How NCFE and Fika brought mental fitness to Further Education
NCFE is a UK-based education charity that provides support for the Further Education sector. Their main objective is to enhance the learning environments in the sector, increase social mobility, and provide better outcomes for both learning and teaching.
The sector was in a crisis during 2021, with the pandemic creating operational challenges and stretching staff in already difficult remote and hybrid working arrangements. Students were also struggling, with 90% of colleges seeing an increase in students diagnosed with mental health conditions.
“There's not much out there like Fika, who are doing something about it on an everyday basis. As soon as I heard about Fika, I thought ‘yes, that's exactly what we’re missing!’”
The NCFE/Fika partnership was formed with the aim of helping staff and learners develop the mental fitness skills that would allow them to be more confident, resilient, and ready to face life's challenges.
Improving mental health in education settings was a huge priority, and together we believed that potential could only be fulfilled if we felt mentally fit.
The impact of Fika
To achieve this, NCFE funding was used to deliver the Fika ‘7 Skills of Mental Fitness’ to 69 FE centres. We registered 22,635 users, delivered 1.5 million minutes of mental fitness training and awarded over 12,000 certificates.
The training improved connection and confidence, leading to better performance in Maths and English. This improvement also has a long-term effect on social mobility by increasing students’ aspirations and goals.
Increasing staff members' confidence skills is linked to reduced stress, burnout, and depression. And boosting teachers' confidence is a strong indicator of positive student outcomes.