Student support coordinators provide a key student service across FE institutions, contributing to the enhancement of the student experience. They will be expected to engage appropriately and effectively with students who regularly suffer from communication difficulties.
With thousands of learning support staff currently plying their trade in colleges across the UK, a key element of this role is to clearly explain ideas to students. Therefore, communication skills are king.
The fundamental function of the student support coordinator post is to ensure the harmony of the student support system’s administrative and academic contributions, offering a high and dependable level of student support.
The population of 16-18 year olds in Great Britain set to grow significantly between 2020 and 2024, which will lead to more students in further education over this period, thus presenting more opportunities for a pastoral role in the further education sphere.
In February 2020, education secretary Gavin Williamson announced a support package of £24m to boost the further education workforce, which is welcome news for the pastoral side of operations. An NUS spokesperson said: “We hope that this will be used for staff across further education, including teachers, pastoral staff and technicians” to acknowledge the importance of the varied roles within further education.
A raft of further education colleges across the UK signed up to the new Association of Colleges Mental Health Charter in May 2019. This is great news for student support coordinators in that the conversation surrounding mental health in the wider population has intensified in recent times and students in further education will benefit from a greater emphasis being placed on this deeply important issue.
Given that one in five young people aged between 16-24 currently experience a common mental illness, such as anxiety or depression, the commitment to promoting good mental health in further education should be seen as an integral element in the delivery of academic performance. This is especially pertinent considering that president of the Association of Colleges Ian Ashman asserted back in 2016 that colleges had seen a huge increase of 85% in the mental health needs of students.
Jamie Crowle, a student services coordinator at Ofsted Outstanding Callywith College in Bodmin, Cornwall, heads up the student services department at the institution. His role encompasses a wide range of issues, such as counseling, mental health support, finance, careers guidance and sexual health advice.
Underlining the universal nature of the role, Jamie explains that he switched his attentions from a teaching role to the pastoral side of further education. In words that may chime with many of you seeking to pursue a career as a student support coordinator, Jamie explained:
“Seeing young people overcome personal barriers, succeed and achieve, provides a huge sense of satisfaction for me and inspires me to carry out the work I do every day”.
Payscale puts the average student services coordinator role pays an average of £22,672 in the UK. The range of salaries extend from £17,000 to £31,000, depending on experience, geographical location and specific responsibilities.
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