Improving teaching standards and student experience through collaboration – FE Catalyst Learning

A pilot project managed by the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges has enabled staff from eight colleges in the region to strengthen their professional development and curriculum expertise.

The FE Catalyst Learning project was made possible through the development of a cross-college community and funding from the Department for Education. The training project has addressed challenges faced by staff entering further education from industry as well as upskilling existing staff in vocational areas.

The college staff have taken part in training in the following areas:

  • Socratic questioning
  • Belongingness
  • Digitalisation within the classroom
  • Emotion coaching

‘Learning Influencers’ were selected from each college and have collaborated on their learning experiences. These staff are now delivering this training within their own institutions.

The colleges who are benefiting from this collaborative project are:

  • Askham Bryan College,
  • Bradford College,
  • Calderdale College,
  • Kirklees College,
  • Leeds College of Building,
  • Luminate Education Group,
  • Shipley College and
  • Wakefield College.

The training sessions took place online and in person, across the college campuses throughout February and March. At the final Emotion Coaching session, learning influencers, training providers and project manager, Clair Kerry talked about their experiences and the impact of the training on film. Watch the film.

Graeme Blench delivering emotions coaching training to college staff

Longevity and legacy of the collaboration

Not only has FE Catalyst Learning provided exceptional upfront training and motivation, but the project will now provide a rich hub of useful learning resources for the participating colleges and staff.

An online community platform has been created for the participating colleges, enabling them to share materials, experiences and continue to collaborate to improve student experience.

Colleges are already seeing an impact on their students and staff including examples of the belongingness techniques that help students to feel part of the college environment and ready to learn, tackling issues faced as a result of the pandemic.

Clair Kerry, WYCC Project Manager – “Key to the success of the project has undoubtably been the collaborative approach led by the Learning Influencers who have undertaken and cascaded the training. The suite of training itself will serve as a long-term road map to supporting professional teacher development. We are delighted that positive impacts have already been recognised by the project including changes to new staff induction programmes as well as recognised improvements in student engagement.”

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