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Making a Difference Awards feature

(20 April 2017)

The Making a Difference Awards recognise and celebrate the many different types of social responsibility achievements of the University’s academic and professional support staff, students and alumni. 

This year over 130 entries from across the University were submitted, and 15 Humanities entries were shortlisted, nine related to work carried out by staff and six related to students. The winners of the awards will be announced in a ceremony on the 11 May 2017. 

This week we introduce you to the great work being carried out by Humanities colleagues shortlisted in the category of ‘Inspiring Communities: public involvement’. 

Initial Teacher Education: Over 150 years of producing inspiring teachers for local communities
Initial Teacher Education team in MIE, School of Environment, Education and Development 

For over 150 years Initial Teacher Education (ITE) at The University of Manchester has been central to providing inspiring teachers for local schools who aim to tackle disadvantage. We have continually been ranked as one of the leading providers of teacher training and our programmes are rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. ITE has maintained a strong commitment to inclusion, social mobility and tackling disadvantage through developing inspirational teachers who go on to serve our local communities, with 80% of trainee teachers taking up their first teaching position within 20 miles of the University. 

Perhaps more significantly we also support our schools and develop stronger relationships beyond supplying teachers which includes working closely on research projects; providing free professional development for teachers; brokering relationships with the wider university (e.g. through Widening Participation) and supporting schools to develop their own forms of initial teacher training through School Direct and school-centred teacher education. 

Every year our highly motivated and very able graduates spend approximately 70,000 days in local schools improving the life chances and education of local children.


The Dementia Law Clinic
Neil Allen, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Legal Education, School of Law 

As a Clinical Lead for the University’s Legal Advice Centre, Neil trains over 300 undergraduate and postgraduate students per year to enable them to provide pro bono advice to the public and has introduced innovative ways of providing legal advice via Skype and similar platforms. This service is important for people who have support needs that make visiting a solicitor particularly challenging, as well as providing access to justice for the local community generally. 

Neil established an award-winning dementia clinic within the Legal Advice Centre, run in partnership with Making Space, to ensure that people with dementia and their care givers have access to high quality, free legal advice, as well as nursing advice and communication support. Making good use of his role within the University, Neil has inspired local professionals, supported services users and successfully advocated nationally for more effective care provision. 

To see details of everyone nominated in the ‘Inspiring Communities: public involvement’ category please visit the Social Responsibility webpages.