Director of Student Services
A significant transformation programme is being initiated to improve the student experience at King’s, with changes underway or planned across systems, processes, people, data and policies. Excellent progress has been made on an ambitious Education Strategy, characterised by innovation, flexibility and enrichment. And there is a need to accelerate the operationalisation of planned strategic changes and the transformation of services is an essential next step in delivering a 21st century student experience.
About the role
The postholder will oversee and coordinate teams across the key strategic areas of Student Services, to develop an overarching and integrated Student Services delivery plan, in conjunction with the Strategic Director, Education & Students.
The teams currently within Student Services are: Advice, Wellbeing & Welfare; Student Conduct & Appeals; Disability Support & Inclusion; and Counselling & Mental Health Support. The postholder will work closely with the Associate Directors for all these teams, and with colleagues in faculties, including Associate Directors Education and Student Experience Managers, and with cognate services, including Organisational Development, Residences, King’s Sport & Wellness, and the Health Centre.
Our ambition remains for every King’s student to be able to achieve their potential, enabled by world-class, inclusive, research-enhanced teaching, supported by outstanding and accessible physical and digital learning environments, and personalised student journeys. The Director of Student Services will be key in linking up relevant teams within Education & Students, and broader institutional capacity, to support this ambition.
We are looking for an individual who shares our aspirations and our values, who is comfortable working strategically and operationally, who understand how to deliver support and services to students and other end-users, and who is equipped to work in a high volume, complex and fast-paced environment.
The post holder will be expected to demonstrate at all times:
- Exceptional leadership commensurate with building a culture of empowered accountability throughout the Directorate
- Application of evidence-based analytical, creative and constructive thinking
- Engagement with national and international developments, taking responsibility for horizon-scanning and gathering sector and other intelligence around emerging policy and best practice
- Collaborative working across King’s professional services, faculties, academic and student communities, with a meaningful and visible commitment to tackling structural inequality
- Commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion
This post will be offered on an indefinite contract.
This is a full-time post, but we welcome applications from candidates seeking a flexible work pattern within our necessary service operating hours.
This is currently a hybrid working role with both work from home and on campus. The role will be based in our department, currently on the Strand campus and will be expected to be visible across all five King’s campuses
- Working closely with the Strategic Director, Education & Students, and the Associate Directors for the teams within Student Services, to develop an overarching and integrated Student Services delivery plan.
- Acting as a key escalation and decision making point regarding complex student cases, and liaising between specialist teams and with senior colleagues, where required. Serving as the Deputy Chief Safeguarding Officer for Students.
- Providing leadership in key policy areas, for example, in relation to recent legislative changes around Freedom of Expression
- Driving continuous and sustained service improvements, and ensuring that inclusive practice and mental health & wellbeing are embedded as core principles underpinning all our work on Student Services, in order that we remove barriers to participation, progression, attainment and satisfaction.
- Partnering with King’s College London Students’ Union, and embedding a range of approaches to understanding and responding to the student insights, to ensure that the Students’ Union and the student body can contribute to the development and implementation of activities in all these areas
- Piloting, tracking and evaluating the effectiveness of Student Services initiatives and making strategic adjustments as necessary.
- Using metrics and data such as student survey outcomes, and information around waiting times and other leading indicators, and engagement with specialist services to feed into service improvements or projects.
- Proactively engaging with faculty colleagues and others supporting students to ensure that institution-wide support is leveraged, and that delivery plans for Student Services are well understood, consulted on, and implemented in an integrated way
- Staying abreast of sector-wide developments in Student Services and inclusive practice
- Supporting the training, mentoring, development and career progression of colleagues in the function
- Deputising for the Strategic Director, as required
- Playing an active role as a leader in the Students and Education Directorate and being able to represent the Directorate in internal and external forums.
The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.
Skills, knowledge, and experience
Please clearly address how you meet the essential criteria in your application, and where possible how you meet the desirable criteria as well.
- Relevant work experience and/or education: We think a wide range of different work and educational experiences could support you to be successful in this role. Relevant work experience might include at least five years of heading up a student services team. Relevant educational experiences might include higher education in a related discipline, professional qualifications or other training.
- The proven ability to develop strategy and to ensure its translation into service delivery through impactful management of standards and key performance indicators.
- The proven ability to lead and support a team with varied work responsibilities, and to support cross-institutional engagement by those team members
- Well-developed understanding of the needs of students and academic colleagues, and the ability to manage risk effectively and proactively
- Ability to engage in collaborative working across King’s professional services, other Faculties, academic and student communities, with a meaningful and visible commitment to Diversity & Inclusion policies and practices.
- Ability to lead beyond authority, achieving outcomes through effective influence and negotiation.
- Adept at maintaining progress on multiple agendas and projects simultaneously.
- Experience in data analysis and research, and the development of large-scale communication plans with excellent writing skills and the ability to incorporate feedback from multiple sources and diverse perspectives.
- Experience of professional services leadership in Higher Education or in an equivalent setting of similar scale and complexity.
Please submit a personal statement when applying for this vacancy, clearly setting out how you meet the essential criteria, as this is how we shortlist applications. Learn more about how we recruit, including tips on writing your application and supporting statement on our website
If you are a student or alumni of King’s there are resources from King’s Careers & Employability to support you in your application and interview.
Interviews will be held in person on the Strand campus and will consist of a presentation by the candidate, followed up competency-based questions linked closely to the essential and desirable criteria mentioned here.
Although we have made improvements over the last number of years, our team is still under-represented in terms of staff from global majority ethnicities, LGBTQ+ identities, and from people with disabilities. We encourage applications from all backgrounds, communities and industries, and are committed to employing a team that has diverse skills, experiences and abilities.
Interviews are scheduled to take place – in person on the Strand campus – on Tuesday 10 October 2023.