in student services
Tailored consultancy, training and ad hoc support
Plinth House is a consultancy company working with universities, students' unions, healthcare organisations and businesses to support excellence in support and wellbeing services. We deliver training across all sectors to managers, teams and frontline staff in areas such as mental health awareness and the management of serious welfare incidents. We can also work with your teams to re-model or review your services, draft new policies based on best practice, and deliver ad hoc consultancy support. If you would like us to keep in touch with you about our training events, webinars, and other services, just provide your email address here.
The key when bringing in external support – whether for a short-term or longer-term piece of work – is relevant sector experience.
Working with a management consultant only to find that they are using the time with you to learn about the basics of student services provision and higher education is not helpful for you, your team or your budget. We have managed student services and mental health services ourselves and fully understand the pressures and opportunities that face services.
We offer training, briefings, and 'away day' facilitation - focusing on student services management, welfare incident management, mental health awareness, and the management of clinical risk and safeguarding issues. Our training is always practical in its approach and based on an understanding of current best practice in the sector.
We will tailor our training to suit your team – whether you are looking for a one-off training session or ongoing support and development.
Coaching and supervision
We provide one-to-one coaching and mentoring, in person and by Skype, to student services managers, supporting with the challenges of change management, team management and strategic planning.
We also provide clinical supervision to mental health practitioners and mental health nurses working in higher education, and facilitate practitioner 'peer support groups' for frontline and student-facing teams.
Ad hoc support
Student services consultancy work does not have to be long-term. It’s not all large-scale projects and service reviews. We can support you and your team by taking on smaller pieces of work too – those things not making it to the top of your ‘to do’ list.
Whether it is drafting recruitment materials, preparing a business case, reviewing a policy, or refreshing your service's marketing materials, we are here to help.
News and insights
This section gathers some recent short articles about some of the challenges facing professional support services. The pace of change in higher education grows ever faster. We are witnessing a redefinition of the relationship between universities and students – as well as between universities and other stakeholders, such as NHS services, the police, and the parents of students. Nationally, funding changes create new challenges for services at a time when students’ expectations about the quality of the support they receive continue to rise. The need for institutions to offer effective joined-up support services, and listen to the needs of students and other stakeholders, has never been greater.
Project focus: King's College London student services hub
As part of my work for King's College London, it was a pleasure to lead a project to design the university's new student support services hub. In this article, there is a chance to see some photos of the space and information about the way we designed it.
The space covers two floors of the South East Wing of the iconic Bush House building. Bush House is the former home of the BBC World Service, sitting at the heart of London at the point where Strand, Kingsway and Aldwych meet.
We are happy to share more information about our approach to this project with any other universities interested in developing a similar space.
Testing demand for student services-themed webinars
We have been thinking that, as colleagues across the sector who manage student-facing directorates and teams, you might appreciate the chance to get together online for an hour to hear about, and offer your thoughts on, a challenging topic.
Such topics might include "The boundaries of the role of personal tutor", "The challenges of managing a university counselling service", or "Managing a university’s response to the death of a student".
We would appreciate it if you would spend just a couple of minutes answering six quick questions at www.plinthhouse.com/webinars. In return, we will invite you to any pilot webinar sessions we run.
If you would like to have an initial telephone conversation about the kind of support that would be useful to you and your organisation, we look forward to hearing from you. Our email address and telephone number are shown below, or use this contact form. You are welcome to suggest times which would be suitable for a callback.
Keeping in touch
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