Vice Principal

Updated: 4 months ago
Location: Durham, ENGLAND

Vice Principal (
Job Number:
John Snow College
Grade 8: - £44,414- £52,841 per annum
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date
: 25-May-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.

The Vice-Principal will join the senior management team of a college and will have a strong strategic and developmental emphasis. 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 personal development of students and the future development of the College.. If they are the line manager for the Assistant Principal, they will also oversee the provision of student support within the College in partnership with the Student Support and Wellbeing Directorate.

The Vice-Principal will support the Head of College (a) in ensuring the College offers a supportive and stimulating environment for academic study, cultural and developmental activities, and social interaction which engages students, staff, SCR members, visitors and alumni; and (b) in promoting and enabling intellectual curiosity, personal effectiveness, wellbeing and resilience, and a sense of community and responsibility among all students.

Balance and focus of responsibilities will be agreed with the College Principal.
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 this University Superannuation Scheme (USS).  
•    No matter how you travel to work, we have you covered.  We have ample 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

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to develop effective working relationships, both internally and externally.
  • Proven IT skills, including use of Microsoft Office.
  • Educated to degree level or equivalent experience and a track record of achievement in a recognised academic or comparable field.
  • Knowledge and expertise in student development and support.
  • Experience of providing specialist advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues, including students and more senior colleagues.
  • Ability to contribute to planning at operational and strategic levels.
  • Willingness to undertake continuing professional development in the field of student development and support.
  • Knowledge and experience of ensuring compliance with regulatory and organisational policy and guidelines.  
  • Experience of being able to network effectively and develop strong and productive working relationships, to influence perceptions of the University.
  • A good understanding of higher education in the UK and an appreciation of the role of colleges in a collegiate University.
  • Experience of working in a multi-cultural environment and an understanding of needs of students from minority groups.
  • A commitment to issues of diversity, equality and internationalisation.
  • Desirable Criteria

  • Track record of management and development experience.
  • 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 supporting statement which outlines how you meet all of the criteria within the Person Specification.

    Contact details    
    For a chat about the role or any further information please co
    ntact Janet Dixon- Dawson, Vice- Principal of John Snow College, would be happy to speak with you. Please email 
    Typical Role Requirements  

    Service Delivery
    •    Ensure all activities, processes and transactions are accounted for accurately and promptly to meet regulatory and professional service and policy standards. 
    •    Implement processes to manage the integrity and security of all commercially and professionally sensitive and personal data. 
        Responsible for allocating and monitoring the non-staff college financial budget and resources relating to WSE.
    •    Manage specific quality and regulatory audit process stakeholder services over-arching systems and procedures. 
    •    Contribute to the definition, development and implementation of service standards.
    •    Deliver activities and participate with others to generate external income. 
    •    A commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and the University’s values.

    •   Provide expertise aimed at furthering the College, Division and University Strategy, especially in relation to the personal development of students, and oversee the provision of student support in partnership with the Student Support and Wellbeing Directorate.

    Planning and Organising
    •    Contribute to the scoping and resource planning across a range of activities at operational and possibly strategic level. 
    •    Lead on the design, implementation and monitoring of policy and quality standards, procedures and systems to ensure effective working and continuous improvement.
    •    Analyse stakeholder feedback, implementing and reviewing service provision.  


    Teamwork and Team Development
    •    Manage and develop service, infrastructure and people performance across one or more teams. 
    •    Provide feedback on team and individual performance and identify development needs, conducting regular staff ADR and performance reviews. 
    •    Recruit, induct, train and develop new team members. 
    •    Help to shape the skills and expertise of future team members and design work structures to meet operational and strategic goals. 
    •    Handle the vast majority of HR issues within a team, referring more complex HR issues to appropriate support services/senior management. 
    •    Devolve responsibilities to team members to ensure continuity of service provision and encourage skills development. 
    •    Ensure all stakeholder-facing staff provide an accessible, friendly and professional service by shaping processes for inducting and developing staff. 


    •    Deliver a specialist service using creativity and innovation for communication and promotion purposes, to engage and influence internal and external stakeholders. 
    •    Liaise and engage with key stakeholders and internal and external contractors to influence opinion, delivery and reputation of services. 
    •    Lead internal business meetings, working groups and sub-committees at operational service level to influence governance, organisational policy and standards for the service. 
        Develop external relations, identifying and developing opportunities for communities of practice, employers, alumni and donors to contribute to the College via extra-curricular activities and increased levels of participation.
    •    Build and sustain an influential network of contacts both internally and externally to influence and promote the reputation of the College and the University.
    •    Represent the College and University at promotional events, marketing them effectively to potential student applicants, parents, schools and sponsors; contribute to the delivery of presentations at conferences.

    •   Lead the development of appropriate structures, procedures and initiatives for maximising students’ personal development and (in partnership with the Student Support and Wellbeing Directorate) optimising student support within the College.

    •   Develop and maintain a vibrant and distinctive community in which students are able to grow and develop in confidence academically, socially and culturally.

    •   Take responsibility for student disciplinary matters in consultation with the Head of College, liaising where required with relevant support departments.

    •   Hold responsibility for leading the College and representing it at meetings in the absence of the Head of College.

    Knowledge and Experience 
    •    Provide expert professional subject and/or managerial and leadership expertise. 
    •    Promote and develop a deep understanding of organisational policy and external developments. 
    •    Provide professional guidance and advice to students and service users with complaints and referrals.

    •    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 Emergency Cover at the discretion of the Head of College.


    Useful links 
    If you would like further information you may find the following will help 
    John Snow College - Durham University
    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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