Head of Policy and Projects
I joined the University of Sheffield in June 2016 as the Head of Policy and Projects. Before this I was a career civil servant working on a variety of policy areas in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and its predecessor departments, mainly on education issues.
Most of my career was in higher education policy (2003-2013) where I advised successive ministers on a broad range of areas such as teaching and learning, higher education quality and workforce, equal opportunities and a variety of other student experience policy areas. I also worked on enterprise/small business policy, including business support and English devolution.
I’ve always been committed to equality and I’ve been lucky enough to play a role in supporting equal opportunities in my work, for instance promoting action to tackle the degree attainment gap in higher education when I was an official working for government.
In the University, in essence I’m a policy official for the institution, helping colleagues to understand, and influence, big policy issues. The range is wide: the degree attainment gap in the University through the Raising Awareness, Raising Aspiration project; the University’s response to Brexit, higher education legislation, the Teaching Excellence Framework and immigration changes – to name a few areas of work.
I firmly believe that individuals, institutions and society all take a responsibility for supporting equality and equity – we all play a role in calling out behaviours which should be unacceptable. And those with more power do have greater responsibility to help create change. For me promoting fair life chances is core to our mission as a University.