Sheffield Hallam has won the ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2022. The award win recognises our work through South Yorkshire Futures, the biggest university-led social mobility programme in the country, and our leadership in the civic university agenda
The awards are the most prestigious in the higher education calendar, celebrating the talent, dedication and innovation of individuals and teams across all aspects of university life.
South Yorkshire Futures aims to help children and young people in South Yorkshire achieve a successful life by improving educational attainment and supporting progression into higher education and work, by partnering with local partners including local authorities, schools and colleges, the third sector, and the local business community.
Hallam was also shortlisted for the University of the Year award which recognises the institution that has demonstrated exceptional performance during the 2020-21 academic year. We were shortlisted for our focus on work-based learning and student employability, our commitment to supporting students from under-represented backgrounds into higher education and for our role as a major driver of economic growth and social mobility in the North.
Dr Sally Pearse, Director of the Early Years Community Research Centre, has spoken to BBC Radio Sheffield (listen back from 1:49:50) about the government’s plan to lower nursery staff-to-child ratio in England. It has launched a consultation on the ways to reduce childcare costs in an effort to tackle the cost of living crisis.
Hallam’s GROW Mentoring Programme, which pairs recent graduates with Y11-13 school pupils in the region, features as part of the latest Universities UK (UUK) #GettingResults campaign. UUK has made a series of videos promoting how universities are supporting levelling-up across the country. Watch the Sheffield video featuring GROW Programme Director Sue O’Brien and Hallam graduate mentor Alishba.
Find out more on how the GROW programme has supported more than 1,000 pupils across South Yorkshire since it launched in 2020.
Dr Sally Pearse, director of the Early Years Community Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam, warns in an article for Nursery World that the plans to change adult to child ratios in early years settings are ‘flawed’.
Read the article here.
Greg Burke, Director for Place and Civic Engagement, spoke at an event held by the Office for Students (OfS) which explored the shared challenges and opportunities faced by schools, colleges, universities and third sector organisations as they work together to raise attainment and improve opportunities.
Case study discussion – Effective practice: Findings from South Yorkshire Futures (SYF) partnership.
You can find further information and videos on the event here.
Can you make a difference to a young person in South Yorkshire? We’re looking for 10 motivated graduates to take part in the GROW mentoring programme – supporting young people to re-engage with school following COVID-19.
This is a fantastic opportunity to inspire and motivate the next generation as they reflect on another challenging year of education and look forward to their GCSEs and A-levels and post-16 and 18 choices. Your role would be to support a small group of 14-18 year-olds at a crucial point in their education, and engage, motivate and encourage them to make the most of their school year.
As part of the programme, you’ll be paid to receive in-depth training in mentoring and coaching from our leading academics to support you to deliver the course, and you’ll gain invaluable work experience and personal development to enhance your own employability.
More information can be found out about the GROW Mentoring Programme and the previous South Yorkshire pilot scheme by checking out the GROW Mentoring Blog.
Applications are open until 3rd January 2022.
John Morgan, politics and policy reporter at Times Higher Education, has written about what ‘levelling up’ should look like in education. Following a visit to Sheffield Hallam last month, he writes about South Yorkshire Futures reaching neglected suburbs and towns, and how this could be model for government putting policy into practice.
South Yorkshire Futures, a social mobility partnership led by Sheffield Hallam, that is committed to improving education and raising aspiration for young people in the region has been highlighted by the Department of Education on social media as an example of best practice within the sector. South Yorkshire Futures was also praised by Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan, at a THE event earlier this week
Sheffield Hallam University and South Yorkshire’s four local authorities have created a new regional strategy to improve speech, language and communication skills for children under five. The Regional Speech, Language and Communications Skills Strategy aims to improve provision for children in early years settings across the region.
Alongside the strategy, the project team has created a website to help parents, carers and early years professionals in the region to support the development of children’s communication skills. The four local authorities (Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham and Barnsley) each have a dedicated section to support people in their area.
Richard Calvert, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said: “I am delighted that, in partnership with South Yorkshire’s four local authorities, we are able to launch this Regional Speech, Language and Communications Skills Strategy today.
“Too many children in South Yorkshire still face significant barriers to fulfilling their potential. This strategy and the supporting resources will allow us to improve knowledge and services across the region, ensuring that children receive the right support to build the communications skills they need in the vital early years stage.”
Read the full story here.
Sue O’Brien, the Director of the GROW Mentoring Programme and Strategic Lead for South Yorkshire Futures, explains the importance of the university’s civic pledges and what it means to the region.
Read more here