Does the role of personal academic tutor have an impact on staff wellbeing?

Augustus, Jo ORCID logo ORCID: , Goodall, Dawn and Williams, Briony (2023) Does the role of personal academic tutor have an impact on staff wellbeing? Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 28 (4). pp. 693-719.

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This paper explores the experience of acting as a personal academic tutor (PAT) at a medium sized University in the West Midlands. The researchers aimed to establish the robustness of the PAT system, with a focus on wellbeing of both staff and students. This research took place within the context of growing concerns for student and staff wellbeing. A thematic analysis (n) 26 full time employees with at least 1-year PAT experience identified 3 key themes; self, others/ systems and resilience. Subordinate themes within each include; Burden, self as context, mental health, resilience, boundaries, deployment, experience systems and support. The researchers then re-examined the thematic data through the lens of Transactional Analysis. Karpmans’ (1968, 40-42) drama triangle became evident in the development within the PAT student relationship and its incumbent complexity. The effects on staff wellbeing were discussed and found to have both positive and negative consequences. As part of future PAT training the researchers would suggest using the drama triangle for staff to reflect honestly on current positions in their PAT relationships. This should present possibilities in each relationship of movement towards the winner's triangle and reduce the emotional burden of the PAT while increasing student self-efficacy.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Research in Post-Compulsory Education
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Group
ISSN: 1747-5112
Departments: Institute of Health > Centre for Excellence in Paramedic Practice
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Depositing User: Jo Augustus
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2023 14:52
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 15:45


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