What is Learn Sheffield?

Learn Sheffield is a school-led company. Our purpose is to nurture effective partnerships within an ambitious and effective culture so that, in Sheffield, all of our young people learn with great teachers, in great settings, which are constantly improving.

We will provide an approach to delivering school improvement services that is innovative and school-led, building on the existing relationships between the Council and Sheffield’s educational settings. We will also be delivering some statutory duties on behalf of Sheffield City Council.

Learn Sheffield aims to strengthen city-wide partnership work, both within sectors and between them.

We are a not for profit company limited by guarantee, of which 80% is owned by schools and colleges and 20% by Sheffield City Council. Learn Sheffield does not distinguish between different types of setting, it is there to support any publicly funded school or college working with Sheffield’s children and young people.

Learn Sheffield offers every Sheffield school and college the chance to purchase services from a company that they own, which will reinvest all surplus to support further improvement. We aspire to be the company of choice to support Sheffield schools and colleges in ensuring that every child has access to a great education, wherever they live and whatever their circumstances.

What is the vision of Learn Sheffield?

Vision Word WheelOur children and young people have a growth mind-set and experience a high quality education delivered by a dynamic and collaborative community of education professionals.

Our education professionals are highly skilled, nurturing, continually developing and motivated to create inspiring learning opportunities throughout the schools and colleges of Sheffield.

Our schools and colleges are committed to working in partnership, focussed on the achievement of their children and young people and work closely with their families and communities.

Our familes and communities are cohesive, positive about learning and aspirational for their children and young people.

We believe in supporting each other in having the courage to make a difference and shape a better future, through inspiration, integrity, equality, sustainability, accountability and optimism.

How will Learn Sheffield help you?

Learn Sheffield will provide a growing range of services, all of which are designed to support the improvement of Sheffield’s schools and colleges. Some services will do this by being focussed directly on teaching and learning. Others will be designed to enable leaders to be more learning focussed, by reducing the time they need to spend on other things, or more able to commit greater funds to improvement, by reducing other costs and making Sheffield budgets go further.

Learn Sheffield supports by;

  • providing constructive challenge.
  • always being focussed on improvement and the outcomes of children and young people.
  • recognising that all settings have both strengths to share and areas to develop further.
  • working strategically to increase and develop the capacity within our school-led system.
  • reinvesting the surplus we generate in research, development and better services.
  • understanding that we can all achieve more for our young people and their families when we work in partnership.

Who is working for Learn Sheffield?

Learn Sheffield has an Interim Board, which will guide the company through to the spring term when a Full Board can be elected according to our Articles. The Board has five members, each nominated by a different sector, and is currently recruiting two additional co-opted directors.

David Bowes (Secondary School sector)
Dean Linkhorn (Specialist School sector)
Councillor Geoff Smith (Sheffield City Council)
Paul Stockley (Primary School sector)
Darren Tidmarsh (Sheffield College)

The Interim board have appointed two Sheffield school leaders to lead Learn Sheffield in this interim phase.

Stephen Betts, Headteacher of Malin Bridge Primary School, is the Interim Chief Executive and Bev Nicholson, Executive Headteacher of Halfway Junior and Shortbrook Primary Federation, is the Interim Director of School Improvement.

Stephen and Bev played leading roles in the development of Learn Sheffield through their involvement in the working groups which shaped the project throughout last year.

They are building a team, comprised of both Sheffield school leaders and staff seconded from Sheffield City Council, to establish Learn Sheffield and support school improvement.

How can I become a member of Learn Sheffield?

Any publically funded school or college can become a member of Learn Shefield. The decision to become a member of Learn Sheffield must be taken by the Governing Body or Academy Trust.

Becoming a member involves providing a guarantee up to the limit of £25.00 in the event that the company is wound up owing debts. The Governing Body/Academy Trust must pass a resolution to join. The suggested wording of the resolution can be found in a briefing note for Governors on the website.

There is a pack of materials to support Governing Bodies/Academy Trusts in making their decision. If you would like to discuss this further you can also contact our Chief Executive at:

Upon reaching a decision to join Learn Sheffield there is a Membership Application Form, which can be found on the website, to complete and return to We hope that every Sheffield school and college will support the work of Learn Sheffield and become a member.