Stoke on Trent College is one of the first in the UK to secure the Government backed Healthy Further Education College standard, for its pioneering work to promote the health and wellbeing of its staff and students .
The College joins just 25 further education colleges across the UK holding the nationally-recognised title.
Supported by the The Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) Department of Health (DH), Innovation and Skills (BIS) the Healthy FE framework works with colleges to make health and wellbeing an integral part of college life – and to support colleges’ community leadership role.
The main themes are healthy eating, physical activity, mental health and emotional wellbeing, alcohol and drugs misuse and sexual health.
To achieve the award, the College demonstrated a commitment to continuous improvement in the range and level of health support services for its staff and students – and its work with local health support services and organisations.
It also highlighted how it actively engages staff and students in the promotion of health and well-being, which in turn leads to increased performance and achievement.
Lynn Tindale the Assistant Director of Learner Support Services at Stoke on Trent College, said: “We have worked really hard over the past 12 months to achieve the recognition award and are very proud that we can offer such excellent Health and Wellbeing support services within the College setting.”
Stoke on Trent College has introduced a range of initiatives dedicated to supporting students’ health and wellbeing. These include two new student advice centres, called Multi Agency Centres (MACs) located on both the Burslem and Cauldon Campuses.
Offering extended support to students with any kind of health or emotional problem, MAC Centres will be open for students to “drop in” and talk to a trained professional about any issue or problem they are facing.
Dealing with all aspects of health problems, the MACs have three fully qualified counsellors who are ready to talk to anyone in need, along with a teenage advice officer.
They also allow the College to link in with a wide range of other support services across the city for young people.
The Healthy FE framework has been awarded just weeks after Stoke on Trent College achieved another accolade for its work to meet the needs of young people.
After a challenging judging process, the College received the highest accolade – the Gold Standard – in the Quality Awards scheme, run by the Stoke on Trent Children and Young People’s Trust.
Lynn Tindale added: “We are really committed here at the College to developing high quality Health and Wellbeing Services for our students.
“We work in partnership with other local and regional health services, local authorities and the voluntary sector to access the best possible services in house.
“The Health and Wellbeing of our staff and students is paramount, and these services improve not only the quality of life, but also students’ performance and achievement too.”