Geosciences School Policy and Resource Committee Remit


The School Policy & Resource Committee (SPARC) is the School's executive and strategic body and is responsible for developing and driving forward the School strategy, approving School policy and for the allocation of resources. 

The remit of SPARC is to:

  1. Formulate and drive forward the School's strategic plan.
  2. Determine priorities for the delivery of School activities through annual planning and allocation of financial and human resources.
  3. Consider and approve requests for resources – including strategic requests for new or replacement staff (grade 7 and above academic positions).
  4. Consider and approve proposals for new or revised School policies.
  5. Discuss issues referred to them by its sub-committees or members of the School community and receive annual reports from sub-committees and key areas of the School.
  6. The Committee delegates responsibility for various aspects of School management to the following sub-committees:
    • Learning & Teaching Committee.
    • Research Committee.
    • Equality & Diversity Committee.
    • Facilities Committee.
    • Health & Safety Committee.


1. Membership of the Committee is:

  • Head of School (Convener).
  • Director of Research.
  • Director of Under Graduate Teaching.
  • Director of Post Graduate Teaching. 
  • Director of Post Graduate Research.
  • Head of Earth & Planetary Sciences Research Institute.
  • Head of Geography and the Lived Environment Research Institute.
  • Head of Global Change Research Institute.
  • Director of Professional Services. 
  • Director of Internationalisation
  • Director of Technology Enchanced Learning
  • Athena Swan Champion
  • Equality & Diversity Coordinator

2. Secretariat support to the Committee will be provided by the PA to the Head of School.

3. The Director of Internationalisation, Athena Swan Champion and Equality & Diversity Co-ordinator receive papers and will be invited to attend to provide and hear updates from members, and may choose to attend relevant items of the formal agenda.  Deputies for each of the member roles will receive papers.

4. Members may nominate their Deputy to attend in their place.  While members can nominate another member of the School to attend in their place, permission must be sought from the Convenor.

5. Quorum for any meeting will be 50% of members (or their nominees).  Decisions will normally be reached by general agreement of members present. 


  1. The Committee will meet monthly, and may also interact or meet electronically, as is necessary for its business to be effectively progressed.  An annual cycle of business will be agreed annually.
  2. The Convener may approve items by Convener's Action between meetings, and will provide a report to the next Committee meeting of items approved by Convener's Action.
  3. Agenda and papers will be made available to members at least 3 business days prior to the meeting, to provide members to consult with colleagues as necessary.  The agenda and open papers will be made available on the School's website as soon as possible after the meeting.
  4. Minutes of the meeting will be circulated to members in draft format as soon as possible after the meeting, and made available on the School's website once ratified at the next meeting.

Responsibilities and Expectations of Committee Members

  1. Members are expected to be collegial and constructive in approach with a focus on achieving the best outcomes for the School as a whole.  While members will be expected to present views on behalf of the area they represent, they are expected to ensure the Committee makes sound decisions on behalf of the School as a whole.
  2. Members are expected to communicate the work of the Committee to their respective areas and to bring forward matters from their areas for discussion by the Committee.  
  3. Members should participate fully in the work of the Committee which will involve looking ahead and consulting/gathering input in order to provide the broad spectrum of thoughts and opinions which are necessary for proper consideration of the area being discussed; and ensure that they are empowered to take decisions on behalf of colleagues.

​Approved: SPARC April 2019


Cycle of Business

This forms the basis of SPARC's cycle of business, although may be amended through the year if priorities change.

18 August 2021

  • Agree cycle of business and priorities for the coming year

22 September 2021 - Papers to be submitted to HoSPA - 15 September 2021

  • Annual reports from:
    • Business Development
    • Director of Quality & Enhancement
​13 October 2021 - Papers to be submitted to HoSPA - 6 October 2021
  • Overview of annual planning process and timeframes​
  • HoS Reflection on Operation​ - 6 Months in Post
  • Facilities Equipment Bids
  • Annual report from:
    • Director of Research
10 ​November 2021 - Papers to be submitted to HoSPA - 3 November 2021
  • Planning input from all areas including resource / budget requests not previously received.
  • Annual reports from:
    • Director of PGR and Director DTP

8 December 2021 - Papers to be submitted to HoSPA - 1 December 2021

  • Draft Annual Plan
  • February Away Day Planning
  • Annual report from:
    • GeoSciences Facilities Strategic Report

12 January 2022 - Papers to be submitted to HoSPA - 5 January 2022

  • Agree Annual Plan
  • ECCI Update
  • Annual report from:
    • Development & Fundraising

9 February 2022 - Papers to be submitted to HoSPA - 2 February 2022

  • No fixed business - SPARC Away Day

16 March 2022 - Papers to be submitted to HoSPA - 9 March 2022

  • Review of Training Budget / Spend
  • Annual report from:
    • Health & Safety Committee
    • Culture Committee
    • Sustainability Committee
    • Director of Internationalisation

20 April 2022 - Papers to be submitted to HoSPA - 13 April 2022

  • Implementation of Annual Plan
  • Annual report from:
    • Equality & Diversity Committee​

18 May 2022 - Papers to be submitted to HoSPA - 11 May 2022

  • Annual report from:
    • Director of Post Graduate Taught
    • Director of Under Graduate Teaching
    • Ethics Committee
    • Director of Industrial Engagement

15 June 2022 - Papers to be submitted to HoSPA - 8 June 2022

  • Review of Academic Manager Vacancies for Forthcoming Year
  • Institute Reflections
  • Annual reports from:
    • ITMag Committee

July 2022

  • No meeting - not usually held

Next meeting

School Policy & Resource Committee (Wednesday, 17 August 2022, 1.00pm - 4.00pm)

Previous meeting

School Policy & Resource Committee (Wednesday, 15 June 2022, 10.00am - 1.00pm)