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Interim Head of the School of Social and Health Sciences

Responsible to: Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Internal Contacts: Students, Staff of the School of Social and Health Sciences and other Departments; Vice-Chancellor; Deputy Vice-Chancellor; members of the Executive Team and the Leadership Team; Director of Research; Heads of (Academic) Schools.

External Contacts: School Heads, professional bodies, local councils, schools and colleges, relevant government Departments, charitable organisations outside agencies, potential employers, business partners, other academic institutions and partnerships.

Purpose of Post

The primary function is to provide strategic leadership across the School and further develop effective ways of working making maximum use of available resources and processes, whilst facilitating a collegiate and productive working environment across the School. This will be exercised within the context of wider strategic and operational plans of the University and of emerging priorities.

The postholder will have a key role to play in ensuring the quality of the student learning experience and staff performance. They are also expected to play an active role in the wider business of the University, identifying the potential for new opportunities and to work closely with key senior colleagues.

Key Accountabilities

The Head of School is ultimately accountable for the below responsibilities but may devolve authority for decisions to other colleagues in the School.

Corporate Responsibilities

  1. To contribute to the fulfilment of the University’s Mission, Vision & Values and Strategic Plan.
  2. As a member of the Leadership Team, to participate in the University’s decision-making processes and accept responsibility for the implementation, at School level, of agreed University policies, priorities and strategic initiatives.
  3. To ensure that the work of the School is underpinned by appropriate Research and Scholarly activity.
  4. To make a significant personal contribution in developing research, scholarship and other related activities across the School and wider University.
  5. To encourage and promote the generation of income including the diversification of income streams through knowledge exchange and consultancy.
  6. To promote and facilitate programme and short course developments across the School and across other departments.
  7. To provide intelligence and analysis of external policy initiatives and drivers in the areas of relevant to the School in order to assist the Executive in decision making.
  8. To support the further development of the University and respond effectively to the needs generated by a diverse student body and the external environment.
  9. To be responsible for ensuring that the operations of the School are conducted in accordance with the Data Protection Act and the University’s policies for Health and Safety and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Academic Leadership

  1. To provide leadership of the academic provision including pedagogy, research and knowledge exchange and curricula development. This will involve fostering an appropriate ethos and culture within the School resulting in effective, innovative academic practice and effective working relationships.
  2. To determine and manage an effective School organisational and committee structure and managing this structure to ensure ongoing fitness for purpose.
  3. To maintain and enhance the on-going quality of all School activities including the implementation of quality assurance processes and the maintenance and enhancement of academic standards in line with the requirements of the QAA, OfS and other relevant PSRBs.
  4. To represent the School to the University and discharge an ambassadorial role by maintaining and enhancing the standing and reputation of the School to external academic, professional and employer communities and to potential students.

Strategy and Policy Development and Implementation

  1. To establish, implement and review School strategic and operational plans in line with University strategic plans, with reference, for example, to key strategies in relation to learning and teaching, student support, research and knowledge services, curriculum and resource and financial management.
  2. To be instrumental in establishing, implementing and reviewing local policy within the wider University framework and seeking compliance with general University policies and regulatory framework in relation to, for example, finance, health and safety, equal opportunities, employment matters and information technology.

Quality of Student Learning Experience 

To be responsible for the quality of the student experience from initial marketing and recruitment stages through to graduation. This will include responsibilities for the provision and review of appropriate support arrangements, of relevant programmes and effective learning opportunities designed to promote the academic development of students, the quality and effectiveness of communication with students and actions in response to student feedback.

Resource Management

  1. To be responsible for the acquisition and management of resources (academic staff, finance, space and equipment). The management of academic staff will involve ensuring that effective annual staff appraisals are conducted, managing performance against agreed objectives, workload plans completed and staff development plans implemented.
  2. To manage and review budgets, producing financial and investment plans, encouraging income generating activities and managing the School infrastructure and equipment needs.

Risk Management

Directors are responsible for assessing and managing risk within the scope of the role, in line with the University’s Risk Management policy and to escalate matters where necessary. They are also accountable and responsible for health and safety as defined in the Health and Safety policy.

In addition, the postholder will be required to undertake any other duties, commensurate with the grade of the post, as directed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor after due consultation.

The postholder is required to apply the University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy in the postholder’s own area of responsibility and in their general conduct.

This job description is current on the date shown below. It is liable to variation by the Vice-Chancellor in order to reflect or anticipate University developments and changes in the requirements of the post.

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