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Steve Coole
Founder & Director

What I work on...

Student Officer Support Programme
Organisational Health Assessments
Independent Higher Education
Training & Development

My Story

Steve Coole is the driving force and founder of Coole Insight Ltd, having established the organisation in 2018. As the Director at Coole Insight he works across a diverse range of sectors and organisations, creating capacity through research, projects, networks and people development. He is also the former Director of the National Union of Students in Wales and has worked in and around Students' Unions for nearly 20 years.

During his time with NUS, Steve pioneered NUS’ learner voice work in the Further Education sector between 2006-2013, before later going on to lead Wise Wales and cover the role of Head of The Student Engagement Partnership (TSEP). Steve developed numerous concepts and established them as sector leading activities during his time in Further Education, such as the Student Governor Support Programme which had 50 colleges registered for its first year in operation, the Learner Voice Quality Framework, which provided the basis for the framework for the development of strong and effective students’ associations in Scotland, and the development of a sector led training portfolio for FE student leaders in England. Steve later went on to provide bespoke consultancy to students’ unions on student engagement during his time as Strategic Support Unit Manager, and in Wales he collaborated with the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) to formalise a memorandum of understanding between HEFCW and NUS Wales, the first of its kind across UK higher education.

Steve's energy comes from working with stakeholders and young people to break down barriers to education and in the fight for social justice. An honest, confident and creative strategic thinker, Steve has a vibrant track record which includes the conception, development and establishment of regional and national networks, and communities of practice. Supporting people to develop is both a strength and a passion for Steve, the young elected leaders, trustees, and governors that he has coached and supported have gone on to achieve significant and great things for themselves, and society. The standout successes included lobbying for and supporting the creation of a new Youth Parliament within the National Assembly for Wales, reversing UK government decisions that are deemed detrimental to young people, and the development of a student leader training portfolio that was accessed by hundreds of young people across the UK.

Steve has worked with numerous organisations, ranging from those facing significant challenges and turnaround, to the development of more stretching innovative projects designed to expand on their existing operation. Steve uses a simple methodology to ensure that his expertise as an analyst and insight expert are maximised by utilising the expertise and evidence that exists around the subject matter that he has been asked to explore. Steve uses stakeholder interviews, research, literature reviews and workshops to get to the heart of the issue, and then uses his expertise and organisational leadership experience to produce a final report and recommendations. Steve’s work has made a huge difference to how organisations operate in specific areas such as inclusive practice, governance and operations, to broader pieces around strategy development, organisational culture and people development.

Originally from Manchester, Steve is a lifelong Manchester United fan, foodie and generally fun person to be around. However, never let him near a karaoke machine as you won't see him for the rest of the night!

meet the rest of the team

Yemi Gbajobi
Amy Forrister
Christina Kennedy
Suki Kaur
Stephanie Johnson
Denza Gonsalves
Mike Day
Steve Coole
Zahra Butt
Scott Farmer
Tom Ritchie
Michael Wigg
Ben Vulliamy
Jamie Stratton
Jan Sowa
Nina Musgrave
Andy Morwood
Jack Medlin
Gemma Painter
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