It doesn’t have to be this way

A resource for practitioners to open up conversations with learners about healthy relationships.

This resource was developed alongside KJ Consulting on behalf of the Education and Training Foundation. It was published in 2020.

In 2019, the NUS released a report outlining students’ experiences and perceptions of sexual harassment, violence and domestic abuse in the Further Education sector. This is such an important and sensitive subject that needs to be kept in view. As such, the ETF commissioned us to create a resource for practitioners to open up conversations with learners.

The set of materials, ‘It doesn’t have to be this way’, are designed to help teachers, trainers and support workers facilitate discussions with groups of learners about healthy relationships. The resource includes a session plan, Powerpoint presentation, discussion cards and other useful information. It is intended for use either with students in person, or virtually on platforms such as Teams or Zoom.

Ultimately, they are designed to open conversations about what healthy relationships are and provide the opportunity to delve deeper – where it is appropriate to do so – into issues around sexual violence. They aim to inspire learners to build campaigns in their own organisations that will speak to their peers.

The resources are currently exhibited on the ETF website and can also be downloaded below.

Access Resources


Below is a selection comments received during our evaluation stage:

highly informative and highlights an issue I was not aware of previously.
Resources accessible and a simple programme to follow.
The campaign is very effective and gives the students ownership to ensure everyone is part of the same mission


I really like the range of tasks because I think they would help to engage learners in a meaningful way. For example; opportunities for small group discussions and then feeding back to discuss in the bigger group, watching a video, contributing ideas. I also thought that the facts and statistics included were very powerful and useful.


I really like the idea of pitching this to learners as a campaign. This gives learners autonomy to develop current, learner-centred resources that will resonate with their peers. I also like how this approach will help learners develop a range of skills (project management/ marketing/ creative approaches etc).


I think they’re great. There is clearly a need to encourage this conversation with learners and I think the discussion cards are a great way to increase their awareness of the issues while helping them to feel more comfortable talking about the topics.


I feel these resources will be really useful; there’s a gap for materials such as these for FE/ post 16 learners.


They could be incredibly useful and promote a different way of teaching and learning that is really empowering for the learners.