Head of Student Health & Wellbeing Service

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


  • Posted on: 23rd Feb 2021
  • Salary: £51,034 - £54,131 per annum
  • REF: 5876
  • Closes: 09th March 2021
  • Contract Type: Permanent
  • Hours: Full Time

We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.

Salary: £51,034 – £54,131 per annum

Closing Date: 9 March 2021

Interviews will be scheduled to take place during week commencing 22 March 2021.

The Role

Newcastle University is seeking to appoint a Head of Service to lead a portfolio of key Student Health and Wellbeing services (SHWS). Reporting to the Director of Student Health and Wellbeing, you will provide effective day to day leadership of assigned SHWS teams (Disability, Counselling, Student Welfare, Faith & Spirituality, Hate Crime and Sexual Violence support). Alongside this, you will lead and contribute to wider wellbeing initiatives across the University, in order to support the wellbeing and effectiveness of all students.

Deputise for the Director of SHWS with the planning, development, delivery and evaluation of a high quality, inclusive, effective support services; ensuring that services data is accurate and up to date, they follow professional best practice, are legislative compliant and have a strong focus on the integration and collaboration between SHWS teams and the wider University and beyond. Take the lead on specific, University-wide wellbeing initiatives particularly those which ensure consistency of practice and improve the quality of service we offer to our students.

For an informal discussion or for further information contact Sally Ingram, Director of Student Health & Wellbeing Service, Sally.Ingram@newcastle.ac.uk

Key Accountabilities

  • Provide effective leadership and direction to service areas assigned to the role, promoting an ethos of integrated service wide collaboration, developing high performing teams with a culture of continuous performance improvement
  • As a member of the SWS Leadership Team, have collective responsibility for the vision of the Service, fostering a culture of service excellence
  • Working with the Director of SWS to prepare the services strategic and operational professional service plans
  • To lead, contribute and participate in the services strategic and operational planning processes, to support the strategic direction of the Service and University. You will also be expected to lead in responding to opportunities and challenges that might affect the strategic and operational plans and to forward plan the business cycle of the Service
  • To contribute to the services planning and budgetary discussions, ensure the effective management of the business of financial planning/budgeting
  • Utilise and manage allocated budget and resources effectively and flexibly, managing all related expenditure to ensure delivery of targets/objectives within budget
  • You will be responsible for considering all bids for financial support across the service, scrutinising requests that have an impact on the overall budget, ensuring that there is no duplication across the unit to ensure that effective support is maintained in a value for money way
  • Support relevant SHWS managers on matters that ensure consistency of practice, effective staff management and development, and the effective use of appropriate KPIs and management data, to drive service development
  • Have responsibility for the daily leadership and development of relevant SHWS services and its staff
  • To work with the Director to develop and implement service delivery which is aligned with University strategic plans, in order ensure SHWS services are appropriately resourced, accessible, effective and responsive to current and future student need
  • Work with key Student Union and University colleagues to enhance institutional policy and practice which ensure the quality of disabled student support and crisis management
  • Be the service lead on complex and high risk student case management, in collaboration with relevant external partners, schools and key student and academic service colleagues
  • Be part of student critical incident responses and out of hours crisis management activity when required
  • Facilitate cross campus approaches to student support services, to enable parity of support across the student body
  • Develop effective evaluation and performance reporting processes which are aligned with external frameworks and requirements, and use data metrics to evidence the impact of service need and activity
  • Maintain expert knowledge of professional practice and standards, and of national policy and sector innovation, particularly in relation to inclusivity, disability, wellbeing and safeguarding
  • Lead and contribute to role relevant committees and task and finish groups
  • Establish effective relationships with key partners, including external support service managers, professional service colleagues, academic staff and most importantly with Students’ Union officers, liaising on services provided by SHWS to facilitate closer links, and resolving significant issues associated with service delivery
  • When necessary liaise and support student’s friends and family members during crisis situations and/or after a student death.

The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills & Experience

Please provide examples of how you meet the essential criteria in your covering letter.

  • Commitment to equality and diversity and its practical implications
  • Significant contemporary experience of managing student centred wellbeing and mental health service in a diverse UK Higher Education Institution
  • A comprehensive understanding of key professional and compliance matters, legislation and sector practice in student wellbeing
  • Demonstrable experience of developing and delivering an effective service vision and strategy
  • Strong and proven leadership and performance management skills, including leading staff through a process of change, motivating and engaging staff, ensuring service deliverables meet the highest standards and addressing staff performance issues where necessary
  • Strong experience of using complex, diverse and incomplete data and evidence, to inform decision-making, finance management and business planning
  • Significant proven experience of risk prevention, assessment and management of complex emergency situations
  • Strong financial management experience, utilising resources for their greatest impact
  • Ability to maintain personal and professional resilience
  • Commitment to on-going professional development and reflective practice
  • Excellent project management skills including experience of scoping out, managing and delivering complex projects to tight deadlines
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills including the ability to build operative relationships of high credibility with students and staff, including senior colleagues across the University
  • Excellent IT, written communication skills including the ability to prepare, analyse and present reports, including those of a statistical nature, at an institutional level

Attributes and Behaviour

Planning and Organising:

  • Maintains flexibility in work plans to allow for changing circumstances
  • Strategic planning and implementation of short and longer term objectives for quality service development and delivery
  • Effective at organising and managing complex management responsibilities

Finding solutions

  • Recognises urgency and takes decisive action when required
  • Considers large amounts of complex information quickly and identifies key issues
  • Sees and/or develops a range of options to deal with problems and uses skill, knowledge and experience to decide how best to proceed
  • Confidently deals with a broad range of information


  • Builds relationships with key players both internally and externally in order to gain support
  • Uses a variety of influencing styles to suit the audience
  • Thinks about the desired impact required and plans and prepares a suitable approach


  • Can put forward own view whilst listening and respecting the views and opinions of others
  • Tailors content of communication to the audience, changing style, tone and format appropriately
  • Uses face to face communication regularly; team meetings, one to ones, informal discussions/chats, briefing sessions etc.

Embracing Change

  • Takes the initiative to ensure future success of the University and area/junction by presenting new ideas and approaches
  • Accepts the reality and requirements of change as part of achieving organisational goals
  • Is supportive of others during change
  • Anticipates and accepts change and prepares for it accordingly

Decision Making

  • Taking responsibility for day to day service management and deciding to delegate where appropriate
  • Making decisions to enable efficient and optimal service provision to the student population
  • Leading on key decisions about individual high concern student cases


  • A degree and relevant experience
  • A professional or service management subject qualification relating to one or more aspect of the assigned student health and wellbeing service management

Other Relevant Information

  • A DBS check is required for this post.
  • The post requires out of hours actions to support students and colleagues in dealing with very difficult/crisis situations.

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society. We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.

Requisition ID: 5876

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