Head of Student Support

London (Greater)
£46,292 - £54,534 per annum
Friday, 16 April 2021
End of advertisement period
Monday, 10 May 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

This role forms part of the Faculty Education Services within the Faculty of Life, Sciences and Medicine. As a member of the Student Experience & Support Team the Head of Student Support manages the student support provision for all UG and PGT students across the faculty. The role line manages 4 members of staff and is available from 1st July 2021.

This is an exciting opportunity to work with a wide range of stakeholders. Candidates must have the ability to work closely with academic and clinical colleagues across Schools of Education and Teaching Departments. Liaising with hospital sites and working closely with Faculty programme teams and College Student Services to provide an effective and joined up student support provision is vital.

The post holder is responsible for leading and managing the administration across the broad range of student support, coordinating associated procedures, maintaining records for personal tutor provision, occupational health services, instances of professionalism, misconduct, casework including students of concern and supporting fitness to practice/study procedures. Operationalising a vision to empower students to engage with support and succeed in their studies is key to this role, along with an ability to coordinate complex casework and understand the requirements of professionally regulated programmes.

Strong candidates should have a proactive and pragmatic approach to student support, be process driven, have the skills to manage and inspire a resilient team and an understanding of the interplay between student support and experience.

This post will be offered on an indefinite contract.

This is a full-time post.

Key responsibilities

  • To lead the provision of student support for students on taught programmes within the Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine.  Ensuring that services and processes are enabled by efficient reliable systems and effectively meet the needs of students, academic colleagues, and other stakeholders.

  • To provide operational leadership across the broad range of student support workstreams and specifically oversight for casework; including personal tutor provision, facilitation of Kings Inclusion Plans (KIPs), occupational health referrals, students of concern, instances of professionalism and misconduct, student suspension, Fitness to Study and Fitness to Practice.

  • To ensure that faculty student support aligns with College regulations and frameworks and that student support requirements for professional programmes are established in conjunction with the relevant professional statutory regulatory body (PSRB) guidance. (such as the GMC or the GPhC).

  • To work closely with academic leads across the School of Biosciences and GKT School of Medical Education and in particular the Dean of Student Affairs/ Head of Professionalism( MBBS);  to deliver a consistent and accessible support provision for all students through a clearly structured, seamless, integrated student support framework.

  • To line manage support officers who coordinate administration across the range of support activity and systems, managing workload planning and allocation across several competing priorities throughout the annual cycle.

  • Responsible for staff recruitment, induction, performance, and training. Ensuring all staff receive an annual personal development review (PDR) and appropriate training and development opportunities; enabling colleagues to be across sector best practice, up to date with relevant legislation and to support succession planning.

  • Responsible for the coordination and approval of annual leave and the management of staff absences; ensuring that appropriate levels of staff cover remain at all times in order to maintain service levels and to be flexible with resources, reprioritising workload where necessary.

  • To ensure that student support works closely across Faculty Education Services, building essential networks where there are shared processes and dependencies such as in the Programme, Placement & Assessment (PPA) team.

  • To build a positive network with College Services, including Student Success, Student Services Online and the College Personal Tutoring Manager. Contributing to development of policy, procedures, and service standards to enable FoLSM students to benefit from the resources available, disseminating resources and opportunities to academic colleagues so as to signpost to expert, timely, consistent advice, before and/or when issues arise.

  • To manage the interface with the College occupational health providers. This is an outsourced service for which student support has a high dependency. Service levels should be regularly monitored providing analysis to the Student Experience Manager. Escalating to the College Health & Safety Function and Faculty Education Manager if service levels fall short creating risk to students or programme standards. 

  • Work closely with the College Disability & Counselling services; ensuring students benefit from a well-coordinated and timely approach to determining additional support.  Liaising with programme leads to ensure recommended (KIP) adjustments are provided, navigating course constraints and/or guidance for meeting external PSRB standards alongside the expectations of meeting equality duty. 

  • To manage the personal tutor system, including recruitment, training, and quality. Coordinating annual allocation of new students to personal tutors and all associated record keeping. Arranging introductory sessions and working closely with the Student Experience Manager across Welcome events to ensure this is aligned.

  • To follow up on students who experience challenges in meeting with their personal tutor and resolve issues in liaison with Senior Personal Tutor where necessary.  Assist with specific cases of nonattendance/ unsatisfactory engagement facilitating outcomes through College procedures such as Student of Concern and Fitness to Study.

  • To effectively manage the student support mailbox; ensuring colleagues are responding to all student support enquiries daily and escalating complex, urgent or sensitive contact to the Head of Student Support or the Student Experience Manager as appropriate.

  • To ensure students & stakeholders are aware of the MBBS Raising Concerns process and oversee the coordination of cases to ensure they are handled, recorded, and resolved in an appropriate and timely manner in line with other formal procedures.  

  • To be conversant with College, programme, and statutory body regulations to provide informed guidance to staff and students. Support academic colleagues with specific enquiry, seeking College or external advice where necessary. Proactively identifying and escalating risk to student experience or institutional reputation.

  • To monitor the standards and effectiveness of student support using student and staff feedback; including resource usage and trend analysis to help inform business decisions, leading on student support projects and initiatives and supporting delivery of strategic plans. 

  • Responsible for record keeping ensuring it is auditable and effective in supporting the needs of students and the School and that information requests are carried out confidentially and sensitively meeting GDPR compliance.

  • To foster, develop and maintain a good working relationship with the students via the Medical Students’ Association (MSA), Bioscience Student Association (BSA) and KCLSU, collaborating across School and, College on shared events where necessary.

  • To be an active member of the College Disability Liaison Committee, the MBBS Senior Leadership Team, MBBS Student Support Subcommittee, Mitigating Circumstances Panel, and other College and Faculty forums as necessary cascading information where relevant.

  • To coordinate the MBBS Student Support Working Group, and Bioscience support and professionalism meetings, ensuring the team provide appropriate servicing officer support across these welfare forums as appropriate.  

  • To manage the production of student support information; ensuring handbooks, policy and process documentation are updated and that accurate and comprehensive information is available in good time to students & other stakeholders and is accessible via Keats. 

  • To participate in Open Days and other College promotion activities representing the Faculty and ensuring there is access to information on welfare, support and adjustments. To ensure that offer holders have access to programme-specific information and are aware of professional programmes expectations.

  • To deputise for the Student Experience Manager where appropriate; and to act as the Deputy Safeguarding Officer when necessary to ensure appropriate welfare of Under 18 students and vulnerable adults.

Skills, knowledge, and experience

Essential criteria

  • Degree or equivalent
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills; demonstrable ability to present information clearly, accurately and concisely to diverse audiences
  • Ability to organise, delegate and plan effectively across competing priorities
  • Excellent attention to detail with methodical, exacting standards of written and numerical accuracy
  • Able to manage and motivate a successful team; delivering objectives, managing performance whilst enabling development and succession planning
  • Ability to make timely informed decisions and independently resolve problems
  • Ability to form professional networks and contribute positively to implementing change
  • Evidence of experience of  reviewing a process or policy, and contributing to enhancing procedural systems
  • Excellent IT experience, across all Microsoft packages; with significant experience of databases (student records systems) and reporting
  • Evidence of capability to interpret and apply College and programme regulations maintaining up to date knowledge of external statutory compliance obligations
  • Able to negotiate and influence across organisational boundaries to deliver  a timely positive outcome diplomatically
  • Demonstrative enthusiasm, drive and initiative; adopts a proactive approach
  • Desire to work to professional standards with integrity, honesty and confidentiality
  • To be incisive and apply resourcefulness and sound judgement
  • The role may be required to work at both Guys and Waterloo campuses
  • There may be some travel to hospital sites and other placement providers

Desirable criteria

  • Evidence of continued professional training or development
  • Previous HE experience; with an emphasis on managing student support preferably for a health programme
  • Experience of programme governance and delivering professional committee servicing

Further information

This post is subject to Disclosure and Barring Service clearance.