Sheffield Hallam becomes the first University in the UK to sign the School Governor Champion charter

Sheffield Hallam has become the first University in the UK to sign the School Governor Champion charter, pledging to encourage and support staff to be governors in local schools. This 5-step charter has been developed by Inspiring Governance, a national school governor recruitment service, as a call to action for employers across the country to sign and act as an advocate for school governance opportunities. The Inspiring Governance service is based around an online platform connecting volunteers, especially those with business-related skill, from a range of diverse backgrounds, to schools and colleges seeking to fill governor and trustee vacancies.

As a University and a key employer in the region, Sheffield Hallam has been working with the service for almost two years, encouraging staff to participate. As well as implementing a governor’s network to bring together staff across the university who volunteer as governors and allowing staff flexible time away from work to undertake volunteering opportunities.

Taking the role one step further, South Yorkshire Futures, the University’s social mobility partnership, is championing school governor opportunities to employers in the region as part of its Talent Bank project. The South Yorkshire Talent Bank offers a range of opportunities for businesses and employees to volunteer their time, skills and experience to inform, support and inspire young people from across the region.

Sally Jackson, Chief People Officer at Sheffield Hallam University said: “I am delighted to have signed the School Governor Champion charter on behalf of Sheffield Hallam, pledging our allegiance and support to a fantastic initiative that will benefit young people, employers and volunteers.
“As a University, we have a civic responsibility to recognise the benefits of volunteering, in both a professional and a personal sense, and promote these opportunities as widely as we can – internally, but across the region as well.”

Richard Ellam, regional manager for Inspiring Governance, said: “Our aim is to encourage as many employers as possible to become School Governor Champions, because we see employers supporting their staff to become school governors as a win-win situation.
We hope that Sheffield Hallam University signing this charter will encourage others across South Yorkshire and the higher education sector, to do the same.”

South Yorkshire Futures Coaching in Schools Project

We are now recruiting for our second cohort of coaches to support our coaching in schools project. The project involves volunteer coaches receiving professional training in order to support young people in Barnsley who would benefit from working on areas of personal effectiveness.

The project provides a structured, confidential space in which pupils can explore what might be holding them back and develop an action plan to help them progress. For full information please see the attached documents and / or if you’ve got any questions please contact

Coaching Project FAQ’s

Coaching Project advert

Coaching Project application form

Sheffield Children’s University 2018/19 report

We’re pleased and proud to share the 2018/19 ‘Sheffield Children’s University – How does it make a difference?’ report which provides detailed evidence of the impact of Children’s University (CU) in Sheffield. The report provides evidence of the real difference being part of Sheffield CU makes and includes in-depth analysis of the impact of participation in CU activities on attainment and attendance, and progress measures, as well as anecdotal evidence of impact through a number of case studies.

“I remember coming to the ceremonies with all my friends. It was like a huge gathering for all of us, to get dressed up and feel special which was great. I took my Mum to the ceremonies with me. When she realised all of the amazing things I had been doing through this programme, she was really proud of me and it brought us closer together. My CU experience has definitely aided in my success in gaining a place at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts because without it, I wouldn’t have been so interested at a younger age and I wouldn’t have been so proud of myself, to then push myself to go further with it.”

Stephen, Sheffield CU Alumni

The full report can be viewed online by following this link:

Find out more about Sheffield Children’s University on their website: or on Twitter by following @SheffieldCU






South Yorkshire Talent Bank website launch

Sheffield City Region and South Yorkshire Futures have officially launched the South Yorkshire “Talent Bank,” encouraging businesses and employees to volunteer their time, skills and experience to inform, support and inspire young people from across our region’s diverse communities.

The Talent Bank provides a range of high-quality engagement opportunities which volunteers can sign up to deliver in schools, colleges and training providers across South Yorkshire. To find out more, explore the Talent Bank website:

“I believe that it’s not just the responsibility of schools, colleges and universities to educate and inspire our young people, but it’s also the role of all of us in society – and that includes our businesses. Where you grow up shouldn’t determine where you end up. By connecting schools and colleges with appropriate volunteers and business leaders, we can create new opportunities, broaden horizons, and plant the seeds of ambition from which we can grow the workforce of the future.”
Dan Jarvis MBE MP
Mayor of the Sheffield City Region

South Yorkshire Futures shortlisted for two national awards





The Early Outcomes project which sees South Yorkshire Futures partnering with the four South Yorkshire Local Authorities (Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield) has been shortlisted for the UK Social Mobility Awards 2019 in the category of ‘Leadership of the Year’. You can find out more about the UK SOMO Awards on the website:  or on Twitter: @UKSMAwards

In addition, the South Yorkshire Futures programme has been shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community’. More information about the Times Higher Education Awards and details of all the finalists can be found on the website: or on Twitter @timeshighered

Mayor Dan Jarvis launches new Talent Bank for the Sheffield City Region

More than 100 senior business leaders from across our region joined Mayor Dan Jarvis for the launch of a new project that aims to support young people into the world of work.

Sheffield City Region and South Yorkshire Futures have teamed up with Inspiring the Future to launch the “Talent Bank” programme, which will encourage businesses and employees across the region to volunteer their time and inspire young people from all our region’s diverse communities.

Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, said: “I believe that it’s not just the responsibility of schools, colleges and universities to educate and inspire our young people, but it’s also the role of all of us in society – and that includes our businesses. Where you grow up shouldn’t determine where you end up. “By connecting schools and colleges with appropriate volunteers and business leaders, we can create new opportunities, broaden horizons, and plant the seeds of ambition from which we can grow the workforce of the future.”

Talent Bank will offer businesses a range of options in which they can contribute in supporting young people. These will include offering careers advice, becoming a school governor and going into schools to speak about careers opportunities.
Organisations or individual employees can register online and provide details about their skills and work history. They can then search the online database and match their skills with volunteer opportunities within their local schools, colleges or respond to school invitations. This means that the business or individual is in control of how many volunteer hours they give.

Research conducted by the Education and Employers charity shows that participation in careers talks with volunteers from businesses can change the attitudes of 14 to 16-year-old students to their education. This can influence their future plans and their subject choices, motivate them to work harder and improve their academic achievement.

Greg Burke, Director of South Yorkshire Futures, said: “Sheffield Hallam University is committed to driving successful partnerships between education and employers. That is why we’re delighted to be launching the Talent Bank as part of the South Yorkshire Futures programme. The Talent Bank is a positive way to demonstrate that we are greater than the sum of our parts. There are some fantastic examples of effective employer engagement already going on in South Yorkshire and this is an opportunity to bring them together as a suite of offers for businesses to engage in, in the right way for them.”

South Yorkshire Futures leads £1 million project to improve speech and language development for under-fives



In partnership with South Yorkshire’s four local authorities South Yorkshire Futures will lead the new £1 million project to reshape early years speech and language services in a bid to improve communications and language skills among the under fives. The project has been funded by the Department for Education.

The partnership will initially review existing services to see how they currently assess children’s language and speech skills and gather data. We will then look at how current systems could be improved to provide the best support for children and families.

Our project team will oversee the development and implementation of a sustainable regional strategy to meet speech, language and communication needs, delivered by multidisciplinary teams including professionals from education and health. A regional training team will also be established to identify any skills gaps across South Yorkshire and then provide tailored courses to train up the workforce. Sheffield Hallam University’s Centre for Development And Research in Education (CDARE) will also be involved in evaluation of the project.

Research has shown too many children in the region are failing to achieve early learning goals with 4,650 children in South Yorkshire not achieving the expected level of development in communications, language and literacy in 2018.

The aim of this project is to ensure that children receive the help they need in the early years in order to be able to thrive.

The project has been funded as part of a wider national DfE initiative which will see £6.5million for councils to support children with early communication difficulties.

Professor Sir Chris Husbands, Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, said: “Too many children in South Yorkshire face significant barriers to fulfilling their potential. If we are serious about tackling social mobility and raising educational attainment, it is vital that we work collaboratively across our region to give our children the best possible start in life.

“I am delighted that Sheffield Hallam’s South Yorkshire Futures has secured this important project, in partnership with our local authorities, to improve early years speech and language and drive educational improvements across South Yorkshire.”

Education Secretary Damian Hinds MP said: “Ask any parent and they want their child to have the best start in life. But we know that those from a disadvantaged background often start school already behind when it comes to communication and language development.

“This multimillion pound investment will provide better support to families in some of the most deprived areas of the country. No one is born knowing how to be a mum or a dad and parenting does not come with a manual, I want to support families with hints and tips to propel their child’s learning so they can go on to reach their full potential, whatever their background.”

Councillor Nuala Fennelly, Doncaster Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools, said: “We are committed to giving our children the very best start in life and the funding for this project, which is the first of its kind, will ensure that early help is available for all families across South Yorkshire who need it. I’m delighted that through our partnership approach, and everyone having the same commitment, we can work together to improve children’s outcomes in our region.”

The project will be delivered in four phases: planning and evaluation; analysis and development; development and delivery and legacy and will start in April 2019.

At the end of the year-long project a strategic board and a regional training team will remain in place in order to continue the work.
Maureen Hemingway, Early Years Foundation Stage Quality, Access and Moderation Manager at Sheffield City Council said: “We are extremely proud of the progress we have made in improving the trend of outcomes for children at the end of the Early Years foundation Stage.

“There is a great increase in the percentage of children achieving the Good level of development as defined by the DfE and we are so proud of the difference we have made for disadvantaged children, where our great outcomes are at a greater pace than the national average.

“The additional funding provides a very exciting opportunity to Sheffield – it will expand resources allowing us to further explore how we can do even better, capitalising on multi-disciplinary knowledge and expertise within and beyond our own local authority. We are delighted to be working with colleagues across South Yorkshire and Sheffield Hallam University.”

Rachel Dickinson, Executive Director, People, at Barnsley Council, said: “We are extremely pleased to be part of this project. Early language skills are very important to children’s development and learning, and the sooner we are able to identify and intervene with children facing any difficulties with speech, language and communication the greater chance we have of supporting and enabling them to achieve their full potential. This project will allow us to build on existing strengths within our early years/early help system and enhance training, practice and skills across the South Yorkshire regional workforce through collaboration and partnership. This will strengthen our ability to provide the right help at the right time to the right children.”

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s services, Councillor Gordon Watson, said: “We are delighted to be part of this regional project to tackle delays in speech, communication and early language development in our young children. Getting the right support to ensure every child can make the best start in life is one of the key priorities to help children reach their potential, thrive and go on to lead successful lives. Children and young people will need the skills, knowledge and experience to fully participate in a highly skilled economy and this collaboration will go a long way to support our aims to extend opportunity and prosperity for all.”

Trauma Informed Schools course featured in Rotherham Advertiser

As part of their ‘Class Action’ campaign against failing mental health in schools the Rotherham Advertiser recently featured an article about Trauma Informed Schools training. The course is currently being delivered by Trauma Informed Schools UK in partnership with South Yorkshire Futures at Sheffield Hallam University.

The practical skills based training course supported by over 1000 evidence-based research studies, is designed to inform and empower school staff to help vulnerable children and most importantly how to feel supported and nurtured in the process. The course aims to enable staff to respond effectively to vulnerable children and those who have suffered a trauma or have a mental health issue. The psychologist led supervision element of the course, provides practitioners with key insights and skills as well as vital support and encouragement.

Professionals from nurseries, primary schools, secondary schools and FE colleges amongst others are participating in the course. Clare Miller, Headteacher at Wath Victoria Primary, says “We currently don’t have the skills to support children who come to us with underlying traumatic experiences and mental health issues. So courses like this can help us to address this knowledge gap at all levels.”

To find out more about Trauma Informed Schools UK and the courses available please visit: 

Wayfinder Recruitment Agency opens in Eckington

Creating the right opportunities for young people to flourish and develop their career.

Wayfinder Recruitment Agency aims to create the right opportunities for young people to flourish and develop their career by helping people with additional needs and disabilities, ages 16-24 years old.

Interns are encouraged to overcome barriers to employment by supporting them through an Employment Pathway allowing them to develop the skills that are required to secure employment.

This very week, after just 5 months of being on a Supported Internship with ETS Alfreton, one of Wayfinder’s interns has been offered paid employment.  Well done!

Brian Harrison, Employer Engagement Manager of Wayfinder said “It is such a privilege to lead the Wayfinder Recruitment Team and to have these wonderful premises here in Eckington. Each member of the team works tirelessly to provide our learners with real work opportunities that could possibly lead to voluntary or paid employment. Seeing our learners grow in confidence and gain essential skills and experience is so rewarding.”

Local MP Lee Rowley, officially opened the Agency on Friday 1st March 2019 at 11.00am. Wayfinder Recruitment is a part of Landmarks Specialist College, locations cover Sheffield, Rotherham, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

Any queries please contact Wayfinder Recruitment Agency on 01246 768388 or Our premises are located at:

Wayfinder Recruitment Agency
43 Market Street
S21 4EG

Landmarks Specialist College – upcoming events

On Saturday 6 April 2019 at 11.00 am Landmarks College is holding a general Open Event at Littlemoor House, Apperknowle Farm and Wayfinder Recruitment Agency, which parents/carers, learners, colleagues and any other interested parties are invited to attend.  Please share the attached flyer with anyone you feel may be interested in attending.

You will be able to have a tour of the facilities, speak to staff and enjoy some light refreshments. Learners who are hoping to transfer to Landmarks in September are welcome to join the Open Day as a refresher.

Also, on Thursday 11 April 2019 Landmarks is holding a whole college event – Spring Fest – commencing at 11.00 am, completing at 2.00 pm. Learners are invited to spend some time at this event and join the fun!

For further information or to book onto these events please contact Learner Recruitment on 01246 433788 or