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20th May 2020

Mental Health Awareness Week: The role of the Progress Leader

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and whilst the mental health and wellbeing of our staff and students is always an upmost priority to everyone at The City of Liverpool College, we’ll be joining organisations across the UK to raise awareness of this subject and talk about the services we have in place to support those who need them.

Over the course of the week, our student support team will be hosting a range of online events, talking about the leading mental health organisations we work with, offering wellbeing tips via our social media channels, and showcasing the fantastic work our staff do to support our learners during their time with us.

In addition to our team of fully trained counsellors, who are on-hand daily to lend support and provide access to a range of health, well-being and safeguarding services, the College’s Progress Leaders are at the forefront of caring for our students. So, to highlight some of their fantastic work, we’ve spoken to Victoria Colquhoun and Nicola Colligan, about their role as Senior Progress Leaders:

Could you tell us more about your role as Senior Progress Leaders at the College?

“As Senior Progress Leaders it is our job to ensure that all students aged 16-18 years, and students with an EHCP up to the age of 25, have an assigned Progress Leader.  We manage the student hubs in each of our College’s learning centres, meaning that students have a place to go for all their pastoral needs, including learner support, mental health, counselling, safeguarding, student finance, and advice and guidance.

“A Senior Progress Leader manages the team and ensures that the team of Progress Leaders has consistent priorities across college. They are involved with the strategic planning of the team and ensuring the right support is in place for all learners and it is effective and timely.”

How many progress leaders are there, and what do they do?

“There are 20 progress leaders. It is their responsibility to manage the progress of all learners and ensure the right support is accessed and promoted for all.  They monitor attendance, progress and performance across all aspects of the study programme. They regularly meet with their students to discuss their progress against their target grades and challenge and support them further to ensure they do the best that they possibly can during their time at The College.



“Progress Leaders deliver a curriculum in tutorials to develop the learner as a person and give them the right skills to cope with college, promoting employability skills and challenging views and ideologies. They liaise with parents and external agencies to ensure that students are supported in their studies and are able to progress.”

Do all students have access to a Progress Leader?

“All of our students aged 16-18 years old (and students with an EHCP up to 25) have an assigned progress leader. Our progress leaders see their students weekly in a group tutorial, within a classroom environment and on a one to one basis each term. Some students are seen more than others, depending on their needs.

“It’s important to note that we would never turn a student away in our hubs if they haven’t been assigned a Progress Leader, we do also support adults when needed too.”

What advice do you have for students at the moment, given the circumstances?

“The key to a successful learning environment is structure. Try and build one whilst on lockdown and stick to it. It is also oaky not to be okay, so don’t be afraid to ask for help and guidance. The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice – make the right one!”

What does Mental Health Awareness Week (of which the theme is kindness) mean to you as a Progress Leader?

“This week gives us a platform to show the right support and promote what we can offer all year round. It gives us an opportunity to remove the stigma of Mental Health and support students with strategies that will help them grow.”

To find out more about the College’s week-long schedule of events for Mental Health Awareness Week, please click here. To access student support services and to find out more about what we offer all year around, please click here.

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