Updates and news
Extract from Shetland Student News #6 - 7th February 2019
We are very much aware that there has been a lack of project communications to students since the merger decision meetings in December. We would like to now bring you all up to date with what is happening with the SIC College Merger project.
Jacqui Clark is now based on the project full-time and is looking after student engagement, student support and marketing. She would love to hear from students if they have any questions or suggestions regarding merger. You can contact her via the website.
Student Representation Changes (as part of Shadow Board)
There is to be a new Shadow Board and because of that there are suggested changes to student representation structures. Given the HISA elections are due to take place in March this is having to be addressed quickly. Students are to be asked to agree changes to their HISA representation locally. This will be done at the annual Student Away Day which we hope to hold before April. We will keep you informed.
It is very important for students to feel that they are listened to, kept informed and involved. Get in touch on the website to make suggestions or provide feedback on communications.
Staff update #2 – 7th February 2019
We hope you are all well.
Thanks to those of you who got in touch with us following our last bulletin. Follow the link on the website or reply to make suggestions or provide feedback.
The last week has been focused on work package documents for Prince 2 and updating the project issues and risk registers.
It’s our understanding that the Project Manager recruitment will be proceeding within the next fortnight. That is a similar timescale to when we hope to hold the first of our regular staff drop-in sessions. Thank you for the suggestion that the first one should be focused on how we can best ensure we are listening to staff views. We will confirm the date and time soon and if you have more suggestions on topics which should be the focus of drop-in sessions then please contact us.
Thanks for reading.
Staff update #1 – 29th January 2019
We are very much aware that there has been a lack of project communications to staff and students since the meetings in December. We would like to now bring you all up to date with what is happening with the College Merger project.
Project team update
Tommy Coutts has now moved back to Economic Development Unit and taken up a new role as Team Leader there. Meanwhile, the Council has established an Implementation Team. The team members are:
Jacqui Clark – Team Manager
- Student Engagement & Student Support Services
- Communications, Marketing & Branding/Position
Janice Thomason – Team Manager
- Finance & Asset Transfers
- HR (Structures) & Support Services
Annie Williamson – Project Support
- Merger Support for Staff
Paul Wishart (Legal) and Dilys Evans (Human Resources) are also part of the team on an ad-hoc basis at this stage. Curriculum will be led on by the Principal Designate once appointed. Business Development and Research will be shared across the TM roles and resourced as required. The Project Board will include Maggie Sandison and representation from SFC and UHI.
SFC and UHI are leading on the procurement process for a Project Manager. That role will amongst other things lead on the Ministerial Merger Business Case (MMBC). It is important to remember that whilst this is taking time to put in place the Project Manager will be able to utilise information, evidence and documentation already in place from the Full Business Case.
The SIC’s Implementation Team during January have been undertaking a number of tasks. These have included:
- Phase 1 claims, statistic compilation and final reports
- Phase 2 bid preparations
- Project support arrangements (inc. Shadow Board)
- Equalities Impact Assessment report
- Drafting new Project Initiation Documentation (PRINCE 2)
- Drafting new Communications Strategy
In line with best practice for college mergers, a joint committee will be established consisting of representatives from each of the partner organisations, to work towards realising the merger proposal. This is known as the Shadow Board. See Page 86 of the Full Business Case for more information.
There will be staff representation on the Board and ways in which staff can nominate and agree representation will be shared as soon as possible. If you have suggestions or comments on how staff are nominated then please provide feedback through the website.
Preparations are underway for the recruitment of the Principal Designate for the new College.
Student Representation Changes (as part of Shadow Board)
Changes to student representation structures will be required to meet the student representation requirements of the Shadow Board. Given the HISA elections are due to take place in March this is having to be addressed quickly. Students will be asked to agree changes to their HISA representation locally. This will be done at the annual Student Away Day which will be led by HISA with the support of the SIC Implementation Team and existing SCUHI and NAFC Support staff. The main HISA contact who will work alongside the Merger Project will remain as Sorcha Kirker the HISA Vice-President (HE).
We are in the process of drafting a new Communications Strategy for the Merger Implementation Project. It is very important for staff to feel that they have a say on how we keep in touch and ensure there are sufficient opportunities for staff to be listened to, kept informed and involved. It is really important for us to make our communications as effective as we can. We hope to:
- Maintain (and improve the content) of the merger section of the website
- Start weekly staff email bulletins
- Fortnightly staff drop-in sessions held on rotating days at College
- More frequent all staff meetings
There will be a programme of Union consultations which will also take place. Follow the link on the website to make suggestions or provide feedback on communications. Annie Williamson would also like to receive suggestions from staff on support which may be seen as beneficial during this change process.
Thanks for taking the time to read this today, please get in touch if you have any questions or comments and we look forward to speaking with you all soon.
An update will be forwarded on to students via the next student bulletin.
Staff meeting dates will be posted here.
The following statements were issued to the local press following the decisions in December 2018, as follows:
Chairman of the Shetland College board Peter Campbell said that he was “very pleased” to see the merger get the go-ahead. “This provides a great opportunity to develop sustainable tertiary education in Shetland. The new college will be responsive to the changing needs of the local community, delivering high quality education and training courses to its students and contributing to achieving the aspirations of the Shetland Partnership Plan.”
Shetland Fisheries Training Centre Trust chairman Davie Sandison said “We have reached an important milestone with this decision to merge into a new, single body for the delivery of Shetland’s needs in further and higher education, training and research. This is a crucial phase in creating a strong, single voice for Shetland within the University of the Highlands and Islands. This offers the opportunity to grow and plan for new business in the sector, delivering on the needs of the Shetland community and our present and future students and staff.”
The development was welcomed by the University of the Highlands and Islands and the Scottish Funding Council (SFC). In a joint statement both organisations said: “The university and SFC fully support the full business case to create a new merged college from NAFC Marine Centre, Shetland College, and Train Shetland. The proposed merger will allow for improved provision of education, training and research in Shetland. It will also give Shetland a stronger voice in the University of the Highlands and Islands partnership, and the ability to tap into regional developments and opportunities more effectively.”
This is where we will share documents that staff or students may find of interest or are published as part of the project (including links to public documents which go to council, etc). This will include links to national reports published online.
- Communications Strategy (draft) February 2019 - NB will be shared by 20th February
- Effective and Sustainable Tertiary Education, Research and Training in Shetland Project – Full Business Case December 2018