Information for Staff
Peer Learning & Support Schemes offer an additional layer of support to students: designed and led by their peers. Some of our projects offer academic support, and some offer pastoral support. The projects have multiple benefits to the School/ subject area, including building a sense of community, providing students with a space to consolidate their knowledge of course content, and to ask questions they may be reluctant to ask staff. For more information, click here.
Each project is led by a dedicated team of student volunteers (Leaders), but supported by staff within the Students’ Association and within the School. Any staff member can support the Scheme by promoting it in lectures/ tutorials, ensuring that fellow staff are aware of the Scheme, and by reaching out to the Leaders to enquire if there is any further support they need. However, some staff members also act as the ‘Key Contact’ for a Scheme – taking on the role of being the main point of contact between the School and the volunteers. The Staff Contact role involves supporting student volunteers (Leaders), promoting the Scheme, assisting Leaders with navigating the School and its systems/ processes, and working to embed the project.
A committed staff contact is vital for a resilient, high quality and successful Scheme. A role description for this role can be found here.
Anyone with an interest in supporting the Scheme can act as the Staff Contact. The time commitment may vary depending on the size of the Scheme (i.e. how many sessions they run) and how established a Scheme is (a new Scheme may require more support). A survey of our existing staff contacts in AY 2018-19 reported that when averaged out, the commitment was 1 hour per week. However, it is important to note that September, November, January, March and April are the busiest times for Schemes, and these months will require the most staff support. This coincides with many of the busy periods within the University calendar.
In some Schools, there is an extra layer of support available to PL&S Schemes: the School Senior Leader (SSL). SSLs are paid members of student-staff, employed by the School. Their remit is to support Peer Learning & Support projects at the School level, providing a vital link between staff and the Student Leaders. Where they are in place, SSLs are responsible for coordinating, supporting and growing Schemes within the School. The department of Peer Learning & Support highly recommends that Schools consider employing an SSL. It has a dramatic effect on the quality of the Schemes, whilst reducing the amount of staff time required.
If you have any questions about the Staff Contact or SSL roles, or want to find out more about how you can support your Scheme, contact us at email@example.com. We are also happy to offer support with establishing projects.