M203 Supporting Student Wellbeing
Personal tutors and academics have a direct role in relation to student wellbeing, as they are often perceived by students as being more immediately accessible than student support services because of the pre-existing personal tutor relationship. Institutions also advise students that their personal tutor is a key personal point of contact. Furthermore, academic and pastoral responsibilities are often related as academic problems frequently have a non-academic cause. Getting the balance right between pastoral and academic responsibilities is challenging and has an element of risk if a referral to specialised services is not made or completed.
What will you learn from engaging in this activity?
- Understand that student wellbeing is a broad concept involving the entirety of student experience – it is not confined to the mental health of students
- Clarify the role of a personal tutor and manage boundaries and expectations in relation to student wellbeing
- Identify and adopt strategies and procedures for effective referral to other student wellbeing services
- Identify training and support needs in relation to student wellbeing
What key concepts will you understand as a result of engaging in this activity?
- Wellbeing requires an Institutional definition
- There is a need for a clear division of responsibility between personal tutors, academic departments, student services and the wider university
- A lack of clarity around responsibility can result in time, effort and emotion being invested in protective, defensive behaviours and activities, and less effective support for students
- Training in relation to student wellbeing is not simply desirable but essential
What essential questions will this activity address?
- What is your institution's definition of student wellbeing? Is the same as your own personal definition? If not why do they differ?
- Do you have a clearly defined role as a personal tutor in relation to student wellbeing?
- Can a student easily find out what your role is in relation to student wellbeing and that of wider student support services within an institution?
- Do you know precisely what wider institutional student services are available to support student wellbeing?
Before you engage in this activity, we recommend that you have studied these UKAT Curriculum activities, or attained equivalent experience.
M209 Managing Students in Distress [Learning Module]
Framework Competencies Addressed
R3. Motivate, encourage, and support students to recognize their potential, meet challenges, and respect individuality