Head of Operations - School of Education 

University of Birmingham

More jobs at University of Birmingham


United Kingdom

Position type:

Full time


£40,792 to £48,677

25 Feb 2019
24 Mar 2019

Full details:

Reference number: BIR-14506a

Job Purpose

This is a crucial post in the College in which the post holder works closely with the College Director of Operations (DoOp), Head of School, College Director of Internationalisation, Deputy Director of Operations (Education) and College Directors of Education and Research, all of whom play key roles in College decision-making, policy and strategy.

The role of the Head of Operations (HoOp) is to ensure the provision of efficient professional services within the School, by providing effective leadership and management of the School’s professional services staff, working closely with staff from the College Hub and, as necessary, from within the wider University Corporate Services.In addition, the HoOp will support the Head of School to become a more effective leader by ensuring that the School has the appropriate resources at its disposal – including financial, operational and human – to ensure the delivery of the School’s strategic aims.The post holder will be a full member of the School Management Team (SMT) and, as such, will be an integral member of the School’s senior leadership team.

The HoOp will be required to take a senior leadership role within the College and work closely with the professional services senior management team (PSSMT) to ensure that the College’s professional services teams provide an outstanding service to enable the College to achieve its strategic goals. The HoOp will also be required to lead on the cross College support for one of the thematic strategic areas of Research, Resources, Education, Internationalisation or Influence and Engagement.The current thematic lead for this post is Internationalisation but that is not set in stone and may change dependant on the needs of the College and the strengths of the candidate. This will include overseeing professional service support for the thematic activity, occasional projects, coordination and communication with Business Partners and may also include dotted or solid line management responsibility for professional services support within the relevant strategic theme. This is likely to equate to up to 40% of the role.

As well as having overall responsibility for the provision of professional services within the School, the post holder will be a member of the College of Social Sciences (CoSS) Operational Management Committee, which shadows the College Board, and takes a proactive approach in helping the College and wider University to realise its strategic aims through the development of professional services; which best meet the needs of the College, taking into account best practice from across the University as well as the wider Higher Education sector.The HoOp will be accountable for the delivery of these professional services and for optimising service delivery at School level to achieve the desired results in a cost effective and timely manner and to agreed quality standards. This will require excellent leadership and management capabilities together with highly developed interpersonal skills.

The post holder will have significant operational and budgetary responsibilities and will be required to develop and manage a large number of professional services staff - largely through intermediary professional services managers - utilising skill and judgement to conceive, develop and implement long term improvements to service delivery, both within their School(s) and also at College level. This will require excellent administrative, financial and organisational abilities, as well as the ability to multitask.

Day to day support for the Head of School will also be a key element of the role ensuring that the School runs smoothly and adapts appropriately to change. The role will also ensure that the School’s governance structures operate effectively and that it plays a full role within the College and, at times, within the wider University context as appropriate.This will require strong intellectual skills, a good understanding of teaching and research, together with the ability to work independently, using initiative and with the ability to complete tasks with minimum direction.

Person Specification


  • Formal education to degree level (or equivalent leadership experience)
  • Significant experience of managing large groups of customer facing staff where appropriate through intermediate managers
  • Excellent leadership and management skills and the ability to motivate teams and manage performance
  • The ability to think critically, to analyse complex data and produce meaningful reports for SMT and College Board that influence policy and facilitate decision-making
  • Evidence of working with a focus on excellence and continuous service improvement
  • Strong interpersonal skills to workwith senior managers across the university and colleagues at all levels both within the professional services teams and with academics
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills and the ability to produce a variety of documentation including strategies, operational plans, business cases, minutes and other reports
  • An ability to work under pressure, manage competing priorities, work to tight deadlines and demonstrate personal judgement and resourcefulness
  • First class project planning and management skills
  • A ‘can-do’ attitude and a solutions-driven approach
  • The ability to work independently, to exercise professional judgement and when necessary make difficult decisions
  • Comfortable at operating at senior management level
  • Knowledge and significant expertise in:
    • Working with and influencing senior managers
    • Professional services support for internationalisation
    • Working with management information and systems
    • Resource planning and financial and budget management
    • Managing operational teams in a service environment
    • Human resources management
    • Managing multiple complex projects
    • Implementing and managing change An understanding of the Higher Education environment and its business requirements


  • An understanding and/or experience ofworking in a social sciences environment

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