I’m told my teeth are in ‘very good’ shape (and other news)

Good afternoon Edge Hillians

Fresh from the dentist I thought I’d update you all on some of the many things that I’ve been up to as well as some of the general developments across the University over the last month or so. I’m aware of just how long my last email was detailing what we’d done in the first semester, although I’m sure you’ll understand why that was and I urge you to have a brief glance at it if you haven’t already. But I will do my best to keep this one as brief as possible

  • Expansion – In the middle of January we found out that after years and years of trying the University’s plan to expand into the Green Belt land to the eastern side of campus has been accepted. Providing the Secretary of State gives it the ok and the 21-day period passes without a hitch then the University can get on with their next big project which will see new halls, a new bypass road, a permanent car park and new sports facilities amongst other things. More info on this (and videos of the proposed build) can be found here: http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/newsport/video/new-sport-development-01-overview
  • New Bus Contract – From next Monday (6th) the new Strawberry buses will take over running the Edge Link. I am told that ‘Optare Tempos will be used for the Edgelink Service. These will provide improved accessibility for passengers and increased capacity in comparison with the current Solo vehicles’, which is good news for all those who have waited in the cold only to be told they can’t fit on. In addition to this we have been told by Facilities Management (FM) that the situation will be monitored and there is potential for more buses to be put on during peak times. The timetable will remain the same but the bus will now stop at any stops on St Helen’s road on the way, meaning you can get off at Small Lane for example rather than having to go all the way to the Bus Station. Finally as the 319 bus is run by Strawberry buses, students (and staff) will also be able to use this bus service on production of their Edge Hill card. This is an extra option every hour for students to get to Edge Hill from Ormskirk as the 319 stops at the bus stop outside Edge Hill on its route. More information on all of this will be published by FM over the next week.
  • Library – I met with the Helen Jamieson who is the Customer Services Manager for Learning Services recently to discuss a number of things library + learning space related. One of the outcomes which has derived from this discussion is that the library has managed to secure some more computers on the top floor which is good news. The University is also looking into the possibility of introducing wireless printing so students can print directly from their laptops rather than having to transfer to one of the University’s static computers but this isn’t confirmed yet. There are a number of other things we are looking into, in particular how The Hub could be used to provide extra learning space but I will feedback  to you on these things as they arise. Any feedback on anything Learning Services related or your thoughts on the use of The Hub would be welcomed.
  • Preliminary Placements – This time of year sees a large proportion of education students go out on their preliminary placements. Although providing students with an excellent opportunity to get to know their schools, children, staff and frameworks I have swiftly found that they also cause a lot of trouble and anxiety for those without a placement. As the Faculty don’t class trainees as ‘delayed’ until their block starts many of the support frameworks in place for delayed trainees don’t kick in at the start of these prelims meaning many trainees are left feeling frustrated and lost. I have been working tirelessly since December to improve this support and we have made some improvements. Unplaced trainees will now be contacted directly before placement details are released so they aren’t shocked or disappointed to find out when all their peers do. All unplaced trainees now receive a weekly email summarising all the things they need to know about placement and this has been constructed based on information unplaced trainees have asked both the Faculty and I about. Finally I have talked to both the Head of Partnerships and the Dean of the Faculty about the possibility of feeding back to trainees about schools they submit via a PAF form, so they know when a school has been contacted and why it is or is not appropriate for them. Obviously at the end of the day no one will be completely happy until they get a placement but the least that can be done is make that the only frustration. Any feedback on any of this would also be welcomed.
  • Semi-Naked Sports Relief Calendar – I am leading this project which aims to do a ‘calendar girls’ type shoot which will see some of our sports teams ‘bear all’ (or at least ‘bear most’) for Sports Relief. The shoots will be taking place this month with the aim of having the ‘Grand Launch’ on Friday 23rd March. Any students reading this who are part of a sports teams and don’t know about it, make sure you ask your captains as well as joining the following facebook group which has all the info you need: http://www.facebook.com/groups/143561862430325/
    For the rest of you, make sure you get saving your pennies so you can buy one of these great calendars all in aid of a good cause!
  • Academic Issues – As always I continue to represent and support Faculty of Education students in all things academic. Many issues have come to me recently regarding the non-QTS Undergraduate Professional Development (PD) courses which I have been chasing up in various avenues. I met with the Dean and Associate Dean last Friday to discuss some current issues and will be meeting with the Head and Associate Head of PD tomorrow afternoon to discuss many of these in more detail. As always if you have any problems that you don’t want to raise through the Faculty or you feel aren’t getting responded to then contact me via any of the means given at the bottom.

Thanks for reading and I hope this finds you all fit and well. Moreover good luck to all of you who are currently out on placement or are about to embark on one. There’s the odd day when I miss the little blighters I have taught over the years 🙂

Vice President Faculty of Education

01695 657310
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