Assistant Principal

Durham, United Kingdom
£33,797 to £40,322
23 Oct 2020
End of advertisement period
23 Nov 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Part Time

St Mary's College

Grade 7: - £33,797 to £40,322
Fixed Term - Part Time
Contract Duration: 18 months
Contracted Hours per Week: 17.5
Closing Date: 23-Nov-2020, 7:59:00 AM

This post is  part time, fixed term for an 18 month period and may be offered on a secondment basis, subject to the agreement of the current line manager.

Job Family: Community, Participation and Engagement Services

OUR CHARACTERISTICS: We are welcoming, collegiate and inclusive.

OUR VALUES: We are motivated, inquisitive, challenging, rigorous and innovative.

Durham University

Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Business, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives.

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.

It is expected that all staff within the University:

  • Contribute to our learning culture by engaging in mentoring, training and coaching.
  • Positively contribute to fostering a collegial environment; as well as demonstrating commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Have due regard to Health and Safety requirements appropriate to grade and role.

Family key attributes

Roles in this family provide an excellent stakeholder experience for our diverse and supportive community.

Overall family purpose

  • Provide excellent student support services, development and extra-curricular activities.
  • Align and deliver programmes and activities to meet operational and strategic objectives to enhance the stakeholder experience.
  • Respond to stakeholders at the point of service delivery, either in situ or remotely.
  • Facilitate the development of excellent colleague and academic engagement.
  • Provide a stakeholder focussed service designed to increase widening participation and diversity.
  • Promote the Durham reputation by establishing and broadening national and international community links to enhance the cultural and economic viability of the City and region.
  • Enhance the Durham wider student experience by developing extra-curricular activities.
  • Contribute to and enhance active, inclusive and supportive communities of stakeholders.
  • Work collaboratively and network across the University with staff in other families to ensure a smooth, timely and high-quality delivery of service.
  • Engage with suppliers, consultants and specialist professionals to deliver programmes and activities to enhance the stakeholder experience.
  • Engage and encourage outreach and participation with external professionals, schools, alumni and donors.
  • Engage and network with both internal and external stakeholders to facilitate knowledge exchange and impact through local, national and international communities.

Link to key strategic plan

  • An economically and environmentally sustainable approach to delivering stakeholder focussed services across the University;
  • A world-class student, alumni and donor experience;
  • Focussed on the needs of all users working together to deliver front-line services as part of the Wider Student Experience;
  • Learn from and match best practice in the Wider Student Experience around the world;
  • Opening up our world-class sporting facilities to local clubs and athletes;
  • Support and facilitate activities as part of the Widening Student Experience at Durham;
  • A stakeholder-focused orientation, offering satisfying careers to all staff;
  • Ensure that an increasingly diverse workforce is treated equally, fairly and with respect, and that all staff are demonstrably valued and actively engaged.

The Department and role purpose

The Colleges and Student Experience Division includes the 15 Maintained Colleges, Experience Durham, the Student Support and Wellbeing Directorate, and the Wider Student Experience Operations Directorate.

St Mary’s College is Durham’s third-oldest college, dating back to 1899. Originally an all-women’s college, it is now fully mixed, and has a reputation as one of Durham’s most supportive and vibrant colleges with excellent staff-student relationships. It currently numbers approximately 950 student members in Durham City, of whom over 100 are postgraduates. The College also has some distance-learning and part-time postgraduates with a College affiliation.

There are two part-time Assistant Principals (0.5 FTE) at St Mary’s. Line-managed by the Vice-Principal, they offer student support to enable students to succeed both academically and socially during their time at University.

The Assistant Principal will assist the Principal and her team in matters concerning student support and admissions, and the development of the college community. The Assistant Principal will be a primary contact for the College’s student body, offering support to individual students as well as supporting the work of the Junior Common Room.

The Assistant Principal will be educated to degree level or equivalent, be able to appreciate the problems faced by students, be able to listen and to report conversations accurately, be discrete and able to manage appropriate levels of confidentiality while understanding areas that cannot be kept confidential. The Assistant Principal will be able to liaise with students, non-academic mentors, and the staff in the Wider Student Experience and Wellbeing teams.

The person appointed will be expected to become involved in College life as an active member of the Senior Common Room, and to take part in College events and activities such as Open Days, Mentor evenings, Careers evenings, Formal dinners, Induction (Freshers) week, and Graduation – these events will require the Assistant Principal to be available to work evenings and weekends from time to time. The Assistant Principal will also be required to participate in the Duty-Officer on-call rota.

  Under the direction of the Vice-Principal, the postholder will conduct day-to-day work on student support and development, leading on individual student support cases and escalating complex cases as necessary. The postholder will also contribute to pro-active wellbeing and development initiatives within the College, in addition to conducting disciplinary interventions with students on the occasions this is necessary.

Core responsibilities:

  • Recognised professional practitioner and management and/or service specialist with responsibility for the management of team members.
  • Provide input to the design and development of service processes, techniques and deliverables for one or more service areas or projects.
  • Manage operational service activities to ensure excellence in the stakeholder experience.
  • Contribute to the analysis of stakeholder feedback to help define needs and requirements, inputting to the design and planning of services.
  • Internal and external relationship development and partnership working, networking and participation to engage and influence future services and the University reputation.
  • Provide feedback on team and individual performance and identify development needs, conducting regular staff ADR and performance reviews.
  • Handle the vast majority of welfare issues within a team, referring more complex welfare issues to appropriate support services/senior management.
  • Delivery of ongoing coaching, mentoring and training to team members.
  • Maintain an awareness of current policy for University business goals such as widening participation and access.
  • Contribute to business meetings, working groups and sub committees at departmental and operational service levels.
  • Devolve responsibilities to team members to ensure continuity of service provision and encourage skills development.

Role responsibilities:

  • Provide management for the operation of a student-focused service area.
  • Manage and monitor service performance and provide metrics and reports to the Principal and Vice-Principal, making recommendations as appropriate.
  • Participate in and monitor communities of practice and partnership working internally and externally.
  • Network and engage with external and internal stakeholders to ensure continued liaison, follow up of individual cases and to gather feedback and identify future service needs, to ensure excellence in service provision.
  • Contribute to the production and analysis of statistical service metrics to identify successful delivery and areas for future improvement.
  • Distribute and process key service information to all stakeholders.
  • Implement continuous service improvements to enhance the delivery of stakeholder services.
  • Communicate with internal and external stakeholders, including all students of the College and College Mentors, using appropriate media and methods.
  • Contribute to the delivery of activities that generate external income.
  • Develop, modify and optimise service protocols and methodologies.
  • Deliver support elements of the wider student experience. 
  • Any other reasonable duties.

Specific role requirements

  • Being an integral and visible member of the College Community and working some evenings and weekends to support the delivery of College activities and initiatives as appropriate.
  • Participating in rota duties for the provision of out-of-hours Emergency Cover at the discretion of the Principal.

Recruiting to this post

In order to be considered for interview, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification above (including those listed in the section ‘Realising Your Potential Approach’).     In some cases, the recruiting panel may also consider the desirable criteria, so we recommend you evidence all criteria in your application.

Please note that some criteria will only be considered at interview stage.

How to apply

We prefer to receive applications online.

Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement https://www.dur.ac.uk/ig/dp/privacy/pnjobapplicants/ which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.

What you are required to submit

  1. A CV;
  2. A covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above;
  3. Answers to the questions evidencing how you satisfy the person specification essential criteria.

Please ensure that you submit all documentation listed above or your application cannot proceed to the next stage.

This post requires a DBS Check.

Contact details

For further information please contact; Andrew Unwin (Vice Principal, St Mary's College) via email (andrew.unwin@durham.ac.uk).

At Durham University, our aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work. We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

We will notify you on the status of your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails

Person specification - skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience required

Essential Criteria

  1. Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to develop excellent working relationships both internally and externally.
  2. Proven IT skills, including use of Microsoft Office.
  3. Educated to degree level (or equivalent experience).
  4. Continuing professional development required to maintain professional recognition. 
  5. Professional practitioner with knowledge and expertise gained in a student support environment.
  6. Experience of providing specialist advice and guidance in a student-focused setting to a range of customers and colleagues, including more senior colleagues.
  7. Experience of being able to network effectively and develop strong and productive working relationships, to influence perceptions of the University.
  8. Knowledge and experience of ensuring compliance with regulatory and organisational policy and guidelines.

Desirable Criteria

Experience of managing and developing a team or teams and/or line management qualification.

Experience of implementing policy and procedures and involvement with future changes for a service area.

Ability to contribute to planning at operational level.

DBS Requirement: Please note that the succesful applicant will require DBS disclosure.