‘A Practical Guide to Becoming a Healthy College’ is an important new contribution to the advancement of Health in Education – and is the first publication of its kind in the country!
As a leading authority on the subject of Health - Jane Marshall, the Healthy College Manager at Bradford College, has been instrumental in helping to reform the health and wellbeing culture at the College – with spectacular results. Confident, healthy, and personally fulfilled staff and learners are just some of the benefits Bradford College has enjoyed since Jane Marshall’s appointment in 2007.
Bradford College is also one of the first colleges in the country to officially be recognised as a Healthy Further Education College.
Jane Marshall wanted to communicate her message to a wider audience, following national demand for more information on how to become a Healthy College. She came up with the concept for the book: ‘A Practical Guide to Becoming a Healthy College’, co-authored by Bradford College Journalist, Helena Stylianou.
Speaking about her latest initiative to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of staff and students across the country, Jane explained: “The book is for anyone working in a college, wanting to implement the Healthy FE programme. The book should be used as a guide. You don’t have to use all the information and resources contained within it. You can dip in and out and use the information in a way that lends itself to an FE environment.”
Jane continued: “I’m over the moon with the book. I think it will really help other colleges that are just starting out on the journey that we’ve been on for quite a while.”
The whole college approach to improving health and wellbeing services for staff and learners at Bradford College resulted in many positive outcomes. Improved diets and eating patterns helped students keep alert, which in turn contributed to improved success rates. This impact has resulted in a £700k increase in Bradford College’s funding contract.
Stress levels used to be very high at Bradford College, particularly for staff; now they are the second lowest in the country. Staff absenteeism rates dropped considerably. In 2007, the national average for colleges with over 750 employees was 4.48%; in contrast the absenteeism rate for Bradford College was 3%; A saving for Bradford College against any public sector benchmark of at least £390k.
In addition, Bradford College’s Healthy FE work meant that it achieved the ‘Investors in People: Work Life Balance kite mark and was also awarded a Grade 1 Outstanding by Ofsted for Every Child Matters: Being Healthy. Bradford College has also received national acclaim as one of the first colleges in the country to officially be recognised as a Healthy FE College.
Jane elaborating further on why the book came to fruition said: “Whist attending regional Healthy College Meetings I’d been asked how I’ve done it. It’s such a big programme that it’s quite difficult to convey everything in an hour as there’s so much to say.”
“I think it will fast track everyone – a book full of ideas that they can put into practice in their own college.” Bradford College was the first to appoint a Healthy College Manager. There are now more and more positions like Jane Marshall’s appearing in the Education sector, so there is now growing demand for direction on how to roll the model out on a national scale. Jane continued: “It’s a way for them to implement a Healthy College Programme quickly and efficiently to get it up and running, so we’re all at the same standard. We’re all offering health initiatives to staff and students, that’s why I wanted to share the knowledge I’ve gained because I want everyone to benefit.”
Jane Marshall is the pioneer behind the success of Bradford College gaining Healthy College Status and has been singled out for praise by the government for her work in this area.
When asked if Jane had received any feedback from other institutions about the book, Jane replied: “We’ve had some great feedback! Colleges that have been given a sneak preview have said they’ve found the book an invaluable tool to assist their college in developing a Healthy College ethos.”
When asked how Jane Marshall would feel if every college and university in the country implemented a Healthy College model, Jane replied: “That would be the ideal! For everyone to take this seriously and realised how important heath is. We can’t operate without our health, we can’t work, look after ourselves or our families - health is absolutely at the centre and foundation of everything we do emotional and physically.”
Jane Marshall’s ideas have met with unprecedented success – making it possible for colleges and universities across the country to see how a whole college approach to improving health and wellbeing services for staff and learners can result in positive outcomes.