Latest News from Community of Practice for School Managers

By Claire Nolan, School of Information and Communication Studies

The Community of Practice for School Managers is continuing to contact each other, to discuss the developing challenges in the unique circumstances UCD now finds itself in.  We have been able to discuss ongoing concerns re: IELTS scores, new arrangements regarding expenses sheets, and also in a general sense the capacity we have to complete the new obligations placed upon us, especially when we are not all in possession of the resources needed to work from home.  While no online meetings have yet taken place, it is hoped to have resources in place shortly to do this, and to continue our planned list of meetings as the year goes on.

The Community of Practice for School Managers has continued in the academic year 2019/20 to meet and discuss ongoing issues for this particular group of colleagues in UCD. In November 2019 we were fortunate enough to learn from Dr Heather Wood, School Manager in the School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science about applications to Athena Swan. This made a valuable contribution to those schools considering likely upcoming applications.

In December, the Community met in the foyer of the Sutherland building, firstly to celebrate the approaching Christmas holidays, but to also discuss the needs for the coming term. To this end, suggestions were received for the next term’s meetings, and issues such as training, promotions, and operational issues were once again placed on the agenda.

The Community has met again in 2020, and February has seen us look at the issue of Job Resizing and Job Families. To that end, we have been ably helped by a presentation from Ms Aisling Croke, Promotions and Grading Manager, who went through Job Families with us and illustrated her presentation with excellent supporting documentation. This information will be helpful to both the school managers, and to their individual schools, as Job Resizing continues throughout the term.  While Job Resizing are not individual promotions for administrative staff, the further movement towards opportunities in this area is to be welcomed.

The Community of Practice meetings continue this term, with the next meeting taking place in early April. We will be having a presentation by Mr. Jeremy Britton, Project Manager of the Unified Support Model ( This will be aiming to consolidate individual school visits and further rolling out the Support Model to Schools. We also aim to discuss training options in the Innovation Lab, as well as Agile Training opportunities.  We also maintain a rolling agenda, where members may bring to the table any matter they wish raised.

Should any support units wish to speak to the School Mangers as a group, do please feel free to contact me on , and I will be happy to arrange a meeting. Many thanks.