Greater Manchester Mental Health in Further Education Evaluation Interim Report

This evaluation considers the impacts of the Greater Manchester Mental Health in Further Education project on the experience of students, staff and strategic working

The evaluation consists of two phases and was conducted by York St John University’s Converge Evaluation and Research Team. It uses a primarily qualitative approach to gather narratives of
the project’s impact and distance travelled from the perspective of those involved. This report shares findings from phase 1 and includes:

  1. Analysis of existing data
  2. Qualitative interviews with mental health leads and senior leadership staff at participating
    colleges. The findings from phase 1 will inform phase 2.

We’ve had training, we’ve had investment, we’ve got Mental Health First Aiders. We’ve got policies, procedures, we’ve got strategies developed with external community support. So it […] is a real positive for the college and our students. The Manchester College Mental Health Lead, 2021

Greater Manchester Mental Health in Further Education Evaluation. Interim Report

Interim findings

  • The number of students in need of mental health support at FE is increasing
  • Through the project’s test and learn process, colleges developed diverse, innovative and effective ways of supporting student mental health
  • All participating colleges reported that the project had a beneficial impact
  • Developing productive and supportive relationships appears to constitute a significant impact of the project
  • The project opened pathways to positive peer relationships, student and staff relationships, and FE partnership working with schools and external agencies and services
  • The project increased the capacity and sustainability of colleges to support student mental health and wellbeing. It enabled them to afford additional staff and resource There are preliminary indications that the project supported an early help model for action before escalation
  • Project activity seems to have had a positive impact on:
    • the mental health and wellbeing of learners involved in the activity
    • the challenges associated with transition from school to college
    • the professional development of staff

Find out more about our mental health in further education colleges programme. This is part of a wider programme for mental health in education