Like many academics at London Met, Jo Skinner has a strong background in the public sector, having worked as a nurse, midwife and district nurse in the NHS before moving into teaching. Therefore Jo brings a wealth of public sector insight and educational experience to her role as Head of the School of Social Sciences.
“I spent about 15 years working in the NHS which I really loved. Then I had the opportunity to do a Teacher Training course and through that I was able to go on to train district nurses. I also did my Masters in Sociology and Social Policy right here, at London Met, in 1991.”
As Head of the School of Social Sciences, Jo has clear ideas about improving the student experience.
“I’m very keen to make every contact count for students; this is a key aim of mine. I’m very pleased about the notion of the Student Journey and I think we need to think about every single aspect of Student Journey. If we can make every contact with students count I think that we’ll be on our way to achieving things for students. Seeking feedback in a timely way from students, staff and external agencies and acting on it, this together with other metrics would demonstrate successes.
“I’m also very keen that staff feel supported as we ask more and more of staff. So for me it’s the twin things of making things work for students but also supporting staff in doing that. What would demonstrate success for me in a year’s time is staff feeling that there is a clear sense of purpose, vision and support in the School and that students feel staff helped them to achieve their goals.”
For Jo, it is the people that make London Met the great place it is to study and work.
“I like the variety here and the fact that it’s very stimulating. There’s lots of amazing things happening through dedicated people doing great things. It’s just like its own little universe,” she said.
A big part of Jo’s life is her Christian faith, from which she takes much inspiration. And she also harbours musical aspirations.
“I’m a Christian so I do a lot of Christian activities through my church. My Christian values and beliefs drive what I do.
“I’d love to one day learn the piano, but that’s one for the future...”