Mental health and blended learning provision must be fully funded to meet Estyn recommendations

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ColegauCymru has today welcomed the findings of two thematic reports published by Estyn, looking at both the support available for learners’ mental health and emotional wellbeing; and developments in remote and blended learning practice.

We have long championed the importance of mental health provision in the FE sector. The Covid19 pandemic has seen colleges step up to adapt to a “new normal” with increased numbers of young people learning from home or having to engage in blended learning. As a direct result, there are now new and specific areas of mental health provision required to tackle issues such as digital exclusion and social anxiety. 

ColegauCymru Active Wellbeing Strategy Group Chair Simon Pirotte said,

"We recognise the support given by Welsh Government during the pandemic. These Estyn reports reinforce the need for adequate funding to support mental health and digital provision into the future. FEIs are not just providers of education but are anchor institutions in their communities. They play a pivotal role in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of learners of all ages, in all settings.”

ColegauCymru Chief Executive Iestyn Davies added,

“The publications are certainly a step in the right direction. Welsh Government must now ensure that mental health and digital inclusion provision are fully funded, so as to be able to meet the Recommendations made by Estyn as we progress through continued uncertain times”.

Two of the ColegauCymru Policy Recommendations for the next Welsh Government focus on the need to ensure the wellbeing of learners and staff, and for adequate digital entitlement for all learners. We continue to be committed to working with government colleagues and partners from across the education sector to ensure that the most appropriate provision and support is made available. 

Further information

Estyn Thematic Report
Support for learners’ mental health and emotional wellbeing
23 March 2021

Estyn Thematic Report
Developments in remote and blended learning practice
23 March 2021

ColegauCymru Policy Ask
Entitlement to wellbeing for learners and staff
March 2021

ColegauCymru Policy Ask
Expanding citizens’ entitlement and engagement with education
March 2021

Welsh Government News Item
Welsh Government doubles support for ‘whole school’ approach to mental health
23 January 2021

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