Assistant Principal (Stephenson College)

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Durham, ENGLAND

Assistant Principal (Stephenson College) (
Job Number:
Stephenson College
Grade 7: - £37,099 - £44,263 per annum
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date
: 09-Oct-2023, 6:59:00 PM
Disclosure and Barring Service Requirement: Not Applicable. 

The University

At Durham University we are proud of our people.  A globally outstanding centre of educational excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, a unique and historic setting – Durham is a university like no other. We believe that inspiring our people to do outstanding things at Durham enables Durham people to do outstanding things professionally and personally.  Across the University we have a huge variety of roles and career opportunities, which together make us a large and successful community, which is a key hub of activity within our region and nationally.  We would be thrilled if you would consider joining our thriving University. Further information about the University can be found here

The Role and Department

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.

This role will be based in Stephenson College, a modern, progressive College which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2021. Stephenson is a medium-size college with a multi-disciplinary community constituting 1,200 undergraduates and 175 postgraduates. Around 430 students live in College. The College works closely with its student common rooms to deliver an enriching student experience that is meaningful for all of its students. It also has a growing Senior Common Room and alumni community, both of which contribute to the life of Stephenson College. Our college values are courage, curiosity, responsibility, inclusivity and kindness, and we believe that change starts with us.  

The post-holder will be involved in a wide range of activities aimed at furthering the College and University strategy, especially in relation to the effective administration of the college.

We are now inviting applications for the permanent post of Assistant Principal at Stephenson College. Reporting to the Principal and working closely with the Vice-Principal, the post-holder will be an integral and visible member of the College community, helping to foster a stimulating and supportive environment in the College for academic study, social interaction, and student enrichment. They will lead on the student support and wellbeing provision within the College, being the primary point of contact for the College’s students and will provide them with face-to-face student support services. The post-holder will also support pro-active wellbeing initiatives within the College, working closely with the JCR and MCR Welfare Officers. The Assistant Principal will work closely with the Vice-Principal on the annual admissions process. This post is a full-time role with line management responsibility for the College Student Support Administrator and Assistant Student Support Officer.

The successful candidate will be a friendly and motivated individual with a passion to see students from diverse backgrounds progress academically, overcome challenges, and develop as mature, well-rounded individuals equipped to engage with difference. They will be an effective communicator with a strong sense of professionalism and a champion of the College’s values, creating an inclusive environment for all students within the vision, mission and ethos of Stephenson College.

Further information about the role and the responsibilities is at the bottom of this job description.

Working at Durham 

A competitive salary is only one part of the many fantastic benefits you will receive if you join the University: you will also receive access to the following fantastic benefits: 

•    30 Days annual leave per year in addition to 8 public holidays and 4 customary days per year – a total of 42 days per year.  
•    The University closes between Christmas and New Year. 
•    We offer a generous pension scheme, As a new member of staff you will be automatically enrolled into the University Superannuation Scheme (USS).
•    No matter how you travel to work, we have you covered.  We have parking across campus, a cycle to work scheme which helps you to buy a bike and discount with local bus and train companies.
•    There is a genuine commitment to developing our colleagues professionally and personally.  There is a comprehensive range of development courses, apprenticeships and access to qualifications and routes to develop your career in the University.  All staff have dedicated annual time to concentrate on their personal development opportunities. 
•    Lots of support for health and wellbeing including discounted membership for our state of the art sport and gym facilities and access to a 24-7 Employee Assistance Programme.
•    On site nursery is available and children’s clubs in the summer holidays.
•    Family friendly policies, including maternity and adoption leave, which are among the most generous in the higher education sector (and likely above and beyond many employers).
•    The opportunity to take part in staff volunteering activities to make a difference in the local community
•    Discounts are available via our benefits portal including; money off at supermarkets, high street retailers, IT products such as Apple, the cinema and days out at various attractions. 
•    A salary sacrifice scheme is also available to help you take advantage of tax savings on benefits. 
•    If you are moving to Durham, we can help with removal costs and we have a dedicated team who can help you with the practicalities such as house hunting and schools.  If you need a visa, we cover most visa costs and offer an interest free loan scheme to pay for dependant visas.


Durham University is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion

Our collective aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and we believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work.  As a University equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are a key part of the University’s Strategy and a central part of everything we do.  We also live by our values and our Staff Code of Conduct.  At Durham we actively work towards providing an environment where our staff and students can study, work and live in a community which is supportive and inclusive. It’s important to us that all of our colleagues are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI.

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.  If you have taken time out of your career, and you feel it relevant, let us know about it in your application.  If you are a candidate with a disability, we are committed to ensuring fair treatment throughout the recruitment process. We will make adjustments to support the interview process wherever it is reasonable to do so and, where successful, reasonable adjustments will be made to support people within their role. 

What you need to demonstrate when you apply/Person Specification  
When you apply it is important that you let us know what skills/experience you have from a similar role and/or what skills/experience you have which would make you right for this role.  Further information about the role and responsibilities is at the end of this job description.  Where a criteria has an asterisk* next to it, it may be given additional weighting when your application is considered.    
Your application should cover the following criteria:
Essential Criteria

1.    Educated to degree level (or equivalent experience).
2.    Professional practitioner with knowledge and expertise in the delivery and development of student support and wellbeing within the organisation.
3.    Experience of implementing policies and procedures and supporting change and service improvements. 
4.    Experience of providing specialist advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues, including more senior colleagues.
5.    Experience of participating in internal or external networks to share and discuss good practice, develop strong and productive working relationships and positively influence the University’s reputation.
6.    Experience of managing and developing a team or teams and/or line management qualification. 

7.    Excellent spoken and written communication skills including the ability to develop effective working relationships, both internally and externally.
8.    Strong digital competence across a range of digital devices and apps including digital communication tools, Microsoft 365 applications, business systems.
9.    Committed to continuing professional development to maintain professional recognition.
10.    Knowledge and experience of ensuring compliance with regulatory and organisational policy and guidelines.
11.    Ability to solve problems and decide on and plan appropriate solutions.
Desirable Criteria

12. Previous experience working in a higher education setting.

13. Previous experience working in a Durham University College. 

How to Apply   

To progress to the assessment stage, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification above. It will be at the discretion of the recruiting panel as to whether they will also consider any desirable criteria, but we would urge candidates to provide evidence for all criteria.  Please don’t forget to check if there is any weighted criteria (see above).

While some criteria will be considered at the shortlisting stage, other criteria may be considered later in the assessment process, such as questions at interview.   
Submitting your application 

We prefer to receive applications online.   We will update you about 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 make sure you have not missed any of our updates.
What you need to submit   

•    A CV: and   
•    A  covering letter which outlines your skills and experience against each of the essential criteria.

Please note, applications will not be considered if all of the above documents are not submitted.  

Contact details   
To discuss the role please contact Professor Rob Lynes, Principal of Stephenson College & Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global) on 

Typical Role Requirements

Service Delivery/Development
•    Show a commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and Stephenson College's and University’s values.
•    Review and look for ways to improve systems and procedures that are relevant to your area of work in line with the University’s frameworks and Regulations.
•    Manage the delivery of student support and wellbeing across the College to a high standard.
•    Provide the best possible service by continually reviewing what is required from staff, students and others who you work with and contribute to ideas and service improvements.
•    Work with your team to look for ways to improve processes, techniques and outputs/results across all areas of your work.

Planning and Organisation
•    Manage the delivery of operational activities carried out by the Student Support team within College. 
•    Contribute to progressing the strategic and operational priorities of Stephenson College. 
•    Review data on the level of service provided by your area to recommend areas for future improvement.
•    Manage budgets and expenditure including buying (and returning) goods and services, where relevant. 

Team Development
•    Manage and monitor the performance, workload and expected outcomes of the Student Support Team and take action to respond anything that impacts on the service level provided.
•    Ensure that your team can deliver the required services by devolving and delegating responsibilities to appropriate team members.
•    Carry out regular performance reviews to provide feedback on objectives and expectations and identify any development needs.
•    Ensure that your team continues to develop by coaching and mentoring team members and delivering any training needs.
•    Support the welfare and wellbeing of your team referring more complex issues to specialist services.

•    Provide advice and share guidance with your stakeholders to ensure that the University’s policies, procedures and regulations are complied with.
•    Use your operational expertise to participate in business meetings, working groups and sub-committees.
•    Coordinate and oversee committees and other business meetings and deal with any related complaints.
•    Update policies and procedures in response to any internal or external changes.
•    Create positive working relationships, including internal and external networks, using your networks to increase your knowledge and skills and swap information with peers.

•    Any other reasonable duties.   

Please note, the Assistant Principal is required to take part in an out-of-hours welfare duty rota throughout the year.   


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 Privacy Notices - Durham University  which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.   

When appointing to this role the University must ensure that it meets any applicable immigration requirements, including salary thresholds which are applicable to some visas.

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