Sheffield Hallam University

Organisation: Sheffield Hallam University

Location: Sheffield

Sheffield Hallam and Inspiring Governance have been in partnership since 2018 in which time we have worked on a number of joint-enterprises to raise the profile of governance as a great opportunity for employees to serve their community whilst gaining vital experience in a board capacity.

‘Raising attainment and aspiration’

As part of the South Yorkshire Futures Social Mobility programme, Sheffield Hallam University is committed to raising awareness of the importance of school governance.

‘The South Yorkshire Futures Programme is about raising attainment and aspiration in South Yorkshire and we want to use the excellent knowledge and talent in the region to support these aims’

As SHU are playing the lead-role in South Yorkshire Futures, they wanted to start recruitment drive internally, before rolling this out wider.

‘Inspiring Governance provides us with the matching and brokering service that we need to match volunteers to vacancies, as well as delivering us excellent relationship management – IG have always taken the time to understand our social mobility programme drivers’.

‘Well networked with Local Authorities’

The IG platform has, therefore, enabled Sheffield Hallam to focus on recruiting new governors and raising the profile of this work with future governors, local schools, and colleges – knowing that there is a clear and established call to action for anyone who is interested.

‘IG were also extremely well networked with Local Authorities and governing bodies which enabled our governors to access a wide range of support as well and gives us confidence that we are adding value and not duplicating any work in this space’.

‘Rewarding experience’

Becoming a governor, according to the SHU is a rewarding experience which offers a chance to contribute to the region by supporting school leadership, raising educational attainment in the region, as well as to further enhance professional and personal development.

‘The role enables our staff to develop a range of skills such as; strategic leadership; project management; budget control; teamwork and communication; problem solving; recruitment, and much more’.

There is huge opportunity to develop understanding of education policy and practice and how this in turn impacts on our students at Sheffield Hallam as well as our regional social mobility aspirations.

‘Community outreach benefits employees’

Community outreach benefits employees’ personal and professional development – in utilising their knowledge and transferable skills across the region, building up new insights, networks and experience

‘It is also a demonstration of our commitment to being a ‘civic university’ and the important role the university and our staff and student bodies can play in supporting development and outcomes across the region

SHU have also created a new HR policy to reflect the University’s commitment to the role, this includes dedicated staff time being provided to fulfilling the role. Furthermore, SHU have delivered profile raising and recruitment events for staff, and run information stands in staff areas

‘We have created case studies of existing and new governors and created a dedicated staff intranet page with more information about the role and links to other useful information, including more information about our relationship with Inspiring Governance’.

On top of this, the SHU have developed a Governors Network who meet during the year and also have a shared mailing list to share any useful information and best practice, as well as acting as a support network for one another.