Support to Continue Studying: Greater Manchester Mental Health in Further Education Evaluation Final Report

This evaluation was commissioned by the Association of Colleges to consider the impacts of the Greater Manchester Mental Health in Further Education project on the experience of learners, staff and strategic working.

The evaluation consists of two phases and was conducted by York St John University’s Converge Evaluation and Research Team – a group of researchers with lived experience of mental health challenges that share insight through experience.

This report shares findings from Phase 2 drawing on interviews with staff across a range of roles and colleges, workshops with learners, an online survey and existing project data. A primarily qualitative approach was used to gather narratives of the project’s impact and distance travelled from the perspective of those involved.

For Phase 1 findings you can download the interim report Greater Manchester Mental Health in Further Education Evaluation. Interim Report

The project at a glance

Funding for Greater Manchester colleges to trial innovative approaches to support the mental health of their learners:

  • Developed in response to the 2017 DHSC & DFE Green Paper: Transforming Children and Young People’s mental health provision
  • Support to continue study through prevention, early intervention, and resilience for positive mental health
  • A Test and Learn process – testing new ideas and new ways of working to be shared with others
  • Featuring four key strands: Training, Transition, Trauma Informed Approaches and Social Prescribing
  • For learners aged 16-19 years.
  • The project took place across 3 years from April 2019, it was open to 21 colleges and accessed by 18, and a number of training providers through the Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network.

In summary, greater awareness of mental health – in terms of what it is, the challenges learners may face, ways to support learners, and necessity for focus on staff mental health – was a key aim for the
project, alongside strategic development to ensure ongoing effective working practices for learners to thrive at college.

You can find out more about this programme here

You can download the full report here Support to Continue Studying Greater Manchester Mental Health in Further Education Evaluation Final Report